Beth El Congregation



Our Mission

  • To advance the welfare of the Beth El Congregation and to assist in every way possible in all the purposes for which the Congregation is organized.
  • To assist the schools of the congregation. 
  • To further any religious activities as the clergy and members deem appropriate.

Our History

The Beth El Sisterhood was organized in the fall of 1947, the same year our Beth El Congregation was founded. At this time, we are proud to say we have over 400 members, and our Sisterhood is recognized as one of the largest and most active in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.


Sisterhood is affiliated with the Women’s League of Conservative Judaism and the Maryland Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations.


The women of Beth El have the opportunity to participate in a myriad of dynamic and interesting events. Membership in Sisterhood offers many rewards. New friends, educational and cultural experiences and opportunities to provide support to Beth El, the Beth El schools and the community are in your future.  Contact Susan Hackerman at [email protected] or 410-486-2523 to obtain more information. To download a Sisterhood Membership Application, please click here.

Presenters and Topics for our 2018 General Meetings/Luncheons

February 5     Eric Collier                                             Topic: Mercy Ships – A Floating Hospital

March 5          Ms. Max Weiss                                      Film and Pop Culture Critic

May 23           TBA

Sisterhood Luncheon Subscription Plan

Do you forget to make reservations for the monthly Sisterhood luncheons?  Solve this problem and save money by purchasing a luncheon subscription plan.  Payment of $120.00 will guarantee your reservation for all seven luncheons. The dates are: October 2; November 6; December 4; January 8; February 5; March 5; and May 23

For this subscription opportunity, send your check made out to Beth El Sisterhood for $120.00 to Mrs. June Sacks.

RSVP by Wednesday, September 20

Please note: there are no refunds for missed meetings.

Sisterhood Trips

For more information on Cultural Trips, please visit the Cultural Trips page.


Biblio meets in the Kolker Room at noon. Bring a brown bag dairy lunch and hear an outstanding book review that is timely and meaningful given by a member or guest.  A discussion follows the review. Drinks and dessert are provided at each session.

On Wednesday, October 18 at noon, join with other avid readers as Sheila Derman reviews Giant of the Senate by Al Franken.  It is a timely choice for today’s political climate.

November 15          Gail Lipsitz       Snow in August by Pete Hamill.

December 13         Yvonne Daniel  10 Green Bottles by Vivian J. Kaplan.

January 10              Susan Hackerman (TBD).

February 14            Sonia Obstler   Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

March 7                  Barbara Levenson Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.

April 13                  Jane Krosin (TBD).

May 30                  Ben Kreshtool The Nazi Officer’s Wife by Edith Hahn Beer.       

June 13                 Paula Gallagher of BCPL will review prospective books.


For information, please call Barbara Berkowitz 410-296-8424, Carol Cummins 410-486-1504, Joan Flaks 410-486-6246, Gail Shugarman 410 486-1661 or Rita Silverman 410 484-1731.

Archives Project

Our archives project is gathering and organizing material on the history of our organization for a video presentation.  It has been an enlightening and rewarding project for those who are participating.  If you are interested in participating in this project, contact Ilene Merenbloom at 410-486-6822 or [email protected] or Rae Shalowitz at 410-484-7437 or [email protected].

Jewish Theological Seminary

Our Torah Fund, which benefits the Jewish Theological Seminary, is off to a great start.  We have received many contributions supporting the seminary where our Rabbis, Cantor and Administrator have been educated.  The seminary is very gratified to have our support.

For a contribution of $180.00, you can become a benefactor and receive a beautiful pin and six simcha cards. As of now, we have over 30 benefactors.   You may purchase six simcha cards for $18.00. 

This year’s benefactor pin, inscribed with the phrase Mah Tovu, means “how good,” a phrase that originates in the Torah, in Numbers 24:5. Quoted in our prayer book, it forms the basis of the opening prayer that is sung when we enter the synagogue. The full phrase is Mah tovu ohalecha Yaakov, mishk’notecha Yisrael, How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwellings, O Israel!” It is a spontaneous exclamation of joy and appreciation, said when gazing at the nation of Israel, dwelling in peace and mutual respect.

For more information, please contact Jane Krosin at 410-4184-4218, Hilda Dopkin at 410-486-4453 or Gail Shugarman at 410-486-1661.


We knit/crochet afghans to give as gifts for those who are home bound or in care facilities.  We do this in individual squares and then join these squares together to create an Afghan of Love. Sisterhood is looking for knitters/crocheters and anyone who wishes to learn how to do these crafts. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Susan Himmel at 410-484-7521 or email [email protected].

Library Lovers

Wondering what you are going to do during these cold winter days? The Agus Library has the answer for you; curl up and enjoy reading one of the following new books you can obtain at Beth El's wonderful library. You may check out a book from the library for three weeks.

Library hours:

Monday, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.; 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Wednesday, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Contact Marlene Siegel at 410-484-1844 or [email protected] or Barbara Berkowitz at 410-296-8424 or [email protected] for more information

Judaica Shop

The Judaica Shop offers a variety of merchandise to meet every need or occasion.  If you are shopping for holiday gifts, Bar or Bat Mitzvah gifts, wedding gifts, something personal for yourself or family, you can’t go wrong by checking out the Judaica Shop.  All items are tax-free and all proceeds go to the projects of the Congregation and Beth El schools.  For information, please contact Beverly Penn at 410-486-2667 or [email protected] or Anita Steinberg at 410-653-2977 or [email protected].

During the year, the store hours are listed below:

Store Hours:
Sunday, 9:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 11:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
Friday, 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.


The Beth El Sisterhood has a special gift for brides and grooms.  Living a Jewish Life by Anita Diamant is a comprehensive book on modern Jewish living.  The book melds the realities of living in 2016 with centuries’ old Jewish traditions. Living a Jewish Life explains the traditions and beliefs of Judaism in the context of today’s world.  The book is available to members of the congregation, the Sisterhood and their adult children and grandchildren.  Please contact Marta Braverman at 410-358-6509 to receive a copy for a newly married couple. 

Beth El Sisterhood officers for 2017-2018

Co-Presidents: Ilene Merenbloom and Dale Kahn

Vice Presidents: Tammy Schnydman, Roz Kurman, Cherie Stewart

Recording Secretary: Harriet Weiner

Corresponding Secretary: Risa Gottlieb

Treasurer: Robin Kleiman

Comptroller: Bette Dahne

Budget Coordinator: Glenda Chernoff

Financial Secretaries: (A-G) Nancy Medin ; (H-O) Alice Kuryk; (P-Z) Gloria Luchinsky

Parliamentarian: Judy Schwartz