New Religious School Director Announced

It is our pleasure to announce that Barry Smith has joined our professional team at Beth El Congregation as the new Director of the Berman-Lipavsky Religious School.

Barry brings numerous years of experience to Beth El including thirteen years as the Director of Education at Beth El Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia. 

Prior to beginning his journey in Jewish education, Barry practiced environmental law for over twenty years in private practice and in a large consulting firm where he served as a Vice President and Division Manager. In his spare time, and with the encouragement of Dr. Eyal Bor, he earned a Masters of Arts in Jewish Education from the Baltimore Hebrew College (now part of Towson University.) 

Barry is currently serving as  the Community Outreach and Education Coordinator at the Center of Hope, a LifeBridge Health  Group.  Barry has taught in our religious school and in the Rabbi Mark G. Loeb Center for Lifelong Learning.

Barry is also a member of Beth El and is active in the Mens Club, Israel Affairs Committee, and the Adult Education Committee.

“We are very excited to welcome Barry Smith back to the Berman-Lipavsky Religious School,” said the Hon. Bruce E. Friedman, President of Beth El Congregation. “His knowledge of our community and exceptional educational background will serve as an asset in his work with our students, faculty and families.”

“We are thrilled to have Barry rejoin our staff,” said Rabbi Steven Schwartz. “Over the years, Barry has demonstrated his enthusiasm and commitment to Beth El. He has the experience to lead our religious school into the future while ensuring we provide a meaningful educational experience for our young people and their families.”

“Barry’s previous experience and enthusiasm make him a great fit for Beth El,” said Ben Wachstein, Executive Director of Beth El Congregation. “He is the right person to lead our religious school in this moment, and will make a real difference in delivering a meaningful Jewish education to students of all ages.”

Barry is originally from  Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He lived in Columbia, Maryland for twenty years and now lives in Pikesville with his wife Suellen Poland. Barry has three daughters and five grandchildren. 

In his spare time he enjoys reading (and listening) to historical novels, mysteries and spy stories. Eventually, he will spend more time learning the art of photography. There was a time he loved to go to the movies, but now he streams shows like Ted Lasso. He loves going to Oriole games, especially on a hot sunny day.  

Barry’s email address is  and we encourage you to send him an email welcoming him. There will be additional opportunities announced in the coming weeks to meet Barry.

We also want to use this opportunity to remind everyone that enrollment is now open for the Berman-Lipavsky Religious School. If you have not yet registered, please login to your Shulcloud account or email 

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