A ladder stood on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven (Genesis 28:12)

This is prayer. (Zohar)

We invite you to enter into prayer with us — the ladder to our highest, deepest aspirations; the living, breathing heart of Jewish worship.  Enlivened by great singing, pulsing with music from around the Jewish world, given new meaning with kavannot (short comments/intentions) and meditation, seamlessly switching between Hebrew and English.  That’s what davening/praying is meant to be.  Give it a try!

Friday Nights

We hold Friday night services twice a month.  Please check our online calendar for the schedule.

Second Friday Nights with the Kolot HaLev Choir

Gorgeous music, plenty of ruach/spirit, occasional dancing in the aisles!  Join us for a truly spirited welcome of the Sabbath with Kolot HaLev, our choir in residence, led by Hazzan Ramón Tasat.  Usually held on the second Friday night of the month except during the summer.  7p.m. to 8:30 p.m., followed by an Oneg Shabbat (light refreshments).

Havdalah Celebrations on Saturday Nights

Shirat HaNefesh is holding two special Havdalah services this year:

— November 3, 2018:  Havdalah Under the Stars with Kolot HaLev

— April 27, 2019:  Mimouna! and Havdalah:  a celebration of the end of Passover with a semi-traditional Mimouna celebration:  food, song, music, joy!

Friday Nights Live!!

Once a month we gather for a short service (6:30 p.m.), a delicious potluck vegetarian dinner (7 p.m.), and a speaker, usually on a social justice topic, with lively discussion (starts at 7:45 p.m.).

Topics in 2018-19 include:  

Sept. 28: Spread Over Us a Shelter of Peace: Dinner in the Sukkah with NC4 communities

Oct. 26:  French Jewish Cuisine with Susan Barocas

Nov. 30: Aging in Place in a Community “Village” with Pazit Aviv, Village Coordinator for Montgomery County

Dec. 21: Jheanelle Wilkins on the next Maryland legislative session

Jan. 25: Tu B’Shvat Seder with speaker Sharon Cohen on permaculture 

Feb. 22:  Mark Bergel, founder of A Wider Circle 

Mar. 29: What Does Israel Know About Wireless that We Don’t? with Kate Kheel and Theodora Scarato of Environmental Health Trust

Shabbat Morning

Our Shabbat services are intimate and filled with uplifting music and spiritual inspiration.

We meet each Shabbat, with davening, meditation, Torah reading, and discussion.   We start at 9:30, finish at noon, and enjoy a light kiddush until 12:45 p.m.  Members of the congregation are encouraged to read Torah, chant a Haftorah, or give a reflection on the Torah reading.  We also invite our B’nei Mitzvah kids to lead a prayer or two of the service.

Once or twice a month, Rabbi Langner leads a “Rabbi’s Table” seminar-style learning and discussion session, from 10:45 to 11:45 on Shabbat morning after a slightly shortened service.  People are welcome to attend the entire morning or to come just for the Rabbi’s Table discussion. Occasional “After Kiddush” sessions feature members of Shirat HaNefesh who include rabbis and educators, on topics of their choosing.

Rabbi’s Tables for 2018-2019 include:


Sept. 8, 2018:      Rabbi Gilah on the Social Justice Hevruta (Fellowship)
Sept. 22:    Haazinu and Great Biblical Poetry
Oct. 13:      The Hasidic Tisch with Rabbi Bob Saks
Oct. 20:     National Refugee Shabbat
Nov. 24:   Jewish Meditation Techniques with Rabbi Gilah
Dec. 1:      Gideon Amir on Things You Don’t Know About Hanukkah
Dec. 22:    David Balto on Writing an Ethical Will

Jan. 19, 2019:    Shabbat Shirah with Norma Brooks:  Sing a New Song!
Jan. 26:  Black-Jewish Alliances with Virginia Spatz and Scott Schneider 
Feb. 2:  Darius Sivin on Chosenness 
Feb. 23:  Rabbi Gilah:  The Golden Calf and Original Sin
March 16: Text Study with Rabbi Gilah


Shirat HaNefesh offers evening services and activities for most of the Jewish holidays.
We have rousing Simchat Torah celebrations, wonderful Chanukah parties, inspiring Tu B’Shvat Seders, raucous Purim spiels, and in certain years, beautiful Passover Seders.  For Shavuot, we begin with our own learning session, then join the community Tikkun at Tifereth Israel/Ohev Shalom. For the last several years we have observed Tisha B’Av with a joint evening service with Fabrangen.  Please check our calendar or contact us for details.

High Holidays

Shirat HaNefesh is blessed with many varied, talented, and motivated members who contribute to make the Days of Awe meaningful.

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