Kosher BBQ ribs, chicken, fries — and scotch. Nothing could make an enormous gathering of more than 400 men any happier than dining on their favorite comfort foods while bonding and schmoozing with other men and preparing for seder leading.
The 4th annual BBQ, Scotch and Seder Summit took place April 6 at the Beth Sholom Congregation on Seven Locks Road in Potomac. This gathering was the largest Seder summit event held in the D.C. area.
This "men's outreach event" reaches across all spectrums of Judaism attracting orthodox, conservative, reform, and unaffiliated Jews. Attendees had the opportunity to enjoy Passover insights from Beth Sholom's recently installed Senior Rabbi, Nissan Antine. Antine said, "This is a great event that can be re-created in other Jewish communities across the country."
The evening featured a perfect menu for men along with a program that incorporated "speed learning," with a focus on sharing ancient traditions to help make one's Seder more meaningful for all participants. Men took home pocket-sized materials with key lessons for them to incorporate into their own Seders. There were raffle prizes and sports memorabilia. Funds from the event support families who need financial assistance to celebrate Passover. It also benefited A Wider Circle by providing more than two hundred suits for needy men.
David Farber, who has attended several times said, “The camaraderie and the feeling in the room is what makes the night so special.”
Those attending included The CEO of the JCC of Greater Washington, President of the JCC of Greater Washington, CEO of the local Jewish Federation, Headmasters of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, Executive Directors of the University of Maryland Hillel and JCRC, leaders from the Israeli Embassy, AIPAC and World Bank, Rabbis from other local synagogues, community members, friends, fathers, sons and grandsons from across the east coast.
“Even with over 500 guys,” Farber, a member of Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County, said, “the evening felt personal, intimate and warm — and not just because of the scotch.” Last year, in his article about the event in Washington Jewish Week, reporter Max Moline wrote, "I've been covering Jewish events for well over 30 years, and this was one of the most important, meaningful events I've ever experienced... this was one of the few places I had been where Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, unaffiliated... every type of Jew felt comfortable."
To learn more about the event or Beth Sholom Congregation, visit www.bethsholom.org or call 301-279-7010.