Bethesda Jewish Congregation: Supporting refugees with Evelyn Ganzglass


From a former member of the synagogue.

This article is about a longtime member of Bethesda Jewish Congregation, the synagogue we left after 20 years. She and her husband have been leaders of BJC's Interfaith Dialogue with the Christians at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church (members of PC USA, a problematic segment of the Presbyterian universe) and the Idara-e-Jaferia Mosque. For many years they have given their support to all things Interfaith, while neglecting their Israeli cousins.

We left BJC, where my husband, David, had served for two years as its Board President, because we saw that many of the BJC membership had their heads in the sand. They were more interested in supporting progressive causes than they were about helping their fellow Jews. They treated non-Jewish speakers with courtesy and rapt attention, while treating pro-Israel speakers with rudeness and disdain.

BJC shares space with a church and pays over $60,000 per year as rent. We were embarrassed that BJC leaders didn't fight the church's refusal to erect a pro-Israel sign in front of its building. I guarantee that there is a Black Lives Matter sign in front of the building, though.

I admire the Ganzglass's devotion to helping others. Virtual signaling is rampant among BJC members. But there is little effort there to support Israel and to fight the antisemitism that is becoming commonplace in the US and around the diaspora. And there is no effort from BJC leaders (including the rabbi) to win the support of the other religious entities within their "partnership" for pro-Israel and pro-Jewish initiatives. Instead, BJC is a textbook case of the failure of Jewish leadership to meet the challenges now faced by the Jewish people.

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