Sign In Forgot Password

OUR HISTORY

See more historical photos.

Forty-Nine years ago, Montgomery and Howard Counties, MD were experiencing rapid growth, with new Jewish families settling down and needing spiritual centers and homes. At that time, eighteen families created a congregation in the DC suburb of Olney, MD - B’nai Shalom of Olney. This grassroots community was small, but committed and active - two characteristics lasting with us to this very day - holding services and religious school classes in the basement of the local hospital and meetings in members’ homes. 

Three years later, we were fortunate to have the philanthropic support of Dr. Leonard Kapiloff, publisher and real estate developer, for the purchase of our current four acres of land in Olney and an enthusiastic seventy families that transformed a construction shed into our first synagogue home. With our first Sifrei Torah and Aron Kodesh secured via donation, our first lifecycle events were celebrated.

In 1980, under the spiritual and institutional leadership of our first full-time Rabbi, Rabbi Philip Pohl, we broke ground on a permanent building, which we dedicated in 1981 and then doubled in structural capacity in 1990 as our membership grew and flourished.

 Our synagogue reached its current physical capacity and structure in 2004 with our final renovation, allowing us to create a facility that would meet the spiritual and communal needs of a vibrant k’hilah: the Isadore and Rebecca Kramer Social Hall, the Berlin Family Sanctuary, the Shuman Chapel, the Kapiloff Education Wing, administrative wing, new kitchen, Broder Library, gift shop, and a larger parking lot. 

We are proud of the diverse, vibrant and committed center of Conservative Jewish life, learning, and practice that we have become in the town of Olney, poised to build on the legacy left to us by our founders, several of whom remain with us to this day.

 
B'nai Shalom of Olney Rabbis (years of service)
  • Rabbi Scott Hoffman (Interim 2019-present)
  • Rabbi Dina Rosenberg (2017-2019)
  • Rabbi Ari Sunshine (2006-2017)
  • Rabbi Moshe Ulmer - (Interim 2005-2006)
  • Rabbi Philip Pohl (1978-2005)
 
B'nai Shalom of Olney Hazzanim (years of service)
 
  • Hazzan Sara Geller (2002-2020)
  • Cantor Aaron Marcus (1998-2002)
  • Cantor Donald Weisman z"l (1985-1998)

 

Fri, January 21 2022 19 Shevat 5782