Our History

Kehila was formed in 1978 when six families split off from another Jewish congregation. Today the community includes about 100 "dues paying units" - including many of the original families, some new families with young children, singles and couples of all ages in between.

Past Presidents

Honoring those who gave time and leadership to bring Kehila to the present.

2014-2016           George Strumpf
2012-2014           Sarah Morse
2010-2012           Larry Frank
2008-2010           Russ Canan
2006-2008           Judy Marx
2004-2006           Marcia Wagner
2002-2004           Mark Posner
2000-2002          Pauline Rabin
1998-2000           Henry Jasny
1996-1998           Bert Zbar
1994-1996           Bob Schwartz (d)
1992-1994           Robert November
1990-1992           Judy Grimley
1988-1990           Libby Oppenheim (d)
1986-1988           Jerry Nachison
1984-1986           M. Schwartz
1982-1984           Hugh Alpert (d)
1980-1982           Phyllis Diness (d)
1978-1980           Lew Franke

Great Moments in Kehila History

July 1978            Kehila Chadasha (a New Jewish Community) was born. Jewish Week reported the formation of a new congregation that would be stressing a nondogmatic approach to Judaism.

Fall 1978             Kehila Sunday School was formed, with two teachers and Marilyn Weinstein as school administrator. Rabbi Harold White led adult education sessions – an integral part of Kehila from the beginning. First "sukkah raising" at the Alperts'. High Holiday services led by Rabbi White and David Shneyer at Georgetown University. First by-laws crafted for the community.

Fall 1980             David conducted High Holiday services at BCC High School. The service was open to the wider Jewish community.

1984                    First teen group activities. Second annual performance of the Purim Play, that year with “an exciting new Esther.”

1983-1999           Kehila continued to rely on David Shneyer as a resource for “all things Judaic.” The congregation grew to 40, then 60, then close to 100 families – an intentionally small group that stressed an inclusive, non-dogmatic approach to Judaism and ethical teachings.

21st Century     Following David’s ordination as a rabbi, Kehila celebrated 25, and then 36, years as a member-led congregation turning to Reb David for spiritual and educational guidance. Community artists and musicians enriched all Jewish celebrations with beautiful banners and melodies.