Beth Shalom Congregation (Columbia, Maryland)

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Beth Shalom Congregation
Synagogue entrance.jpg
Beth Shalom Congregation's building
AffiliationConservative Judaism
LeadershipRabbi Susan Grossman, Cantor Rebecca Pol Apt[1]
LocationColumbia, Maryland
Beth Shalom Congregation (Columbia, Maryland) is located in Maryland
Beth Shalom Congregation (Columbia, Maryland)
Location within Maryland
Geographic coordinates39°11′04″N 76°52′45″W / 39.1845534°N 76.8790482°W / 39.1845534; -76.8790482Coordinates: 39°11′04″N 76°52′45″W / 39.1845534°N 76.8790482°W / 39.1845534; -76.8790482

Beth Shalom Congregation is a Conservative synagogue in Columbia, Maryland. It is the only Conservative congregation in Howard County, Maryland.


When the town of Columbia, Maryland, was formed in the 1960s, in accordance with an idea of James Rouse, an Interfaith Center was created where all places of worship in the town would initially share a hall.[2]

The attempt to first organize a Jewish community in the Columbia area began in 1967. Temple Solel (now known as Temple Isaiah) became the area's Reform temple, and Beth Shalom became the area's Conservative congregation.[3] Both have since obtained their own buildings. An attempt to form an Orthodox community was unsuccessful.

Beth Shalom was founded in 1969. It has since grown to more than 400 families.[4]

Spiritual leaders[edit]

The original spiritual leader was the late Rabbi Noah Golinkin, who was hired in 1978. Rabbi Kenneth Cohen was the second spiritual leader, who assumed the position in 1986.[4]

The third and current spiritual leader of Beth Shalom is Rabbi Susan Grossman, who has held the position since 1997.[1] Grossman was ordained in 1985 and is considered unusual for being a female rabbi in the Conservative movement from that generation.[5] Grossman is known for authoring works on the Conservative view of ritual purity.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b "Meet Our Clergy and Programming Staff". Beth Shalom Congregation. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  2. ^ Joseph R. Mitchell and David Stebenne (2007). New city upon a hill: a history of Columbia, Maryland, p. 97. History Press, Charleston, SC. ISBN 978-1-59629-067-9.
  3. ^ Mitchell and Stebenne, p. 98
  4. ^ a b Gabe Ross (February 21, 2007). "Celebrating past, contemplating future, Beth Sholom marking 36 years". Washington Jewish Week. Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  5. ^ Jane Lampman (July 19, 2006). "Women clergy bring a new sensibility to an old calling". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  6. ^ Rebecca Spence (September 22, 2006). "Liberal Rabbis Calling on Women To Take the Plunge for Ritual Purity". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  7. ^ Ellen M. Umansky and Dianne Ashton, ed. (2009). Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality, p. 194. Brandeis University Press, Lebanon, New Hampshire.

External links[edit]