Thank you for stopping by our website. Experience has taught us that the folks who come to see us on-line fall into three categories – those who are already members, those connected to those who are already members, and those who might be interested in someday becoming members! Experience has also taught us that those who actually read the welcome message usually fall into the third of those categories – or else they are checking out what other congregations are doing to improve their own web sites!
With that experience in mind – let me welcome you to what may very well be your first taste of Temple Solel – located in suburban Bowie, MD, but serving most of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties – and beyond! We are a Reform Congregation, a member of the Mid-Atlantic Council of the Union for Reform Judaism, but as you can see in our Mission and Vision statement, we are much more than that!
Founded in 1964, and in our present location on Mitchellville Road since 1973 (refurbished and rededicated in 1999), we like to think of ourselves as a congregational mishpachah – an extended family. Our approach to Judaism is modern and liberal – in the sense that it is open and inviting to all people and multiple interpretations. But we also pride ourselves on having a strong connection with Eretz Yisrael – the land of Israel; a healthy respect for Jewish traditions; and place a premium on teaching and learning Hebrew – all of which provide deep and solid roots in the history and traditions of our Jewish ancestors.
We are proud of our achievements as a congregation of roughly 200 households. We are also proud of the role that we play in the “Greater Bowie area,” both thru our significant interfaith partnerships, and through the tireless efforts of our Social Action committee. Indeed, Temple Solel is not merely a building, not just the only Jewish edifice in Bowie, the only Reform Jewish institution in Prince George’s County. We are able to provide both the intimacy and connections of congregations half our size, and the programmatic impact of congregations twice our size.
But don’t just take my word for it. I invite you to browse through the material on this, our ever-evolving and growing website. More important, I invite you to come check us out in person – at Shabbat worship services, during Religious School, at one of our Adult Education classes, Social Action events, or other programs. Because, even in this modern technological world, NOTHING replaces first-hand, real-time experience and face-to-face meeting and sharing – and that, too, is central to who we are.
So I look forward to meeting you in person, and soon.
Rabbi Steve Weisman