Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Jewish congregation aims to meld song with spiritual growth

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A new Jewish congregation hopes to offer a unique kind of worship through song and prayer. Shirat HaNefesh, which translates to ‘‘Song of the Soul” and already includes members from Silver Spring and Takoma Park, was founded in May.

Brad German, a member of the congregation’s outreach committee, said the group came together when members of the community learned that Rabbi Gerry Serotta, a former associate rabbi at Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase, and Cantor Ramon Tasat, who also worked at the Temple Shalom, became available.

‘‘We all had experiences with them at some point in our lives. ... It was a great opportunity to bring them on as our leaders,” German said.

The new congregation will focus on music as a source of inspiration and Jewish learning opportunities for both traditional and non-traditional Jews. The group has been meeting in members’ homes, with services planned at Christ the King Church in Silver Spring. For more information, visit

Art in Takoma Park

‘‘Fusion of Poetry and Art,” an arts series, will be on display in the Takoma Park Community Center’s Atrium Gallery through Aug. 13. Poets and artists were randomly paired to create collaborative pieces around the theme of creation. Visitors will be able to listen to the poetry created from each piece on MP3 players. A jam session between poets, dancers and musicians will be held Saturday, and a panel discussion with the artists will be held July 18.

The Community Center is located at 7500 Maple Ave. Call Anne Becker at 301-270-8037 or David Fogel at 301-437-6652 for more information.

Silver Spring church troupe performs in Laurel

The Tent Troupe, a traveling tent theater of high school performers from St. Luke Lutheran Church in Silver Spring, will have two performances in Laurel July 17. A children’s matinee at 1:45 p.m. will feature a number of classic short stories, fables and folk tales. The 7:45 p.m. show is ‘‘The Curious Savage” by John Patrick. Both shows are free; donations will be accepted at intermission. The two performances will go on rain or shine at the Montpelier Mansion grounds off Route 197 and Muirkirk Roads. Call 301-588-4363.

Science in the Cinema

A free film festival sponsored by the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Science Education called ‘‘Science in the Cinema” will begin 7 p.m. today at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. The festival, which will run every Wednesday night through Aug. 13, will feature films with medical or science themes. The film today is ‘‘Away from Her,” a film about a husband coping with his wife’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Guest experts will take questions from the audience following the screenings. Tickets are first-come, first-served at the theater’s box office on the day of the show. Topics in upcoming weeks will schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others. The theater is located at 8633 Colesville Road. Call 301-495-6700 for more information.

Fundraiser for Takoma Park Folk Fest

El Golfo Restaurant at 8739 Flower Ave. in Silver Spring will host a fundraiser Tuesday to benefit the Takoma Park Folk Festival. Twenty percent of food sales for sit-down and takeout meals purchased between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. will go toward the festival. Call 301-608-2121.

Friday Night Spotlighton Silver Plaza

The Last Minute Jazz Quartet will perform 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday on Silver Plaza. The event is part of Downtown Silver Spring’s ongoing series, Friday Night Spotlight. Silver Plaza is located in downtown Silver Spring on Ellsworth Drive. The event will be canceled in the case of inclement weather. Call 301-587-0867 or visit for more information and details about future events.

Historical societyseeks artifacts

The Silver Spring Historical Society is seeking information, artifacts and photographs related to black small independent business owners that were located in Silver Spring’s Central Business District in 1975. Call Jerry McCoy, the president of the Silver Spring Historical Society, at 301-537-1253, or Visit for more information.

On campus

Philip E. Massone of Silver Spring graduated from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa., with a degree in psychology.

Sara Pierce, a Rockville native and Montgomery Blair High School graduate, has been named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.

Rebecca Asiamah and Lauren Christine Lieb of Silver Spring graduated from Hood College in Frederick in May with bachelor’s degrees.

Michelle Vanessa Smith of Silver Spring graduated from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., in spring 2008 with a degree in sociology-anthropology and Spanish.

Suranga Chaminda Leitan of Silver Spring earned a master’s degree in business administration from Hood College in Frederick in May.

Lindsay Erickson of Silver Spring graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., in June with a degree in business administration.

Cristopher Dave Cabiles of Silver Spring was named to the dean’s list for spring 2008 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn.

Dietrich Hoefner of Takoma Park was named to the dean’s list for spring 2008 at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.

Joseph Aubee, Kristina Falatko and Alexander Sacco of Silver Spring were named to the dean’s list for spring 2008 at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Rachel Paloma Burkes of Silver Spring graduated from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., with a degree in earth and environmental science. Burkes is a 2004 graduate of the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda.

Maria N. Langley of Silver Spring graduated from Susquehanna University with a degree in biology. Langley is a 2004 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring.

Lara Linden of Silver Spring was named to the spring semester dean’s list at Grove City College in Grove City, Pa. Linden is a 2007 graduate of Washington Christian Academy in Olney.

Send Silver Spring news to Agnes Jasinski and Takoma Park news to Mike Meno at The Gazette, 13501 Virginia Manor Road, Laurel, MD 20707. The fax line is 240-473-7501. Items can be e-mailed to or