Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

Shabbat at HomeS

cantor-and-candlesRav Judah said in Rav’s name: “The welcoming of guests takes precedence over welcoming the divine presence.”

Shabbat at HomeS:

Participate in the Mitzvah of Welcoming Guests

We invite you to join your fellow Tikvat Israel congregants in an exciting new program. Shabbat at HomeS will extend our community from the synagogue to our homes. 

It’s easy to do. The next date is May 12, 2017. Tikvat Israel families and individuals will be encouraged to invite other members to their home for Shabbat dinner.

Although it is easy to invite your usual friends from the community, we suggest that you use this opportunity to make a new connection. Perhaps you’ve become acquainted with somebody interesting from services or educational programs. Now is your chance to get to know them better! It just takes a phone call or an e-mail.

And if you don’t know whom to invite, the Tikvat Israel Shabbat at HomeS Committee is happy to find guests for you. Just let us know, and we will help you make a connection.

Added Bonus for May 12: Bonnie Cowan has graciously volunteered to provide one of her delicious home baked Challah to each host to enjoy at Shabbat dinner.  Call either Roberta or Roz by May 8 to order.  Challahs can be picked up on Thursday, May 11, at 7:15 pm (stay for minyan) or Friday morning, May 12.  Along with your challah, you will receive a pamphlet with the Shabbat blessings (transliterated) along with some fun Shabbat facts and trivia.


Tikvat Israel will not have Friday night services at the synagogue on the nights of Shabbat at HomeS so our members can focus on the welcoming of guests. There will be Friday night services at adesignated home for those who would like a minyan. If you would like to be part of a minyan, let Danny Bachman know at ShabbatAtHomes@tikvatisrael.org.

Please read the guidelines for tips and information about how to make this a successful and memorable experience.

B’shalom, 
Cantor Rochelle Helzner, Rabbi Ben Shull, Danny Bachman, Roberta Helzner, Roz Kram


Your interest in welcoming guests to your home is a most important mitzvah. Here are some questions and answers to make your experience successful.

Shabbat at HomeS Q & A

What Kashrut guidelines are hosts asked to follow?

If you keep a kosher home, prepare whatever you like.

If you do not keep a kosher home, you may prepare a vegetarian or dairy meal, including fish.

In any case be sure to check with your guests regarding food allergies.

Am I responsible for inviting guests for dinner or will guests be assigned?

We would like hosts to invite their own guests, however, we encourage you to invite members who you don’t know very well, people you would like to get to know better or congregants who are not active in synagogue life. The committee will be happy to help you complete your guest list.

I would love to host a dinner, but I’m not comfortable leading Shabbat table rituals.

That’s fine. If you have a guest who can lead, please ask him/her. The committee will provide host families with the blessings in English, Hebrew and Transliteration.

I would like to be a guest for a Shabbat dinner, Can you help?

Absolutely!  We are here to help match you with a host. Call or email Roberta Helzner or Roz Kram.

This sounds great! I’m signing up!  What do I do now?

Send us an email to let us know that you are participating.

Call Roberta Helzner or Roz Kram (check the directory for the number)

Email Roberta Helzner bertalive@comcast.net or Roz Kram rozsplace@yahoo.com

To register online send an email to: office@tikvatisrael.org and put “Shabbat at Homes” in the subject line.