Bethesda/Chevy Chase/Kensington, MD

Bethesda, known as a suburban wonder according to “Washingtonian Magazine,” offers a big city-like atmosphere with nearly 200 restaurants, 75 home fashion retailers, unique boutiques, day spas and salons, three live theaters, 11 art galleries and much more.

Bethesda has a population of 61,000 according to the 2010 census.  It is considered one of the most affluent and highly educated communities in the country, placing first in Forbes list of America's most educated small towns and first on CNNMoney.com's list of top-earning American towns.  Its public schools are considered some of the best in Montgomery County.

The commercial downtown area includes both the original Woodmont Triangle as well as the bustling, newer section centered at the intersection of Bethesda and Woodmont Avenues.  In addition, there are frequent street entertainers, kiosks, and street fairs and a small park with a child-friendly fountain at the center of the Triangle.  Free wi-fi is accessible in much of Bethesda. 

Bethesda’s convenience to downtown Washington is a major attraction for families who want to live in the suburbs and work in the District.  Popular neighborhoods include Wood Acres, a hilly section between Massachusetts Avenue and River Road; Carderock Springs which has eclectic modern homes in a wooded setting, Bannockburn which has some of the more reasonably priced homes; and Brookmont which sits on the Potomac River close to the DC line.

The town of Chevy Chase, next to Bethesda, but closer to DC, extends to East-West Highway on the north, Connecticut Avenue on the east, Bradley Lane on the south and one block east of Wisconsin Avenue on the west.  In addition, there are a number of villages in the same area that include “Chevy Chase” in their names.  While close to the city, the area has retained a small-town charm. The wide variety of architectural styles includes turn-of-the-century four-squares, bungalows, and colonials.  The approximately 3,000 residents take pride in their neighborhood and diligently adhere to the strict rules and regulations regarding parking, refuse, and more. 

The schools in Chevy Chase are considered among the best schools of the Montgomery County School District.  Within a short walk is the business district of Friendship Heights, offering urban amenities, including restaurants and shops convenient to the metro. 

The neighborhoods of Bethesda and Chevy Chase comprise a very large set of Jewish congregations in many denominations, multiple options for Kosher and Judaica shopping, and as a result a large Jewish population.

Kensington has a small town atmosphere, with everything from Main Street stores to green parks and a rich history that dates back to the 17th century. Kensington offers a rare combination of big city convenience and culture and community charm along with shopping that is a rare find. Two main attractions are the Kensington Antique Row shops and the Noyes Library for Young Children.

Jewish life

Congregations

  • Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation: Reconstructionist
    • Education: Torah School, Adult Education, Religious School
    • Additional Programs: Social Action/Outreach, High School and pre-High School Youth Groups, Book Groups
  • Am HaTorah Congregation: Orthodox
  • Am Kolel: Renewal
    • Education: Adult Education
  • Beth Chai: Humanistic
    • Education: Sunday School, Adult Education
    • Additional Programs: Teen Program, Shabbat/ Tot Shabbat, Holiday Celebrations, Social Action
  • Bethesda-Chevy Jewish Community Group: Independent
    • Education: Sunday School
    • Additional Programs: Judaic and Hebrew Programs
  • Bethesda Jewish Congregation: Independent
    • Education: Religious School, Confirmation class,  Interfaith groups, Adult Jewish Education
    • Additional Programs: Social Action/Outreach, Library, musical services
  • Chabad of Bethesda/Chevy Chase: Orthodox
    • Education: Hebrew School, Torah Classes
    • Additional Programs: Saturday Night Children's Club, Notable speaker's series, Short Term Kids Summer Playgroup for ages 7-11, Sports, swimming, crafts, trips, baking, computers
  • Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County: Conservative
    • Education: Religious School, Jr. Congregation, Confirmation Class, Nursery School (2-5 Cooperative nursery), Adult Jewish Education
    • Additional Programs: Summer Preschool Camp, Youth Groups, Social Action, Men's Club, Sisterhood, Nitzanim Service (Preschool Tot Shabbat 2nd and 4th Saturday morning 10:30 am), Library, Senior Group
  • Kehila Chadasha: Unaffiliated
    • Education:  Sunday School, Adult Education
    • Additional Programs:  Social Outreach
  • Machar-Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism: Humanist 
    • Additional Programs: Book Club, Adult Discussion Groups
  • Ohr Kodesh Congregation: Conservative
    • Education: Full day Preschool, Religious School, Adult Jewish Education
    • Additional Programs: Preschool Summer Camp, Youth Groups, Day Care, Social Action, Israel Affairs Committee, Brotherhood, Library
  • Shirat HaNefesh: Pluralistic
    • Education: Religious School, LIfelong Learning
  • Temple Emanuel: Reform
    • Education: Preschool, Religious School, Adult Education
    • Additional Programs: Youth Groups, Adult Choir, Youth Choirs, Brotherhood, Sisterhood, Social Action
  • Temple Shalom: Reform
    • Education: Religious School, Confirmation Class, Adult Jewish Education
    • Additional Programs: Jr. Congregation, Primary Age Shabbat, Tot Shabbat, Youth Groups,  Interfaith Group, Social Action, Men's Club, Sisterhood, Library, Renaissance Group, College Outreach Committee, Annual Women's Seder

Schools
*Any student within commuting distance is welcome at any of the area day schools.

Preschools

Social Services

Kosher

Jewish Shopping

Cultural life

Other Neighborhood Attractions

Culture/Attractions/Recreation

Transportation