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Rabbi Steven Suson

Rabbi Steven Suson has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim since 2012, where he has brought his unique blend of traditional Jewish wisdom and modern insight to the congregation.

Passion for building community and fostering active participation in Jewish life is at the heart of his leadership, Rabbi Suson is a dynamic and inspirational role model who connects with individuals of all ages. He actively encourages youth involvement in the adult services, creating an inclusive environment where congregants of every age feel valued and spiritually uplifted. Through his guidance and warm-hearted approach, Rabbi Suson ensures that everyone, from the youngest to eldest, finds a meaningful place within the vibrant tapestry of the community.

With a rich and varied background, Rabbi Suson brings a unique amalgamation of traditional Jewish education and expertise in nonprofit management. He received semicha from the revered Rabbi David Weiss-Halivni z"l and completed his rabbinical studies at the Institute of Traditional Judaism. Additionally, he holds a Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a certificate in Management for Jewish Leaders from the Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University, and a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University.

Rabbi Suson is an active member of the Washington Board of Rabbis, New York Board of Rabbis, Union for Traditional Judaism, and serves as a volunteer chaplain for the Montgomery County Police Department. He previously served at Temple Emanu-El of Closter, New Jersey, and has lived in various U.S. cities, including Denver, Chicago, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Teaneck, & Silver Spring. His experience in many synagogues brings a wealth of diverse perspectives that enrich his leadership.

Outside of shul, Rabbi Suson enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming, making music, drinking good coffee, and spending quality time with his beloved wife and daughter.

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Cantor Ben Bazian

Chazan Benjamin Bazian began his singing career at the age of 7 when he was a soloist for the Samuel Sterner Choir at Grossingers Hotel in Liberty, NY.  He subsequently sang with the choirs of Oscar Julius and Chazan Leon Berger.  As an adult he was a member of the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association Chorus and sang under the guidance of Seymour Silbermintz.

Chazan Bazian received his Cantorial training under the guidance of his father, Cantor Moshe Bazian, and is the 8th generation of Cantors in the Bazian family.   At the age of 20 Chazan Bazian engaged his first position as the Chazan at Lindenhurst Jewish Center in Lindenhurst, NY where he officiated for 5 years.  Subsequently he officiated at Shellbank Jewish Center in Brooklyn, NY and Duluth MN, prior to joining Har Tzeon Agudath Achim

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Rabbi Emeritus Reuben Landman

Rabbi Reuben Landman came to  Har Tzeon - Agudath Achim in 1976, and served as the rabbi and spiritual leader of the congregation until his retirement in June, 2012. He was also the founder and director of HTAA's free Religious School. Rabbi Landman served as the President of the Rabbinical Assembly of Greater Washington and a member of the Executive Board of the Board of Jewish Education. He is also a founding member of the Maryland Hospice Society and served on the Advisory Boards of Holy Cross Hospital and the Virginia Lung Association.

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Barb Jaffe, Director of Operations 

Barb is known for seeking out challenges, identifying opportunities to make a difference, and problem solving.  She has experience in planning and implementing projects, public speaking, and management. Her forte is organization, streamlining, and making a difference wherever she is needed. She will be working “behind the scenes” in building management and office administration but she will also  interact with members as coordinator of sponsored kiddushes, cemetery/yahrzeit plaque management, and much more. You may even recognize Barb from her previous endeavors in the community.

As a retail pharmacist since 1988, she helped others care for themselves and their family members. She has over 20 years of experience managing both day-to-day pharmacy operations locally and state-wide.  

During a stint as a stay-at-home mom, she began reaching out into the community-at-large to volunteer for numerous organizations. She spent over a decade volunteering in the Girl Scouts, and for many other organizations such as: The American Diabetes Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, National Kidney Foundation, Hebrew Home, Montgomery County Parents of Multiples, just to name a few. Some of her more recent volunteer endeavors were at the Berman Hebrew Academy as a teacher’s assistant and running the Mishloach Manot program and other fundraising activities for over 10 years. 
Barb’s diverse background and skillset offer a unique opportunity to help HTAA. Barb says: “Come by and meet me in the office. No doubt we have crossed paths at least once or we have a common interest - Mah Jongg, Bunco, cooking, baking, bowling, bocce, bourbon, photography, nail art…”

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 Hadas Barak, Program Director

Hadas Barak oversees all HTAA program activities. She engages members and the wider community through program offerings, strategic partnerships, and relationship building.

Hadas brings a wealth of experience, having recently served as Director of Community Engagement at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC. There, she organized cultural events and holiday celebrations, connected people with resources for short and long term integration in Israel, and strengthened the link between Israel and Israelis living abroad.

Hadas holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv.  Outside of work, Hadas enjoy hosting trivia nights, attending Comedy shows, film festivals, and DC museums.

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 Administrative Assistant, Jessica Werbin

Jessica grew up in Wheaton, Maryland. She is currently attending Lynn University to pursue her Bachelor's Degree. She loves helping others and is excited to be a part of the HTAA family. She will be working in the HTAA office answering phones and helping our membership with their daily needs.

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Evelyn Hill, Bookkeeper

Evelyn Hill is our beloved bookkeeper. She works hard to keep our records straight and financials in order.

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Anthony Notice, Head Custodian

Nate Orlowek, Youth Leader & Hebrew/Bnai Mitzvah Tutor

We are pleased to announce a significant upgrade to our education program for school-age children. Nate Orlowek, a local lifelong Jewish educator will be joining our staff. Nate brings significant skills as a professional educator and Shabbat morning youth group leader. He has prepared over 800 youngsters for Bar/Bat Mitzvah. 

Nate has taught and worked as a Jewish educator and camp and programming professional for his entire career of 41 years. For the past nine years he has conducted a Judaic tutoring program geared towards children who are not enrolled in a Jewish day school. Nate provides Hebrew/Judaic tutoring in all subjects for any student from K-12 (some enjoy studying with him so much that they continue even after Bar/Bat Mitzvah— one student has been coming for nine straight years!). Most students come for one-on-one tutoring for 30-45 minute sessions once a week. Nate can also accommodate small groups. 

Starting in October, Nate will be available to tutor your child at HTAA on Sunday mornings/afternoons or weekdays after school. Parents can contact Nate directly to ask questions and arrange for tutoring. 

Nate will also work with our school-age children on Shabbat and Holiday mornings. During Shacharit he will sit with the children and help them understand and participate in the Service. Then, during the Torah Reading he will run a program including stories, snacks, games, and discussions. The group will then return to the service for Musaf. This will keep our children engaged, inspired, and motivated on Shabbat mornings.

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Sat, June 22 2024 16 Sivan 5784