The Guys Are Back at Beth Sholom Congregation

Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) takes a selfie with Ryan Shofnos.Photo by Shmulik Almany

Everywhere Maryland Gov. Wes Moore was, there was the crowd. The knot of well-wishers, handlers and selfie-takers moved with him across the event space of Beth Sholom Congregation in Potomac. He was aiming in the direction of the buffet tables where beef ribs, chicken, kosher sausages and fries were urged on diners with empty plates in their hands.

“I’m around friends,” Moore said. “It’s great to be here, and have a chance to discuss what we’re going to do together as a state.”

For the new governor, the recipient of the enthusiastic votes of much of the state’s Jews, Guys Nite Out on Sunday was a friendly landing pad. For the annual event’s regulars, the promise of meat and whiskey in small samples, after the three-year dry spell of the pandemic, was a chance to pick up where they left off.

“I’ve been to every single one of them,” said Adam Lehman, president and CEO of Hillel International, as he juggled a full plate. “It’s a terrific event. It’s bringing guys together, preparing for Passover, building community, having some fun. Frankly, this is what’s missing in contemporary Jewish life.”

Guys Night Out clocked in at 370 guys. In addition to the sustenance of ribs and chicken, the guys could bone up on the Passover holiday, which begins at sunset on April 5. Rabbis Nissan Antine and Eitan Cooper offered Pesach nuggets for the mind and spirit.

This was Rockville resident Louis Leibowitz’s first Guys Night Out. “A friend invited me,” he said. “He said it was a great time, good food and you meet lots of people.”

At the end of the table, Bernard Forseter was talking to a friend. Forseter, “of Rockville, or North Bethesda” is a Guys Nite veteran.

“It’s nice to be here in person with everyone,” he said. “I got tired of Zooming with everybody.”

The guy who put this feast together is Mark Eidelman. Josh London brought the distilleries that offered samples to parched palates. Eidelman made himself easy to pick out in case anything went wrong. He wore an orange blazer, possibly the only guy in the place to do so.

He looked to where Moore stood, shaking hands and posing for pictures. Somewhere beyond, Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) was making the rounds.

“I think the people are appreciative of what the politicians are doing for us,” Eidelman said. “We just want to say thank you.” ■

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Maybe it’s the whisky and BBQ, but the guys feel the energy


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