Source: The Washington Post
On September 21, 1999, The Washington Post published an article on the pioneering efforts of Jewish communities in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary's Counties in Southern Maryland. A region with deep Catholic roots which date back to 1634, Southern Maryland has witnessed an increase in the number of Jewish families living in the area. Sha'are Shalom Congregation, a 40-family Jewish group formed in Charles County nine years ago, is looking to buy land and build the county's first synagogue. Beth Israel, the only synagogue in St. Mary's County, has doubled in size in recent years by adding 25 families and 7 single members. Beth Israel has also secured an agreement with a local cemetery to consecrate a section for Jewish burials, which would be the first Jewish cemetery in Southern Maryland. An informal Jewish congregation has also formed in Calvert County, consisting of approximately 70 families.