For their seventh annual Spring Event, members of Bolton Street Synagogue were looking forward to an evening of political merriment and revelry May 9 featuring the Capitol Steps.

“No matter where you sit on the political spectrum, the Capitol Steps poke fun at everyone,” event chair Nancy Riess said of the popular political satire group. Added Bolton Street’s Rabbi Andy Gordon: “We need to bring some fun into the political process.”

But the coronavirus pandemic changed all of that, and the Roland Park synagogue postponed the Capitol Steps’ appearance.

Still, as the old show business adage insists, the show must go on.

Bolton Street will host a virtual gala at 7 that same evening featuring a diverse lineup of musical and comedy performances, including members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Improv Group.

Other entertainers will include local klezmer and swing musician Seth Kibel, the folk duo The Honey Badgers, classical cellist Nick Hersh, and guitarist and singer Julien Xuereb.

Nancy Riess and Rabbi Andy Gordon
of Bolton Street Synagogue (Provided)

The event, emceed by Tom Hall, host of “Midday” on WYPR, will also offer fine dining options courtesy of congregant Daniel Horowitz, chef and owner of The Pantry Catering. The meals will be available for contact, with free pickup from Bolton Street. There will also be an online auction featuring a high-value raffle, an array of “Made-By-Bolton-Street” artisan crafts and professional services, plus surprise items.

Tickets for the virtual gathering are $18 per person — not including meals — and support the synagogue’s children’s, educational and social justice programming.

“Our annual spring event will show us coming together as a community for fun and laughter, food and wine, as well as education programs and the social action outreach that is part of tikkun olam — repairing the world,” said Riess.

Even before the pandemic, Bolton Street was gathering for programs and activities virtually, noted Rabbi Gordon.

“Our congregation continues to be open and continues to gather remotely for services, learning, school and social events,” he said. “The annual event is our biggest fundraiser of the year, but more importantly it has always been about gathering together as a community. We are grateful to the performers supporting us during these challenging times, and for everyone in our congregation and throughout the broader community logging on to be together to help strengthen our congregation.”

For information, call 410-235-5345 or visit

Silver Spring-based freelance writer Peter Arnold contributed to this report.