קול נפש — About us

Kol Nefesh was formed in 2012 as a Reform congregation in Columbia, Maryland. Focusing on young adults and families, our goal is to meet the religious, educational, and social needs of a diverse population in a warm, friendly, and service-oriented community. Practicing the principal of accessible Judaism, we feel that families can celebrate their Jewishness in a variety of ways. Whether it’s at Friday night services or on a hike with a few families, you can find your Judaism wherever community, spirituality, and camaraderie are found.


We focus on young adults and families to maintain our mission of:

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Spiritual Leader Stephanie Weishaar

Stephanie Weishaar (pronounced "whys-haar") joined Kol Nefesh as our Spiritual Leader in 2014. She comes to our community with experience in leading music at Reform congregations in Damascus and Cumberland, teaching music in Reform and Reconstructionist synagogues, and leading a variety of holiday and life-cycle services.

As an interfaith parent, she comes to our community with deep understanding and empathy. Her two children both led services as b'nai mitzvah and have participated in Jewish organizations. Actively involved in the Jewish music community, Stephanie is a member of the Women Cantors Network, the Guild of Temple Musicians, and the Washington Area Reform Cantorial Association. She participates in regional choral festivals and helped coordinate a concert at Strathmore Hall commemorating the 75th anniverary of Kristallnacht. She has attended Hava Nashira in Wisconsin, the annual songleading camp created by Debbie Friedman, and Mifgash Musicale at HUC Cincinnati, the URJ summer intensive for synagogue musicians. She is a talented soloist with private and choral vocal training, versed in a variety of music from Classical Reform to Conservative melodies and NFTY songs to Chassidic niggunim.

Stephanie and her husband, Bobby, met in the School of International Service at American University and now live in Clarksburg, Maryland. Their daughter lives in Boston where she graduated with a degree in architectural design from MIT. Their son is a senior in the Civil Engineering Department at Georgia Tech. When she is not working in Jewish music, Stephanie enjoys watching baseball, going to movies, reading, hiking, knitting, and playing with her dog.