Brotherhood: More Than Just Softball

Two men in Hebrew Nationals softball uniforms

By Dan Caplan, Brotherhood President

Over the last many years, if someone said the word “Brotherhood” around the halls of Washington Hebrew Congregation, it would likely mean one thing — our championship winning WHC Brotherhood Softball Team must have a game coming up. For those who don’t know, WHC has a softball team (two, in fact), that has won eight league championships in the last 15 years.

While WHC’s softball teams continue to thrive (and are always looking for more players), the bigger question has been what could WHC offer for men who could not bat or catch to save their lives? This is the question that I started asking Rabbi Aaron Miller and Ira Miller, WHC’s Director of Programming (no relation). Fast forward to today, and I am thrilled with what we have begun.

As we started asking what WHC could do so that the men of our community feel even closer to our congregation, we knew we did not have all the answers. But there were outstanding men in our congregation who might. We assembled the 2024 Brotherhood Advisory Board — eight smart and creative men representing different phases of life and facets of our congregation, to help expand our men’s community at WHC through events and gatherings that only a congregation like WHC offers.

Our Advisory Board planned a Brotherhood kickoff event that was everything a men’s event could be. Tony Fleming, owner of Fleming’s Ultimate Garage, generously donated his event space for us to host Ultimate March Madness, a Brotherhood March Madness event. We brought in award-winning BBQ from Silver and Sons, hosted an open bar, ran a pop-a-shot competition, and watched the games on a massive LED wall constructed for our event. As our Advisory Board kept coming up with ways to make the evening better, we knew the event would sell out. Sure enough, it did.

Looking ahead, we know that WHC’s Brotherhood is just getting restarted. Our Advisory Board is working on an upcoming pickleball bootcamp and beginners tournament, speakers, dinners, ways to give back to WHC, and other opportunities for the men, and those who identify as male, of our community to meet each other.

There are not many spaces outside of family life where men can gather and have a great time, but WHC’s Brotherhood and our 2024 Advisory Board is here to help. If you are interested in learning more and getting involved, I hope you will contact me, your 2024 Brotherhood President, and also visit our website to become a WHC Brotherhood member.

I am proud of the men’s community we have started to rebuild at WHC, and if you or any men in your life are looking for an outstanding way to connect to other men in our congregation, I hope you’ll join us.

For more information on joining Brotherhood, visit