Temple Beth El
Temple Beth El is a vibrant Reform congregation of over 650 families serving the community through dynamic worship, educational opportunities for youth and adults, social action projects, and a wide range of social and recreational programs. Friday night Shabbat services are held weekly. Saturday morning worship occurs when we have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah), special school services or our musical service. For our families with young children, Temple Beth El offers children's services throughout the year, a Tots and Tunes program, and outings such as apple picking in the fall.
Religious and Hebrew School
Beth El has a Hebrew and Religious School program for children in kindergarten 7th grade. We have many teen programs, including a Youth and Junior Youth Group, a community wide High School program (Midrasha), brunches with the Rabbi, social action opportunities and employment opportunities in our school.
Adult education includes Torah study, lecture series, Hebrew and Cantillation classes, book groups, and a Scholar-in-Residence program.
We also have plenty of fun activites throughout the year including holiday programs, spcial Havdalah events, a family retreat, camping weekend, Mitzvah Day, and much more.
Members can get involved in our many committees as well as our active Men's Club and Sisterhood.
The Beth El Religious School teaches Judaica for grades K through 7 and Hebrew for grades K through 3 on Sundays. Grades 4 through 7 study modern and prayer book Hebrew Wednesday afternoons an during Sunday School. Parents and students grade 3 through 6 study and worship together four times per year in a program called Shabbat b’yachad.
Adult Social Opportunities
The congregation also has an active Men’s Club and Sisterhood. Sisterhood, also known as Women of Reform Judiasum (WRJ) is open to women members of Temple Beth El. WRJ serves the Temple, family and community through varied programs and projects. Members participate in four programs, annual Kallah, annual Sisterhood Shabbat, college connections and community projects such as YWCA Third Street. Popular new programs such as the annual Kugel Sale and Mah Jong tournament were added to the roster in 2011. WRJ supports youth through camperships and leadership training programs and is involved in regional and national WRJ projects. Temple Beth El’s Sisterhood annual Food-a-Rama is always held on Election Day in November. In 2012, Food-A-Rama is teaming-up with DAIS (Domestic Abuse Intervention Services). A portion of some of the proceeds collected at Food-A-Rama will go directly to DAIS’s capital campaign to build a new shelter.
The Temple Beth El Men’s Club is open to all men of Temple Beth El. We continue to add activities our growing list, which now includes a book group, High Holiday ushering, annual retreat, Sukkah assembly, regular poker nights and a Mallards game to name just a few. Our mission is for doing both modest mitzvah projects as well as socializing together at Temple. We invite you to join the Men’s Club as a member and as an active participant.
Also for adults, Temple Beth El offers weekly study of selected Biblical books in translation on Saturday mornings from 9 to 10 a.m. throughout the year. Also, the Breakfast Series meets on selected Sundays in the fall and winter, at 11:00 a.m. at Temple Beth El, to discuss historical, political and religious topics of Jewish and public interest. Breakfast Series is open to the public.
Each year, Temple Beth El honors the memory of our founding Rabbi Manfred Swarsensky through the Swarsensky Scholar-in-Residence Program. This program brings a Jewish scholar to Beth El to teach our community about a topic of interest. The lectures are provided over a weekend each November (Friday and Saturday evening, and Sunday morning).
Temple Beth El and Jewish Social Services present the Liesl M. Blockstein Lecture on a Sunday morning each February.
Temple Beth El's Adult Choir welcomes all adult congregants interested in singing; singers need not audition and need not be able to read music or Hebrew. The choir practices every other week on Wednesday evenings, and it sings once a month for Shabbat services, on the High Holidays, and for concerts at the Temple.
The Temple Beth El Youth Choir welcomes congregants in 4th grade and above, with no audition and no requirement that members be able to read music. Presenting mostly folk music in Hebrew (transliterated), the choir practices on Sundays during Religious School and performs plays and musicals in the community and for holidays and Religious School services.
Temple Beth El has a strong Social Action committee that leads and sponsors projects such as a High Holy Day Hunger Project, a community Mitzvah Day, meals for Porchlight Men’s Shelter as well as helping to provide information and funds for worldwide issues. Beth El also participates as a host congregation for The Road Home, formerly the Interfaith Hospitality Network.
Temple's library, open to the public, has a large collection of fiction and non-fiction, reference books, and an especially strong collection of children's books.
Temple Beth El has permanent and visiting art collections, including pieces by local, national and internationally known artists. The sanctuary has a large stained-glass window, the design of which elaborates the Prophet Amos' injunction, "Seek Ye Me and Live."