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Our Community

From the celebration of new life to saying Kaddish, Temple Beth Am is the center of our community's Jewish life and your spiritual family for honoring life cycle events as well as the Jewish holy days. 

Our members, staff, and rabbis assist in the preparation and celebration of Bar and Bat Mitzvah, confirmations, weddings, brit and baby namings, and sitting shiva. 

During the year, participate with your community in our ritual services, including Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hanukkah, and Purim, which honor and celebrate the history of our people.

Religious Practices Committee

The mission of the Religious Practices Committee (RPC) is to help interpret ritual in a way that will enhance our understanding and create a service that speaks to both heart and mind. A member of the RPC serves as shamus (helper) for every service, overseeing arrangements and engaging participants from the congregation. 

The Religious Practices Committee meets once a month. Please contact Ronnie Shure for a schedule of the dates and times. In addition to business matters, there is a discussion of a religious topic, led by a rabbi, at every meeting. The Religious Practices Committee in coordination with the rabbis:

  • Studies Judaic tradition to guide the Temple spiritually
  • Determines religious policies of the Temple
  • Selects prayer books and services
  • Recruits participants for the services

Religious Practices
The Religious Practices Committee has developed the following guidelines for participation in our services:

  • Shabbat Service Roles: procedures for worship responsibilities during Shabbat Services. You will find procedures for Torah Assistant, English Reader, Candle Blessings, Hagbah, Aliyah, and Haftarah Reader
  • Shamus Guidelines: what to do before, during, and after services
  • Food Policy: all issues related to food served in the Temple

Torah Readers Wanted
If you have experience or would like to learn to read from our sacred text, now is a good time to take your first step. Our Torah Readers group has grown in the last two years, but we still need readers. Contact Jo Merrick, who can answer your questions and act as your guide as you begin this process.

Lowen-Kaplan Award

This is an opportunity to recognize a congregant who has had a significant impact on Temple Beth Am community life. In 1988, the Beth Am Board of Directors established two awards in honor of two notable founding members: the Walter Lowen Award for outstanding service toward the enrichment of Temple Beth Am and the Seymour Kaplan Award for the enhancement of the religious and educational life of the temple. In 2016, the Board reevaluated and decided to combine the two awards into one. Here is a list of past recipients.

Submit your nomination for the 2020 Lowen-Kaplan Award here

2019 Recipient: Laurie Stusser-McNeil

According to this year’s Lowen-Kaplan Awards Committee – Sandy Berger, Barbara Droker, Jeremiah Isgur, Roger Kohn, and Ronnie Shure (last year’s award recipient) – “Laurie Stusser-McNeil has always been in the center of our community. She was in the center of our Caring Community Initiative to guide us in delivering healing challot to our members. She was a key member in welcoming Rabbi Ruth A. Zlotnick and Cantor Victor Geigner and their families into our community. She was in the center of our search for social justice. She was in the center of fundraising activities. She was a member of our Board of Directors. The real question should be whether anyone at Temple Beth Am has not been touched by her kindness and caring.”

Beth Am Communications Lead Rachel Román asked Laurie why winning the Lowen-Kaplan Award and being a part of Temple Beth Am are so meaningful. Read the Q&A here.

Fri, April 3 2020 9 Nisan 5780