We welcome you to Old York Road Temple-Beth Am!
Our synagogue is truly a “Beth Am” – a house of the people. We are a Reform congregation of more than 800 families dedicated to creating a warm, inclusive, and stimulating Jewish community.
Beth Am's members create deep connections and life-long friendships. We celebrate holidays, share life-cycle events, and are there for one another in times of need. Beth Am is proud to be a fully accessible community where everyone is welcome.
Incorporated in 1947 in Willow Grove as the Old York Road Jewish Community Center, our name was changed to Old York Road Temple in 1950 when the current site was acquired. In 1959, as a reflection of our commitment to maintaining a warm and inclusive spiritual home for those seeking a traditionally-oriented Reform congregation, we added Beth Am to our name, which means House of the People. We were the first Reform Synagogue in Montgomery County to be affiliated with the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, now the Union for Reform Judaism. In 2004, our Temple family welcomed congregants from Temple Beth Torah who brought with them a history of more than 50 years of Reform Jewish traditions.
Beth Am combines elements of a rich Jewish heritage with the dynamic characteristics of Reform Judaism. This orientation is expressed in our liturgy, music, customs, educational philosophy, and approach to ritual expression. We offer a variety of Shabbat Services including Tots -n-Torah, Family Service with Junior Choir, an informal Kabbalat (early) Shabbat service, and Shabbat B’Yachad (a creative service for students in grades 4 through 7) . Torah study and peer-led Shabbat morning services are held weekly. Our community celebrates birthdays and wedding anniversaries each month and enjoys regular musical Shabbat programs with our band and adult volunteer choir.
Here, we recognize that Jewish education is a life-long pursuit, and we provide learning opportunities for all ages. Children from three months to five years are nurtured in the Temple Beth Torah School of Early Learning at Old York Road Temple-Beth Am. Formal Jewish studies begin in kindergarten at The Rabbi Harold B. and Elise Waintrup Religious School. Designed to be responsive to children with a wide range of abilities, our religious school provides an enriching atmosphere for spiritual, social, emotional and intellectual growth through Confirmation. Our Amanda Sham Resource Center for Children with Special Needs provides educational services to children with learning differences. Through this regionally acclaimed program, all children receive the support necessary to allow them to participate fully in our religious school. Our four youth groups for students in 2nd to 12th grade enrich our religious school experience and make up Beth Am Federation of Temple Youth (BAFTY).The Judy and Julian Weinstein Family Education Program provides parallel learning for adults and their children. Adults study through the Lincow Adult Education Institute and the annual Harry z”l and Evelyn Scholar-in-Residence program that brings nationally-known scholars and artists to our community.
Beth Am encourages every member of the Congregation to become involved. Our Brotherhood and Sisterhood welcome your participation. Join us!