Rabbi Ron Wolfson, in his book “Relational Judaism,” reminds us that in Judaism every individual is a member of a community. “We are obligated to each other by mitzvot or responsibilities, what some have called the yoke of Judaism,” but which at Old York Road Temple-Beth Am we call the blessing of Judaism.
Simply put, we are there for each other. So if a friend or family member becomes ill we call and offer our support, to babysit or make a meal. We visit our congregants in the hospital or celebrate with them for the special events in their life births, birthdays, b’nai mitzvah, anniversaries, graduations, engagements and weddings. We cry with them when a loved one is lost and provide support through Shiva minyanim and personal offers of consolation. We try to make the world a better place by performing Tikun Olam. In the past year we have helped the victims of Hurricane Sandy by the labor of our congregants, and raising money that was used to help families rebuild their lives.
We are proud of the work of our Inclusion Committee. We are proud to be an inclusive congregation, where individual differences are accommodated, accepted and appreciated, and where all members of our Synagogue Community participate together. We are passionate about helping to build relationships that over time, become sacred. Some ways we build connections are through our Brotherhood, Sisterhood, Caring Community, adult and children’s choirs, the T’filah Band, Israel Advocacy Committee, an active outreach program, and by joining together to work for social action and social justice. So join us, become involved, let’s get to know each other and help us make our community a better place because of your involvement in it.
Click on an option below to learn more.
Brotherhood is a vibrant organization for the men of our congregation, combining service to our temple, our congregants, and the community-at-large with a large dose of fellowship.
As an independent arm of the Congregation, the men of Brotherhood enjoy the freedom to participate in an eclectic array of programs. Our programs include hand delivering “Yom HaShoah” candles, providing Thanksgiving meals, a monthly card game and running trips to sporting events.
Brotherhood is committed to remaining a dynamic force supporting our temple. We welcome your ideas for new, exciting projects we can implement alongside the tried-and-true. Talk with us at our next meeting. Our monthly meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month and all are welcome. e-mail Steve Rigefsky for information at email@example.com
Brotherhood activities include:
- Sponsorship of the coffee bar
- Hand delivering “Yom HaShaoh” candles for Holocaust Remembrance Day
- Providing holiday meals at Thanksgiving for families in need
- Yom Kippur Break-the-Fast
- Scholarship for all Beth Am students attending Gratz College.
- Rabbi Harold B. Waintrup Scholarship
- Sunday Brunches with Guest Speakers
- Monthly card games
- Annual luncheon at Harold’s NY Deli
- Sponsorship of Annual Congregational Meeting
- Major donor to Beth Am fundraising
- Annual Brotherhood/Sisterhood Shabbat Service
- Health Fair
- Provide Kiddush Cups for all B’nai Mitzvah
- Annual Trip to see the 76ers
- Holding an annual Murder Mystery Show
- Providing Thanksgiving meals for needy families
- Closing Chinese Dinner
Our officers are:
- President, Steve Rigefsky
- Vice President, Mike Krassenstein
- Vice President of Religion, Steve Chesin
- Vice President of Finance, Lou Cheifetz
- Vice President of Ways and Means, Howard Silverstein
- Recording Secretary, Robert Cohen
- Immediate Past Presidents, Mike Molowitz & Rich Wright
The Caring Community Committee has served Beth Am for almost 20 years with distinction, being present for our congregants during times of need. We provide meals, transportation to services, and offer a helping hand in times of need.Please contact the office if you need support or if you’d like to lend a hand!
In 2010, we formed a Congregational Inclusion Committee “to facilitate the accommodation, acceptance and appreciation of individual differences so that all members of our synagogue community may participate together – in Torah study, prayer and spirituality, communal life and acts of loving kindness to all humanity” (Mission Statement). Committee members are members of the congregation with expertise in education, social work, and other related professions, and includes individuals with disabilities and their family members, synagogue lay leaders, professional staff and clergy. For questions, suggestions, or if you are interested in joining committee, please contact Jennifer Abramson or Hilde Sham.
Old York Road Temple-Beth Am is strongly committed to being an inclusive congregation and offers a variety of special needs services and accommodations, including:
- wheelchair accessible sanctuary and bimah
- elevator access
- educational programs for children with special learning needs, including the “Amanda Sham Resource Center” which provides support to children with learning differences to allow for full participation in Religious School
- services interpreted for the deaf (scheduled and on request)
- assistive listening devices for hearing impaired
- disability/inclusion awareness initiatives
- Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month programming
If you or a family member would like to attend an Old York Road Temple- Beth Am activity, program, meeting or event but require additional support or special accommodations; please call (215) 886-8000.
At Old York Road Temple – Beth Am, we believe in the full equality and inclusion of our members who identify with the LGBTQIA community and their families. Through our review of our kehilla kedosha, our sacred community, we are exploring and seeking new ways to continue our efforts to make sure every member of our community is truly seen as a unique and important part of Old York Road Temple – Beth Am. Our clergy and staff, echoing the statements of the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism), believes and supports the full inclusion of individuals and their families who identify with the LGBTQIA community in all areas of synagogue life and we welcome these families and individuals to join the congregation.
The Religious Practices Committee supports the fundamental necessity and importance of communal worship as an integral part of the three pillars of Judaism (Torah, Avodah, and Gemilut Hasidim – study, prayer and acts of loving-kindness) at Old York Road Temple-Beth Am.
In collaboration with the clergy, professionals, and lay leaders, the committee strives to encourage and educate congregants in meaningful worship experiences.
We believe that mitzvot should, when and where necessary, reflect the timeless principle of “Hadrat Kodesh“, the beautification of ritual commandments, within the context of contemporary liberal Jewish thought and practice. The committee supports and consults with clergy in matters pertaining to the religious integrity of the congregation. The committee advocates for lay leaders to serve as role models by regularly participating in the religious life of our Kehillah Kedosha, our Holy Congregation.
Sisterhood offers women of Beth Am opportunities for spiritual growth, culture, education, social action, and fun! We raise needed funds for our beloved synagogue as we build community. Each woman is valued, for it has been said that women are “like the letters of the Torah, each one individually different, yet creating meaning in our unity.”*
Our fundraising events and programs, lobby Gift Shop, and collection of membership dues allow us to be a generous contributor to the operations of the synagogue in general and to answer the call when special needs arise.
The efforts we help fund:
- The initiatives of Women of Reform Judaism, our national organization
- Synagogue operating funds
- Special fundraisers, projects and programs for the synagogue community
- Mailing costs for Temple Topics/Timely Topics
- Resurfacing of our playground
- Cribs for the infant center
- Run and staff the Gift Shop
- Gifts for each Bar and Bat Mitzvah Student
- Tuition aid for post-Confirmation education
As the women of Sisterhood work and play together, we benefit from closer friendships, personal growth, and the development of leadership skills. Our calendar of events includes:
- Vintage jewelry, accessory and home goods sale
- Brotherhood/Sisterhood Shabbat service
- Rosh Chodesh spiritual gatherings at members’ homes
- Sukkot Wine and Potluck Dinner
- Mah Jongg weekly games and classes (beginner and advanced)
- Bingo dinner event
- Fashion Show luncheon event
- Sunday morning speaker programs
- Monthly book club meetings
- Broadway trips
- Hanukkah Secret Shop
- Apple and Honey for Rosh Hashanah
Join us at any event or contact Co-Presidents Andrea Daly or Tobie Schupack, or the synagogue office, for more information!
We are indeed stronger together!
* From The Presence of Women by Rivka Haut, in Daughters of the King: Women and the Synagogue. Ed. Susan Grossman & Rivka Haut. The Jewish Publication Society. Philadelphia and Jerusalem. 1992
The mission of the Social Action Committee of Old York Road Temple-Beth Am is to expand social justice and social action, to make it an integral part of synagogue life. The Social Action Committee provides education and communication about contemporary issues, encouraging our congregants to take an active role. We provide opportunities for both advocacy and service projects to Beth Am members and all those in our community, regardless of religion, race or culture.
In our tradition, Rabbi Saperstein, former Director of the Religious Action Center, reminds us that the separation between prayer and action is slight. When we help others, we are involved in religious activities just as much as when we pray. After marching for civil rights march in Selma, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “I prayed with my feet.” Our work for social justice and action is what we do to make God’s values real in the world.
Join this most vibrant committee! To get more information about the current projects and focus of the Social Action Committee, contact Fred Goldstein or Sandie Buller. We look forward to your interest and participation. In addition, the Religious Action Center (www.rac.org) provides the latest information on social action and advocacy issues.
Ways and Means is about fundraising to support programs at Old York Road Temple – Beth Am. We do this through hosting special events and programs that bring the members of our community together. Many events also have sponsorship opportunities for individuals and businesses. In the past few years we have hosted events such as Monte Carlo Night, Get the Leavened Out 5k Run/Walk, Beth Am Stars (which honored congregants for their volunteer work in the greater community) and many restaurant night fundraisers. We work with everyone to make sure the events are fun as well as inclusive.
Additionally, we offer gift cards to help raise funds at no additional cost to anyone. The Gift Card Program supports Beth Am while giving you access to gift cards to use at places you already shop. Just let us know which gift cards you want. Cards are available for a wide variety of retailers including grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, department stores, even Amazon and iTunes! Cards ordered by Sunday are generally available by Wednesday, with easy payment by check or cash. Each retailer then donates a percentage of the value of the card to the Beth Am, and the purchaser receives full value of the card. It’s a win-win for everyone. Contact the office at 215-886-8000 to place an order.
Another way that Ways and Means supports Beth Am is by selling advertising in the Temple Topics newsletter. Published every other month, Temple Topics brings the news and updates from around Beth Am to our congregants. Various size ads, from business card to full page, are available. What a great way to get additional exposure for a local business!”
Keeping Graduates Connected! Our hope is to stimulate the hearts, minds (and appetites!) of the next generation, the young scholars pushing out into the wider world. We facilitate activities to keep the recent High School graduates and young adults our Beth Am community and the Jewish community. These young friends meet with many new challenges and experiences and we want them to know that the clergy and their synagogue family is here to support, lend a helping hand or just be a sounding board for things they are encountering. We like to recognize and celebrate each young person’s accomplishments along their respective journeys. For more information or to sign up to be part of our Young Friends group please contact the administrative office at 215-886-8000.
Facility Set-Up Form
If you are in charge of a committee or are planning a meeting or event, please use this FORM to carefully describe the set-up requested. This form is not used to schedule an event. To do so, please contact the administrative office, 215-886-8000.