We are delighted that you are interested in finding out more about Congregation Beth El, a dynamic synagogue with a proud past and an ambitious future. We hope that you find the following insight as to who we are and what we stand for helpful as you continue your Jewish journey.
Our Mission Statement:
“Beth El is our spiritual home. We create a warm and welcoming community where people of all generations are enriched by learning and inspired to discover their personal experience of Jewish life.”
With great gratitude to God and unlimited hope in my heart it is an honor to wish you and your family a Shanah Tovah, a year ahead filled with good change. For all of us this can include meaningful growth, inspired prayer and learning, and effective partnership, as we turn and return to Beth El, our broader community, and a world that needs voices of courage, resilience, comfort, and peace. These, we will pray, should be accompanied by acts of kindness large and small, public and private, recurring and in-the-moment, that are within our capacities and make a positive impact on those around us, and on our own souls.
My first High Holidays at Beth El are sacred occasions that I approach with optimism, even as I also know that I have much to learn about how this special place marks, observes, and celebrates the New Year and Yom Kippur. If my first months as rabbi have taught me anything, it is that Beth El members are warmly welcoming, hold fast to deeply held values, and are appropriately proud of the century-long central presence of this congregation in so many thousands of lives over five generations. It is the demonstrated commitment of those whose efforts preceded ours that leads me to be most hopeful now, because I know that every single generation since Moses has figured out how to push the Jewish story forward toward a new and sometimes renewed era. Through services, outreach, programming, engagement, volunteerism, study and prayer, Beth El can continue to be a beacon to all who seek a spiritual home dedicated to preserving the Jewish past, living a fulfilling Jewish life today, and building a legacy to leave to those who will come next.
I enter these days with the personal knowledge I have the great and strong shoulders of all of Beth El’s past senior rabbis to stand on. I also welcome and could not be more grateful for the incredible partnership of Rabbi Krupnick and Hazzan Pomerantz-Boro. And I also will soon have the chance to share my love of these Yamim Noraim with my new synagogue, a family with whom I will soon experience the joy and sadness that are part of everyone’s life, and among whom I will have the opportunity to learn, teach, and grow personally and professionally. I will seek to inspire you to live a full, rich and meaningful Jewish life, but more than that, you have already inspired me to believe with full confidence that this next chapter of the history of a great congregation will be as good and strong and confident as any that have already been written. As I will say and reiterate on the holidays, that is up to me, it is up to you, it is the responsibility and opportunity of all of us to take hold of as best we possibly can.
On behalf of Stephanie and my family, I wish you and yours to be written and sealed for a year of good health, needed strength, and unending hope for and dedication to Beth El, Israel, the Jewish people, and this one world we share.
Gmar Chatimah Tovah,
Rabbi David Englander