What is a community? In Hebrew the word is kehillah – a gathering. At Temple Beth-El we gather with purpose: whether that is to learn, to celebrate holidays and simchas, to support each other in difficult times, to connect to Jewish values, or to seek justice. We pray together, question together, and build our community one person at a time.
We strive to be a kehillah kedushah – a holy community. How? Before the Reform movement coined the phrase “audacious hospitality” we were already practicing it for decades: Welcoming newcomers to the area, those reconnecting to their Judaism, and spiritual seekers of all backgrounds. A holy community is also one that challenges us to be our best selves – to live by the values and ideals of Judaism whether found in ancient texts or in the Jewish visionaries and teachers of our own time.
We also understand that to be a holy community requires reaching beyond the walls of the synagogue to increase justice and lovingkindness in our world. Our congregation was a founding member of Jersey City Together, an interfaith community organizing group that actively engages in addressing inequities and challenges in our city. We have many members doing the hands on work of refugee resettlement, from pick-ups at the airport to setting up apartments and befriending the families. We also join with other Jewish congregations and organizations in Hudson County to work for the good of the entire Jewish people.
Our doors are open and we invite you to learn, pray and fix the world with us. Come get to know us at a Friday evening service (we are known for our wonderful music, our spiritual intimacy, and our creative homemade desserts – and our Shabbat potluck dinners each First Friday) or reach out to our rabbi to learn more about the community.