There are many Jewish holidays and festivals celebrated throughout the year. They commemorate the history of the Jewish people and give us the opportunity to enjoy the traditions of Judaism as a community. We welcome you to share these celebrations with us at Beth Am.
Shavuot, a Hebrew word meaning ‘weeks’, refers to the Jewish festival marking the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Special customs on Shavuot include reading of the Book of Ruth, and staying up all night to study Torah and Mishnah. At Shavuot, member of Beth Am come together for a not-quite-all-night study session, sharing teachings that are meaningful and important to themselves with one another to expand our connection to Torah as well as each other.
Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. We build and decorate a beautiful Sukkah at Beth Am and enjoy dinner in the Sukkah before the service. The Sunday morning of Sukkot we hold religious school around town at the homes of various congregants. Several families put up a Sukkah in their backyards for religious school families and other temple members to come over and enjoy a morning of fun and food in the Sukkah!
Every Shabbat we read a weekly portion of the Torah. On Simchat Torah we finish reading the last weekly portion of the entire Torah and then roll the scroll back to the beginning to start again. Simchat Torah is the day after Sukkot and is a lively and joyous celebration! Come and join us as we recite the final verses from the Book of Deuteronomy and then start over with the story of creation from the Book of Genesis. On Simchat Torah you have the opportunity to see the entire Torah opened around the Sanctuary.
Hanukkah is a wonderful time at Beth Am! We have a special Shabbat service to commemorate the miracle of the Festival of Lights and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. We enjoy dinner together and everyone brings their own menorah to light. Our annual Hanukkah party during Religious School wouldn’t be complete without hundreds of homemade latkes made by the Men’s Club.
Our Purim carnival, costumes and annual Purim play makes this the most high-spirited, creative, and one of the noisiest holidays of the Jewish year! You don't want to miss Purim at Beth Am.
Our annual Second Night Beth Am seder is a wonderful, interactive, creative seder that celebrates our freedom and deliverance from slavery. It deepens the meaning of the festival to share the traditional seder meal, sing the seder songs and read from the Haggadah together as a congregation.