Featured Stories & Updates


The Work of Our Hands

Aug 14, 2019
By: Rabbi Steve Schwartz
On three separate occasions, I have been involved with the rabbinic ordination ceremonies at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Once was my ordination, the very moment I became a rabbi in my own eyes. The other two times, I was asked to participate in the ceremony by ordaining rabbinical students. 

Community and Connection: Dr. Joanne Rief Reflects on Beth El's Trip to Eastern Europe

Jul 22, 2019

The late, great Anthony Bourdain once said: “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”


An Indispensable Judaism: Beth El Introduces Its New Mission Statement and Core Values

Jul 01, 2019

By: Brandon Chiat, Digital Media Manager 

On a brisk morning in January 2018, Beth El’s Board of Directors, senior staff, and clergy began shaping the congregation’s vision for the future. Their challenge was to articulate the synagogue’s mission and values.


Four Jewish Connections to the Fourth of July

Jul 01, 2019
It’s that time of the year again: the day when the world turns shades of red, white and blue, and the smell of hot dogs — kosher ones, of course — fills the air. For Jews, the Fourth of July symbolizes the trials and tribulations of the many immigrants who fought (in some cases literally) to make this country their own.
So as you turn the heat up on your grill, trot out the watermelon or glance up at the fireworks this Independence Day, here are a few Jewish things to think about:
Francis Salvador

Get to Know: Andy Shankman

Jun 28, 2019

Beth El recently hired Andy Shankman to serve as Religious School Manager and Bnai Mitzvah Coordinator. In his new role, Mr. Shankman will work closely with families to ensure students get the most out of their education, support teachers with their various needs, and oversee the Bnai Mitzvah tutoring program. 

Andy took an inspired yet unconventional path to Beth El Religious School.