Meaningful life cycle rituals can enrich our lives when we come together to mark milestones, support each other through challenges, and rejoice together in celebrations. We believe these experiences connect us to something greater than ourselves: a tradition and community upon which we can rely.

Bris and baby naming ceremonies.

We are delighted and honored to help you welcome your child into the Jewish community and our Beth El family. Beth El’s sacred spaces are available to our members for their daughter’s baby naming also known as simchat bat (“celebration of a daughter”) or their son’s brit milah (“the covenant of circumcision”). Our remarkable clergy will help your family welcome your child into a relationship with God, just as our community will welcome your child into our Beth El family. You can schedule your daughter’s simchat bat on a weekday, weekend, or during Shabbat morning services, and your son’s bris on a weekday, weekend, or on Shabbat. If you’d like one of our rabbis or cantors to officiate at your baby naming or bris, or if you are interested in hosting a private kiddush reception at one of Beth El’s gathering spaces, please contact the office at (410) 484-0411.

B’nai mitzvah.

At Beth El, we offer a dynamic b’nai mitzvah program that empowers students to take responsibility for their Jewish lives and ownership of our shared Jewish communities and future.

Jewish literacy and leadership are the foundations of our b’nai mitzvah program. Our students explore their relationship to God and prayer, learn Hebrew and how to read Torah, study Jewish texts and teachings, and immerse themselves in Jewish culture. We require that students be enrolled in either our Berman-Lipavsky Religious School or an accredited Jewish Day School.

At Beth El, no student or family goes through the b’nai mitzvah process alone. Our b’nai mitzvah tutors and clergy provide expert mentorship, guide families through the process, and nurture students as they become the best version of their Jewish selves. Along the way, students embrace the possibilities of an active Jewish life and define what Jewish adulthood means to them.

Engagements and weddings.

Beginning your life together should be an intimate, joyful, and ceremonious occasion. We are overjoyed to play a role in this exciting time in your lives. Beth El is a kosher wedding venue for your wedding celebration. In addition to hosting your ceremony and reception in our elegant, kosher wedding venues, our clergy is also available to counsel you on preparing for marriage and the importance of creating a Jewish home.

Who may be married at Beth El Congregation of Baltimore?

Our clergy is delighted to marry couples in which both partners are Jewish.

Will Beth El Congregation of Baltimore perform an interfaith wedding?

Beth El requires that both partners be Jewish to be married in our synagogue or by our clergy.

Beth El welcomes all Jewish families into our community, including interfaith families and considers non-Jewish spouses to be official members of the congregation. While no interfaith couple is denied membership, please note we are a Conservative synagogue and ritual privileges are offered accordingly.

Who from Beth El Congregation of Baltimore will officiate the wedding?

Any member of Beth El Congregation may request that a Beth El rabbi or cantor serve as m’sader(et) kedushin, the wedding officiant, or you may have another rabbi or cantor officiate or co-officiate. Visiting clergy must be invited and approved by our Beth El clergy; this arrangement should be made well in advance of the wedding.

If you would like a non-Beth El rabbi or cantor to participate in your ceremony, please email Yvonne Pentove, Assistant to the Clergy, (yvonne@bethelbalto.com) with your name, contact information, prospective wedding date, as well as the name and contact information of the officiant. The Senior Rabbi will then extend an invitation to your rabbi and/or cantor.

If you are interested in joining our community, Jill Suffel, our Director of Membership and Programming, would be thrilled to speak with you (jill@bethelbalto.com).

When may weddings be scheduled at Beth El?

Beth El’s clergy will not schedule a Jewish wedding on Shabbat (from an hour before sundown on Friday until an two-hours after sundown on Saturday) or on a major Jewish holiday (same restriction). Similarly, our clergy will not perform a wedding during the Three Weeks before Tisha B’Av, the Ninth of Av, which usually falls in late July or early August. There are restrictions on when a wedding may take place during the seven weeks known as Sefirah, between Passover and Shavuot. If you have any questions about whether a wedding is permissible on the date you have in mind, consult with one of the rabbis.

Where will the wedding take place?

Beth El is delighted to host your wedding ceremony in the Berman-Rubin Sanctuary or the Gorn Chapel, and your kiddush luncheon or reception in the Offit Auditorium. We are happy to give you a tour and discuss which space would work best for your ceremony. Additionally, pending availability, Beth El’s clergy is available to officiate your wedding ceremony at a venue of your choosing.

How can I book my wedding ceremony or reception at Beth El Congregation of Baltimore?

Please email or call Jill Suffel, Director of Membership and Programming at jill@bethelbalto.com or at (410) 484-0411, x1128 to make a reservation. A deposit will be required to reserve your date.

You can schedule an appointment with Jill to tour our beautiful event spaces and review a list of kosher caterers approved to provide food services at Beth El Congregation.

Funerals, Shiva, and Jewish end-of-life arrangements.

Judaism teaches that every moment of life is sacred, including death. In keeping with Jewish tradition, our Beth El community treats the end of a Jewish person’s life with the utmost sanctity and respect while providing comfort and support to the bereaved. Our compassionate clergy is available to officiate at funeral services and unveilings for Beth El members and their families. Additionally, we encourage members to seek our clergy’s guidance on funerals, burials, shiva, and other end-of-life rituals that require careful and thoughtful planning. For more information about making end-of-life arrangements or purchasing a plot at Beth El’s Memorial Park cemeteries, don’t hesitate to contact Ben Kreshtool, Ritual Director and Director of Memorial Park, ben@bethelbalto.com or 410-484-0411 ext. 1404.

Copyright 2022 Beth El Congregation