בית אל

Mission Statement of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester

At Temple Beth El, we seek to engage in participatory prayer, lifelong learning, social justice and sacred connection as paths to Jewish commitment.  Temple Beth El is a home where we celebrate our joys and share our sorrows and find meaning through our contribution to the greater good.

Temple Beth El is a Reform Jewish congregation that continually renews itself by embracing these eternal values:

Prayer, Avodah

We view prayer as a regular practice of seeking connection with the divine, found both throughout the world around us and in one another.  We gather to provide comfort, inspiration, uplift and guidance and believe that our prayer and study must ultimately prompt us into action.  Through regular worship, holiday observances and lifecycle events, we root ourselves in the wisdom of Jewish tradition while constantly seeking to renew and reinterpret its lasting message.  

Torah Study, Talmud Torah

As Rabbi Louis Finkelstein once taught, “When I pray, I speak to God.  When I study, God speaks to me.” We view the Torah and the later works of Jewish wisdom as our tradition’s attempt to discern the sacred in each moment of our lives.  We cherish the opportunity to participate in a 3,000 year old discussion of morality and ethics and eagerly participate in the wrestling first exemplified by our patriarch Jacob, when he was renamed Israel - the one who wrestles with God.  Through the study of our sacred texts, we discover how to fashion lives of Jewish meaning in an ever-changing world and root our lives in the wisdom of our ancestors.

Social Justice, Tzedek

Our congregation pursues social justice, striving toward tikkun olam, repair of the world, through deeds of righteousness and loving-kindness. We provide opportunities for our members to act upon our Jewish values, inspiring engagement in social action and social advocacy.  We accept as our mission the prophetic challenge to serve as a “light unto the nations”, calling for justice and committing ourselves to act as God’s hands. Ultimately, we understand that the more we contribute, the more meaning we receive in our lives. Finally, the sacred responsibility to act as stewards of creation compels us to practice Judaism and operate our congregation under sustainable and environmentally friendly standards.

Community, Kehilah

We offer comfort, joy, friendship and support to our members. We appreciate the rich diversity of the Jewish community and welcome all who seek a connection to Jewish Life. We encourage participation of interfaith couples and families as well as people of all backgrounds, ages, financial means, sexual orientations and gender identities. We welcome children and adults with disabilities and their families. We strive to ensure that our programs and facilities are accessible to all and to accommodate special needs. Equally important is our strong commitment to the 

larger community, both Jewish and non-Jewish, locally, nationally, around the world, and in Israel, which is linked to us through history and faith.



 

At Beth El we are a community of families and individuals who seek to utilize Jewish tradition to gain meaning, comfort and mission in our lives.  As God commands the Israelites in Exodus 25:8:

 

וְעָשׂוּ לִי, מִקְדָּשׁ; וְשָׁכַנְתִּי, בְּתוֹכָם

And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell within them
 
We seek to offer sacred space in which God may be found within and between each and every one of us.
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Inclusion Mission Statement
 

Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester appreciates the rich diversity of the Jewish community and invites all who seek a connection to Jewish life to join us. We encourage participation of interfaith couples and families as well as people of all backgrounds, ages, financial means, sexual orientations and gender identities.  We welcome children and adults with disabilities and their families.  We strive to ensure that our programs and facilities are accessible to all and to accommodate special needs. 

The synagogue is a kehilah kedoshah-a sacred community. Like a sukkah, it is constructed of many different branches woven together: the married and the unmarried, single parents, grandparents, non-Jewish spouses and those of all sexual orientations. The broader the sukkah’s reach, the more tightly its branches are woven, the stronger it stands. So too the synagogue: the greater the variety of people welcomed within it, the closer they feel to one another, the stronger the temple stands.