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President's Message

Welcome to the website for Congregation Beth Shalom. I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to our vibrant and inclusive community. We are a Reform congregation, located in the Carmichael area of Sacramento County. Our membership reflects the diversity found within our broad Reform tradition. All are welcome to worship, study, seek justice, celebrate Jewish life-cycle events, participate in interfaith activities, and find caring friendships.

During this time of Covid-19 restrictions, we have found creative ways to use zoom, YouTube, and unique programming to assist us in our worship, study, service, b’nai mitzvah training and observance, and other aspects of community life. We are not able to meet in person yet, but we have found ways to continue celebrating our community life. For example, we were able to hold two major fundraisers virtually, our Food Faire and One Night in the Tropics, both with great success.

I would like to share with you a small sampling of what our congregation has to offer. My wife and I have been members of Beth Shalom for 18 years and have participated in many of the activities and programs. I have found our worship and music to be of exceptional value to my Jewish life. We have a choir, a CBS band, talented musical leadership, and a rabbi who is also our cantor. One Friday a month we have a family worship service that is geared towards young families, that, pre-Covid, was followed by a Shabbat dinner for everyone. Our High Holy Days services, Passover Interfaith celebration and Sukkot dinner are all examples of how we gather to celebrate our Jewish heritage.

We have found the many study opportunities during the year to be engaging and challenging. We offer a weekly Torah study on Saturday morning led by the rabbi. During the year, we have adult study sessions centered around the various holidays and celebrations of the Jewish calendar. Examples are our Mussar class with the rabbi and Rosh Chodesh monthly meetings for women. Our men meet monthly for study and service. There are study opportunities for teens and younger children, especially through our Neshama religious school. We also engage with other congregations to offer community-wide events.

Our congregation is actively involved in tikkun olam as we seek to make justice and reconciliation a reality in the life of Sacramento and the world. Many of our members are actively involved in movements for social justice and they keep congregants informed of opportunities to engage in specific justice events. We are involved in interfaith activities with churches, mosques and temples. We volunteer at the local food pantry, host Family Promise homeless families twice a year, and participate in food drives all year long. We are mobilized to take action when justice demands that we stand with people who are victims of injustice.

Our membership is inclusive as we welcome all people. We celebrate the rich diversity of our Reform community and are not limited in membership nor participation by age, race, ethnicity, faith, gender, sex, marital status, disability/ability, nor any of the characteristics used to judge and separate people. We seek to find the joy in knowing each other. We celebrate Jewish life cycle events as an inclusive community. By being part of the Beth Shalom community, you are a partner in the richness of G-d’s creation.

We welcome you and once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and it is safe for us to gather together, we look forward to living out our vision of Beth Shalom as a vibrant and active synagogue in the post-pandemic era. You are invited to help us shape that vision.

Shalom, Bob Bennett,

 

Tue, December 1 2020 15 Kislev 5781