May 21, 2024 /


Some of the following FAQs were derived from IKAR’s (Los Angeles, California) website.

Do I have to be a member to come to Beth El Temple?

Not at all. Our doors are open to anyone who wants to join us for services, learning, or social justice. If you’re coming for the first time, be sure to introduce yourself. We want you to love it here as much as we do. Click here to find out why.

Do you have adult education?

Sure do! We strive to be a community of learners and have many learning opportunities no matter how much or little Jewish education or background you have. You might find yourself learning with our rabbi, at a Q&A with authors and activists, or studying with the great scholars of our great community.

Do I have to know Hebrew?

No. We understand many of our members have a limited grasp of Hebrew. We provide transliteration to many of our prayers. There’s a lot of Hebrew in the service but also a lot of music and spirit and you don’t need Hebrew to get swept up in both.  We also offer adult Hebrew classes and other opportunities to learn more if you choose.

What should I wear?

We leave it to you to decide. At a typical Shabbat service, you’ll find some people wearing casual but respectful attire, and others who are more dressed up. Sweaters and pants are common, but so are sport coats, skirts, and dresses. We’d love to have you at our synagogue regardless of how dressed up you prefer to be.

How will I meet people?

New spaces can be hard, and we want to make it easy for you to find a way into our community. One way is just showing up for Shabbat services. Someone will surely introduce themselves to you and make you feel right at home. If you come to Sisterhood, Book Club, an Adult Education class, or join a group for seniors or young families (or anything else), you’ll find your tribe.

Are you open to interfaith couples?

Interfaith couples are very welcome in our family. We take pride in our inclusive and diverse community. We want all Jews and their families to feel welcome at our synagogue no matter what their religious background.

What about keeping kosher?

We know that our members are located all along the spectrum of observance of every matter of Jewish ritual, including keeping kosher. We honor our members where they are at while gently asking, “How might you, this year, take one additional step in your Jewish journey toward a life of meaning, purpose and walking with God?” If you desire assistance, our rabbi and staff are here to help you deepen your observance of kashrut.

How does membership work?

We offer a wide range of membership levels and payment plans. Just call our synagogue office at 717 232-0556 and we will set up a plan that works for you. If you want to be a member of Beth El Temple, we will work with you to make it happen.