Welcome to Beth Am Israel

When asked to describe our community I am usually drawn to words like dynamic, vibrant, inclusive, spiritual, and connected. ~Rabbi David Ackerman

Beth Am Israel (BAI) is a sacred community of seekers and learners. We focus on experiencing Judaism as a meaningful and relevant practice in everyday life, and we celebrate a pluralistic approach to Judaism that is committed to tradition, innovation, inclusion, and activism. Together, we aspire to build a home where all members can personally explore their Jewish paths through thoughtful, joyful and socially responsible study, prayer and service.

Strong relationships form the core of the BAI community. For many members, BAI is where they have found their closest circle of friends. Inside our thoughtful, intelligent, caring community we recognize the importance of supporting each other in the ups and downs of life. Together, we commit to bringing meaning to our Jewish practice and celebrating the meaning that Judaism brings to our lives. We welcome you to visit us in person! If you’d like to learn about BAI membership, please click here or email membership@bethamisrael.org.

Warm Welcome to our New Education Director, Leo Fuhrman, and to all our Beit Midrash Students

Tot Shabbat!

TOT SHABBAT RETURNS starting Shabbat morning, September 16. This musical, fun program is geared to preschool age kids and their caregivers. Join us every shabbat morning at 10:30am in Room 101. See the Torah! For those who are able, come a few minutes early and join us in back of the Main Sanctuary where we can see the Torah taken out, and if we’re lucky, get a chance to touch the Torah as it comes by. Then from 10:30 to 11:15, join us for a fun and upbeat mix of Shabbat prayer,song, movement, stories, some Torah talk and a visit from a puppet or two. We will have healthy snacks available throughout and of course Hallah, Juice and something sweet at the end! This week Hazzan Harold and Leo Furhman will be co-leading Tot Shabbat. So come out, tell your friends, spread the word, and build menaingful Jewish lives with us!

Adult Bnai Mitzvah Class Forming…

Shalom, BAI! Rabbi David and I are excited to announce the formation of an Adult Bnai Mitzvah class to being this November. The course of study will involve sessions with both myself and Rabbi David on a variety of topics including Israel, Liturgy, Jewish Music, Ritual practice. Classes will meet monthly. We will then set a date to celebrate this rite of passage (on a Shabbat morning to be named later) where students who are interested will be invited to lead key prayers, chant from the Torah and/or Haftarah, create a short teaching of Torah. Additionally, we hope to create a mitzvah project for all those participating in this course.

With regard to learning Hebrew, reciting the prayers and the art of chanting from the Torah or Haftarah, we are excited that Shelley White, our long time congregant (herself a trained cantor and longtime tutor of hundreds of students) will be available to coordinate tutoring for all those interested. While the classes with myself and Rabbi David will begin in November, tutoring can be arranged ASAP by reaching out to Shelley directly: puccini26@gmail.com. Please feel free to reach out to me or Rabbi David to sign up or to speak to us with any questions. We are looking forward to forming this group and throwing soft candy in your direction one day soon!

Mussar Class is Forming: We Invite You to Join In

Mussar is an engaging spiritual practice that enables us to transform ourselves and our relationships. Join Carol Daniels for an Intermediate Level, 13 week course on Sunday mornings or a “Taste of Mussar”, a 6 week introductory course on Monday Nights. To register or for more info, contact Carol Daniels.

Rabbi David and Hazzan Harold want to share with you:

  • Rabbi David’s Sermons
    Haverim: Shanah Tovah! How wonderful to be together to begin 5778 at Beth Am Israel. Wishing all of us a sweet, joyful and healthy new year. I’ve posted my sermons and teachings to my blog and invite you to have a look.
    Everything is Broken / Practicing Anavah / Say it in Six
    G’mar hatima tova – May we all be sealed for a good year. L’shalom, Rabbi David
  • Brief Message from Hazzan Harold
    Dear BAI members: I was deeply moved by this video and wanted to share it with all of you as we make our way into Yom Kippur. You can watch or read his brief 5 minute sermon, given at Rosh Hashana services at IKAR in Los Angeles here.Looking forward to being together with everyone in the days to come. G’mar Tov and Shana Tova! Hazzan Harold Messinger

More BAI ways to Engage

  • Walk for Inclusion: Join BAI walks to support the amazing work of Philly Friendship Circle! Contact Linda Heller for more information about the walk or PFC! Email mitzvot@bethamisrael.org
  • MLK Day of Service: Help us plan another successful and meaningful Day of Service, 10/3 at 7pm at BAI. Contact Judy Herman to RSVP or for questions. Email mitzvot@bethamisrael.org

Participating Interfaith Family Shabbat Organization J Proud Logo