Beth Am is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and uses Siddur Hadash for Shabbat and holiday services. For High Holydays, we use The New Mahzor/Mahzor Hadash. Although the prayers and chants are traditional, services are relaxed, informal and child-friendly. As an egalitarian, participatory congregation, members play active roles in the services. Our volunteer choir sings many melodies handed down by the building’s first cantor, Abba Weisgal.
At many Shabbat services, topical discussions or special guest presentations substitute for rabbinic sermons.
The High Holydays are made even more meaningful by special Beth Am services. Rosh Hashonah is marked by both piety and the joys of new beginnings and seeing old friends. On Yom Kippur, the Martyrology Service provides in-depth insight into a historical incident of persecution and the individuals who maintained their Jewish faith. The annual afternoon Open Forum is a popular and lively discussion of current events and Biblical interpretations.
The passage of a young Jewish person to spiritual, moral and religious maturity is a joyous celebration. At this event the young person receives their first tallit, is called to the Torah for the first time, and chants a reading from the Haftorah. Beth Am practice is to celebrate only one family’s bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah at a single service. Many adult congregants have also celebrated at Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Beth Am.
Summer Services in the Park
Once a month, in July and August, our congregants celebrate Erev Shabbat with a brief service and picnic in beautiful Druid Hill Park.
Listen to Cantor Greenstein chant Shabbat morning and Friday evening prayers