B’nai Yehuda Beth Sholom Is… A doorway to Jewish living B’nai Yehuda Beth Sholom, a Reform congregation, is a strong link in the unbroken chain of Jewish life. More than a consecrated building, the temple is a doorway to Jewish living in the southern suburbs of Chicago. Join us in honoring the past and celebrating the future at a synagogue with rich traditions and open doors.
Exodus 25.8: “Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” A place of welcome We greet you warmly, whether you come as a guest, a newcomer to our congregation, or an old friend returning for a visit. We welcome you to our Shabbat services held on Friday nights and Saturday mornings (see Service Schedule) . Once a month, the Friday evening service is an informal Family Shabbat at which the Youth Choir sings, and the Rabbi offers birthday blessings for children and adults born that month. Other informal services and programs throughout the year are designed to make it easier for new and prospective members to get to know our congregation and members. A member: “When I enter the synagogue, I feel an immediate sense of warmth.”
A home for Jewish life Our mission statement begins: “B’nai Yehuda Beth Sholom is an inclusive Reform Jewish community that embraces both the challenges and opportunities of contemporary Jewish living.” Our members come together to worship and support each other, bringing varied life experiences, perspectives, and ideas. All voices and viewpoints are heard and honored. From social events to social action, you will find opportunities to become active and your contributions will be appreciated and valued. We strive continually to identify and meet the varied needs of a diverse membership that includes families, singles, interfaith couples, Jews by choice, various ethnic groups, and people of all ages, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. To ensure that all voices are heard and that everyone feels involved, we also enhance our congregation “by fostering lay leadership and volunteerism.” A member: “Sisterhood is not just a word, but a feeling.”
A place of learning for our children Our Religious School fosters a dynamic educational experience in Jewish family life. Our children are introduced to worship in ways designed to create a lifelong commitment to prayer, study, and celebration. The curriculum builds from year to year, involving students in Jewish texts, history, holidays, life cycle observances, ethics, and values. Our High School program includes confirmation at the end of tenth grade. Children begin afternoon Hebrew School in the third grade. The United Hebrew School, operated jointly with Congregation Am Echad, provides our children with a unique experience, helping them learn our sacred language and grow as members of our larger Jewish community. A member: “[We] build upon our ancient kindred spirits to pass down our heritage to future generations as demanded of us in the Torah.”
And learning also for our adult members and our community Throughout the year, we have adult education programs, some on Friday evenings, some after Shabbat morning services, and others on Sundays. Recent programs have included invited speakers on Jewish musical history, social action, medical research, addresses by distinguished Rabbis and leading clergy of other religions, and programs to develop better interfaith relations among Jews, Muslims, and Christians. In addition we offer occasional Scholar in Residence weekends and, along with Congregation Am Echad, provide an Academy for Jewish Study, where high-school students and adults from both congregations study together. Our youth learn by such experiences that learning continues through adulthood, while adult learners hear the thoughts and questions of a younger generation. A member: “I feel welcome and part of a group I can identify with, where I can study and learn and reflect on what really matters.”