About

Temple Beth El Of South Orange County

Large enough to serve you; small enough to know you. Temple Beth El of South Orange County is a dynamic, growing and diverse community having multiple modes of Jewish expression. With about 600 households, and with the merger of Congregation Eilat (a Conservative affiliated congregation) into Temple Beth El, we are one of just a handful of congregations nationally that will be affiliated with both the Reform and Conservative movements. We genuinely embrace the pluralism of the greater Jewish community within our congregation so we can provide a Jewish home for those who identify with either of these movements and for those who are just looking to connect and express their Jewish selves.

Our Mission:

To establish and maintain a loving Jewish community of educated, involved, spiritual and empowered congregants who come together to celebrate and observe diverse progressive traditions in Jewish thought and belief. We are willing to explore new and creative ways to help people connect to tradition and community, and to deepen their Jewish identities.

Our openness to try new things keeps our congregation on the cutting edge and promotes a vital and living Judaism. We strive to put Shabbat at the center of our Jewish lives because we deeply believe in Shabbat’s transformative potential for individuals, for families, indeed for the entire community. This year our nationally accredited religious education and Torah learning moved to Shabbat. We call our new program Shabbat Chai since we are no longer teaching about Shabbat on Sunday mornings but “Living Shabbat.” Our goal is simple: learn through authentic experience. We are learning about Shabbat and holidays by celebrating them together. We are learning about Jewish values by going out in the community and living them. Our new comprehensive and holistic structure better meets the needs of Jewish identity formation for our children and their families. Not only is it great fun and enhances our sense of community, but the new Shabbat Chai program is also both informative and transformative and has been a tremendous success.

Our MOTTO:

Our motto, “Large enough to serve you, small enough to know you,” embodies the spirit of our culture. Temple Beth El is a place where everyone — no matter their age, race, marital status, economic situation, sexual orientation, personal beliefs or upbringing — is welcome. Despite our size — or because of it — our clergy, our staff, and our members are dedicated to making everyone who comes through our doors feel right at home. The walls of our synagogue, reminiscent of the streets of Jerusalem, house a warm and friendly place where members can cultivate, explore, and expand their spirituality on their terms. At Temple Beth El, we are committed to providing top-quality educational opportunities for all ages and stages of life with our Early Childhood Center, Shabbat Chai religious school, teen community, and our adult learning programs. When it comes to social opportunities, we also have something for everyone: BE Sisters (Sisterhood); Men’s Club; TBE Connections (our 55+ group); purpose-driven small groups; youth groups; numerous special events and Jewish celebrations throughout the year; and a variety of volunteer opportunities that help you connect with other members in a meaningful and supportive way. As a congregation, we seek to create an extended family that will be responsible for one another and the future well-being of Judaism. We encourage each member to engage in g’milut chasadim (acts of loving-kindness); the giving of tzedakah (righteous giving); and to take personal responsibility for tikkun olam (repairing the world). We invite you to find your place in our home, adding to our communal energy and helping us become increasingly a Kehila K’dosha, a Holy Congregation