Lifelong Learning at Beth Am: A Vision for the Future
Lifelong Learning at Beth Am: A Vision for the FutureIf you have studied much Torah, your reward will be abundant. -- Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Founders) 2:16
Congregation Beth Am is an inclusive learning community, committed to the shared practice of lifelong Jewish study that is nourishing to the mind, heart and soul. Our goal is not only to gain Jewish knowledge, but to taste its abundant rewards – to understand how Judaism can help us live better, more joyful and purposeful lives. At all ages and stages, shared Jewish learning offers us intellectual challenge, moral guidance, spiritual enrichment, and the opportunity to form deep and sustaining friendships.
Beth Am’s learning opportunities are designed to build relationships, helping us connect more deeply with our history, with the traditions of the Jewish people, and with one another. Learning at Beth Am is structured as a journey that is both accessible and challenging, inviting those at every level to progress and grow in their Jewish knowledge and practice. Our learning is a Jewish spiritual path, leading us to explore sacred questions of meaning and purpose, our place in the world, our relationship to a Power beyond ourselves.
Learning at Beth Am is inspiring, enjoyable and relevant to our lives. We bring our personal concerns to the Torah; we address the real and significant issues of our time through a Jewish lens. And our learning takes place in an open and welcoming environment. We encourage questions, embrace diversity of opinion and expression, and honor the voices of individuals.
Celebrating Torah as a “tree of life” (Proverbs 3:18) that has sustained our people for thousands of years, we offer creative and innovative approaches to help children, teens and adults of all backgrounds engage with the wisdom of Jewish tradition. Our educators, teachers and clergy strive to connect with every student at Beth Am. They understand that effective Jewish learning is dynamic and multifaceted, addressing many styles of learning, conveyed in both formal and informal settings. It happens at home, in the sanctuary and at camp; outdoors in nature as well as in the classroom; on a hike, over lunch, through the arts, or while traveling. It flourishes in a positive, loving environment; it involves the whole person -- body and mind, heart and soul.
We provide multiple paths for members of all ages to know the joy of Jewish learning, and to experience its power to transform lives. As an inclusive community, we warmly welcome those of all abilities and learning styles, and create a comfortable, respectful learning environment attuned to individual needs. We honor the value of l’dor va-dor (generation to generation), and offer rich opportunities for family and intergenerational learning.
At Beth Am, we realize that today’s positive learning experiences help build the Jewish future. We seek to inspire lives of Jewish commitment and active participation in the Jewish community; to create a strong Reform Jewish identity grounded in knowledge and informed choices; and to motivate all learners at Beth Am to join in the shared tasks of the Jewish people: improving our personal character (tikkun middot) and repairing the world (tikkun olam).
By learning together, advancing our Jewish journeys and applying our knowledge in our daily lives, we fulfill our congregational mission: We strive to live as a holy community whose study and practice of Judaism inspires and challenges us to “do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God" (Micah 6:8).