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March/April President's Column by Jay Hirsh — Helping the Needy in Our Community
Service to the community is one of the core values of Beth Am that makes us who we are. Beth Am has a long and beautiful tradition of bringing loving concern and generosity to the needy through our annual drive to sustain the hungry and homeless. I am pleased to note that this year Beth Am members raised more than $40,000 to distribute to organizations serving the needs of people locally.

Crisis in Ukraine
Our hearts are breaking as we learn of the difficult and aggressive situation unfolding in Ukraine. We are concerned about the military action and the resulting loss of life, as Ukraine’s fragile democracy is threatened. As we know, historically, in such circumstances the Jewish community becomes a target, and we are fearful of such an outcome in the coming days. Here’s what you can do...

Beth Am Board Nominations Process
This year's Board Nominating Committee is hard at work! Chaired by past Beth Am President Andy Cheng, the committee is taking steps to make the process accessible and transparent. Congregants are encouraged to recommend candidates (including yourselves) to be considered for nomination. The deadline to nominate a candidate is Thursday, March 23. (Login required to click through to read more.)


Community Circles: Building community and friendships through shared interests.
Beth Am Community Circles are your place to connect more intentionally with other members around a shared interest or life stage. Community Circles are affinity groups open to members of Congregation Beth Am and coordinated by congregants. Help start the group you are looking for!

Caregivers Sh'ma Groups
Are you caring for an elder or spouse or loved one? If you feel overwhelmed, you are not alone. You can take part in a Sh’ma Group — not therapy, but a safe and friendly virtual space for sharing stories. This group format has proved successful here at Beth Am, helping us to start meaningful, supportive conversations. You will have guidelines for suggested topics and respectful interaction. You can easily form or join a group; the leadership duties are minimal and help from clergy is continually available. 

Chevra Kadisha Candle Project

One of the three important tasks of Congregation Beth Am’s Chevra Kadisha (Jewish burial society) is to support those in our community who are mourning the death of a loved one. Recently the Chevra Kadisha partnered with our youth programs to find a new way to reach out to those marking a first yahrzeit, a first anniversary of death.



March/April Clergy Column by Rabbi Jon Prosnit: Israel at 75! So Much to Celebrate; So Much to Do
The most memorable Passover seder I ever attended happened the year after I graduated from high school while living in Israel on a pre-college gap year. The seder happened in a small community called Chatzrot Yasaf on the Mediterranean coast of Israel between Akko and Nahariya. I lived in Chatzrot Yasaf as part of a joint program between my youth movement, Young Judaea and the Tzofim, Israel’s pre-army scouting movement... I hope you can see the majesty and miracle of Israel’s 75th birthday. I hope you can find a way to celebrate this wonderful moment. It is yours to celebrate.



Celebrate Purim 2023 With Beth Am
Get your costumes and groggers ready for Purim, the holiday of joy and laughter! We'll have opportunities for people of all ages to hear the Megillah and celebrate the triumph of Esther and Mordechai over the wicked Haman. Click through to find a schedule of Beth Am Purim celebrations.


Celebrate Passover 2023 With Beth Am
We celebrate Pesach not simply to repeat the tale of our enslavement and liberation, but to find new and personal meaning in that narrative each year. As Passover approaches, it’s time to think about how we’ll prepare for the arrival of the Feast of Freedom! Click through to find a schedule of Beth Am Passover events.

Help Beth Am Thrive

March 2023 Fund in Focus: Jacob Erber Steinberg Youth Programming and Scholarship Fund
The Jacob Erber Steinberg Youth Programming and Scholarship Fund supports youth opportunities including education programs, scholarships, Jewish camp, leadership training programs and Israel trips.  

Does your employer have a matching gift program? You may be able to double or even triple your contributions to Beth Am! Many Bay Area companies will match charitable donations dollar-for-dollar, or even 2:1 during certain limited promotions. While some companies exclude religious usage, Beth Am has vital non-religious expenses, such as facility maintenance and security, that these monies can be directed to.


Beth Am's March Tzedakah Box supports the Association for Civil Rights Israel (ACRI). ACRI is the oldest civil and human rights organization in Israel. Founded in 1972, ACRI is the only NGO in Israel advocating across the broad spectrum of human rights and civil liberties for everyone living in Israel and in the Palestinian Territories.


Sustainability – Why Each Little Step Matters
Members of the Beth Am Dayenu* Circle are often asked, “How can anything I do as an individual matter? These matters need to be handled at the national level.” First, we would all agree that sustainability matters must be handled at the national level. In fact, the Beth Am Dayenu Circle works with the national Dayenu organization to coordinate efforts toward creating our sustainable future. Second, the Beth Am Dayenu Circle has five different Action Groups, including a Legislative Policy and Action Group. We are all about working at the local, the state and the national level!

March/April Dayenu Circle Sustainability Tip
Did you know that most of the world’s chocolate is grown by slaves — many of whom are children? Moreover, chocolate is often grown in an environmentally harmful manner. As we prepare for our Passover seders this year, let’s take a small step to end both of these practices by purchasing fair trade chocolate for our seder desserts. Learn more by visiting (and note that some companies that DO use fair trade chocolate are not listed on the site, such as Divine, Guittard and Sees — always read the labels).


Adult Education Opportunities: This Winter/Spring
There are numerous learning opportunities for adults at Beth Am, from drop-in classes to more formal courses. Many of our offerings are free and open to the general public; others have a fee or are meant specifically for Beth Am members. 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. Check out what's coming up!

Fri, March 24 2023 2 Nisan 5783