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Committees

Volunteering at Beth Am is a great way to strengthen our community and to enhance your own experience as a Beth Am member. There are many opportunities for participation and leadership. You can join one or more of the groups described below or just volunteer occasionally by being a greeter at services, assisting the office staff or helping out at potlucks and special events. If you are interested in getting involved in any of our committees, please contact the listed contact in the logged-in-only accessible section at the bottom of this page, or call (650) 493-4661.

Administration Committees
Social Justice Working Groups
Community Committees
Learning Committees
Worship Committees

ADMINISTRATION

Communications Committee works with the Communications Coordinator and is responsible for the overall design and function of all Beth Am communications vehicles, electronic and printed. Committee members review and advise on strategy, as well as participate in development and execution of all channels of communication.

Development Committee works with the Director of Development and in cooperation with the Board of Directors to secure financial resources for our congregation by exploring and implementing fundraising vehicles to ensure the financial stability of our congregation. The Development Committee strategizes on the timing and messaging of all fundraising pursuits, and works with the Director of Development to manage and implement campaigns and solicitations. The committee works with staff and Board members to identify, cultivate and steward donors on an ongoing basis.

Finance Committee ensures the congregation's financial position is reviewed and monitored on a regular basis and is in compliance with predetermined policies and guidelines. This goal is accomplished by reviewing financial statements compared to budget, providing guidance on setting the annual operating budget for Board approval, monitoring cash reserve investments, and revisiting policies that may require updating, such as our investment policy. The committee is comprised of approximately 12 members, representing varying backgrounds and interests, including past treasurers, past and current Board members, attorneys, financial professionals and CPAs, but the committee is open to any congregant who is interested, regardless of career background. The committee typically meets two times per year, with a slightly heavier workload in the spring when the annual budget is completed.

House Committee oversees the building and grounds of the congregation. The committee prepares and monitors the yearly capital budget and reports to the Board.

Legacy Giving Committee works with the Director of Development and in cooperation with the Development Committee and the Board of Directors to secure financial resources for our congregation by promoting and encouraging planned giving among our membership. Planned gifts include bequests, charitable remainder trusts, gifts of life insurance and non-cash gifts. 

Engagement & Experience Team builds a strong sense of community at Beth Am by: 1) reaching out to prospective members from the community, 2) warmly welcoming new members and helping them find their place at Beth Am, and 3) helping build an inclusive community at Beth Am in which members feel involved and valued, all in cooperation with our Engagement & Experience Manager.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

Community Services Agency (CSA) Pantry Help: Since 1957, Community Services Agency has been providing vital social services for residents of Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. CSA’s Food and Nutrition Center supplements the nutrition requirements of needy families with fresh and staple groceries. Come volunteer to help out our neighbors at the Community Services Agency in Mountain View.

Dayenu Circle's vision is to be a supportive, engaged community, rooted in Jewish tradition and values, and to work in collaboration with others to facilitate and promote ways to address climate change as well as to advocate and organize for meaningful changes in policies, practices and laws to slow down climate change and mitigate its impact. Learn more at bethamdayenu.org.

Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP): For more than two decades, Beth Am volunteers have helped sort, package and distribute food for families through EHP in East Palo Alto. Throughout the year, we also collect and give toys and clothing to members of EHP who are in need. 

Hope's Corner Breakfast Distribution: Beth Am is part of an interfaith group providing meals to Hope's Corner in Mountain View. We are need of (aged 16+) volunteers to do food preparation under the direction of Hope’s Corner staff.

Equal Start: Creating access to high-quality early learning for all California children from birth to five years of age. Equal Start is especially focused on addressing the needs of underserved areas in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

High School High Holy Day Food Drive: Beth Am high schoolers organize an annual High Holy Day Food Drive. Teens pass out paper grocery bags on Rosh Hashanah, to be returned on Yom Kippur, filled by congregants with canned and packaged food.

The Pursue Justice team works to strengthen our democracy by protecting the right to vote and ensuring every voice matters. The Pursue Justice initiativce focuses on non-partisan civic engagement such as fighting proposed state voter suppression laws and activities, supporting state and federal voting rights legislation, helping to reform campaign finance laws and fighting for racial equity.

Tzedakah Box: Judaism commands us to give to those who are in need. At Congregation Beth Am, we strive to fulfill that mitzvah. Each month, funds are collected through the Tzedakah Box Project to go to a charitable cause that serves the needy.

Women’s Reproductive Justice Group: The Beth Am Reproductive Justice Committee aims to increase education and advocacy in matters related to reproductive health and freedom for all people to have the right to choose. We advocate for accessible and affordable family planning services and comprehensive sex education, which empowers people to make informed decisions about their bodies, sexual activities and futures. Reproductive rights are about the legal right to contraception, abortion, fertility treatment, reproductive health and access to information about one's reproductive body.

COMMUNITY

Beth Am Women (BAW) welcomes women of all ages to get together to have fun, to learn and to make new friends. Our sisterhood group strengthens our Beth Am community, participates in tikkun olam — repairing the world — programming and supports a variety of youth and education efforts locally and globally. Whether we’re schmoozing over wine at speaker events or participating in activities such as book clubs, mah jongg, cooking, hiking and photography, or celebrating a creative take on Jewish traditions such as the Tu B'Av Wine & Chocolate Oneg, Rosh Chodesh, Tu Bishvat Seder and baking Purim hamantaschen for college students, there’s something for everyone. If you have an idea for an activity or event and want to lend a hand, we’re happy to give it a try!  Come join us!

Beth Am Men (BAM) is not your grandfather’s Brotherhood. From building the synagogue’s community Sukkah every autumn to raising tzedakah at our poker tournaments; from skiing together in Lake Tahoe to softball games or guys night out, we are open to any ideas, so long as you’re willing to help make it happen. Join us and enjoy the brotherhood of a friendly group of guys.

The Orchard, a young adult community, is a dynamic community of young adults in their 20s and 30s. Group activities include Shabbat evening meals, monthly salon nights encompassing Jewish learning and socializing, pub nights and social action projects. The young adult community is open to members of the congregation as well as the general Bay Area Jewish community. All are welcome — singles, couples, LGBTQ.

Israel Awareness Committee works to educate the Beth Am Community about the crucial role played by the State of Israel in the survival of the Jewish religion and culture, as a spiritual center, an American ally and as a permanent refuge for Jews subject to persecution. We offer an open, honest, respectful and safe environment for all members to learn and share ideas, focusing on support for Israel that transcends political differences. We offer regular opportunities for congregants to hear from expert speakers, learn about the many dimensions of Israeli society, and enjoy the rich culture of Israel.

Jewish and Israel Advocacy Committee (JIAC) is a group of concerned congregants exploring issues relating to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement as well as anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activities on middle school, high school and college campuses across the country. The committee arranges for guest speakers at Beth Am, and provides occasional update and action alert emails so that recipients can make their voices heard.

Poltava/ Odesa Committee enables our progressive sister congregations, Congregation Beth Am of Poltava and Shirat Ha-Yam of Odesa, to reach out to young Jewish families to help them rediscover their Judaism. The Poltava/ Odesa Committee meets regularly to plan fundraisers, such as home-cooked Shabbat dinners after services, arts & craft fairs and "Poltava Parties" at member homes.

Caring Community volunteers fulfill the Jewish obligation to create a "Covenantal Community" by reaching out to those in need through personal notes, meals, congregant to congregant peer support, and friendly visits to isolated Beth Am members. Because needs are sporadic, we do not hold regular meetings, but call on volunteers as needed. Learn more about our Caring Community programs.

LEARNING

The Youth Education Committee (YEC) serves as a source of guidance and support for the Beth Am Education Team. It is the liaison between Beth Am’s educators and the congregation, and an advocate for Youth Education in the congregational community. Members of the committee provide input and strategic direction regarding Youth Education programs, curriculum decisions and policies, particularly with regards to change and innovation. They seek and evaluate feedback from parents, staff and students. Ultimately, the Youth Education Committee has primary responsibility for helping to guide Beth Am’s Youth Education programs and ensuring a strong connection between the Youth Education community and the greater Beth Am community.

The Library Committee maintains and improves Beth Am's Library collection, which at present consists of over 9,000 books, VCRs, DVDs and tapes. The Library Committee also provides support to our part-time library specialist, Diane Rauchwerger, who staffs the Library during Sunday Program. When Beth Am invites speakers during the year, members of the Library Committee provide a tabletop display of books on the speaker's subject. Committee members also help organize new books and tapes and add them to our catalog. There is also a Library Materials Acquisition Sub-committee which meets monthly to review books the Library receives as donations, read recommendations for new books and approve the purchase of these new books. Please note that the library is not able to accept donations of materials (books, DVDs) at this time.

WORSHIP

High Holy Days Committee is tasked with helping to plan for the High Holy Days. Committee members work with the clergy and staff to ensure that our High Holy Day services are accessible and meaningful to all of our members and guests. Committee members invite congregants for Torah honors, welcome congregants and visitors to the services, assist those in need of special accommodations, and troubleshoot any problems that may arise.

Shabbat Committee focuses on ways to enhance the experience of Shabbat throughout our membership by 1) educating the congregation about Shabbat, 2) enhancing the Shabbat experience and hospitality already in place at Beth Am, 3) encouraging our members to enhance their Shabbat experiences at home, and 4) giving members the tools and inspiration to observe Shabbat. The Shabbat Committee consists of members who care about deepening their own experience of Shabbat and helping others to discover how special Shabbat can be.

Wed, May 29 2024 21 Iyar 5784