Community Committees | Congregation Beth Am

Community Committees

Community Committees

Beth Am Women (BAW) is the women's organization of Congregation Beth Am. Also known as Sisterhood, BAW provides opportunities for women to get together and have fun, to learn and to make new friends while also fulfilling its commitment to provide financial support to Beth Am and the greater community, both locally and globally. All of our events are planned with these goals in mind, and there are plenty of volunteer opportunities for getting involved with developing, planning and implementing the varied activities. Beth Am Women membership is open to all the women of Beth Am. Contact:
Carla, Leslie and Lisa.

Beth Am Men 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. Contact:

Young Adults group is a dynamic community of young adults in their 20's and 30's. 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, LGBT. Contact: Rabbi Jonathan Prosnit

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. Contact: Orna

Poltava Committee enables our progressive sister congregation, Congregation Beth Am in Poltava, Ukraine, to reach out to young Jewish families to help them rediscover their Judaism. The Poltava Committee meets regularly to plan fundraisers, such as home-cooked Shabbat dinners after services, arts & craft fairs and "Poltava Parties" at member homes. Contact: Cherie

Interfaith Outreach Committee supports interfaith couples and families on their Jewish journeys. We aim to make Beth Am a welcoming and comfortable place for interfaith families, and to help them deepen their learning and understanding of Judaism, participate in the life of the congregation, and make thoughtful Jewish choices in their lives. Contact:
Rabbi Sarah Weissman.

Caring Committee volunteers fulfill the Jewish obligation to create a "Covenantal Community" by reaching out to those in need through personal notes, meals and congregant to congregant peer support. Because needs are sporadic, we do not hold regular meetings, but call on volunteers as needed. Contact: Ann and Chris

Gesharim is a congregant-led initiative to sustain individuals and families facing the end of life. With guidance from Torah and our sages, the Beth Am community offers learning, access to resources and personal support in all stages of this significant life cycle event. With Rabbi Marder and the Beth Am program team, Gesharim strives to provide Jewish teachings about death, access to compassionate care, support for families in crisis and spiritual nourishment for all concerned in the dying process. Gesharim is a branch of the Beth Am Caring Committee as well as Tikvah, a program which connects congregant volunteers with members who are in any kind of personal or family crisis. Contact: Rachael

INCLUDE Beth Am has the vision to create and sustain a warm, vibrant and inclusive Reform Jewish community in which every individual feels -- and is regarded -- as an essential part of the community. INCLUDE Beth Am aims to build and maintain inclusion and accessibility for all people at Beth Am. We welcome and embrace those of any age or circumstance. The committee is co-chaired by Leah Strauss and Steve Bauman, Melissa Kelley is the Board Representative and Rabbi Miriam is the Program Team liaison. Contact:

Yad l'Yad (Friendly Visitors) provides volunteer congregants with both practical and traditional guidance for visiting those who are ill or could benefit from a visit. The committee also serves as a source of volunteers for connecting isolated Beth Am members with the congregation through assignments from the clergy and Caring Committee. Meetings occur approximately four times per year. Contact: Lisa

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. The Development Committee also works in concert with other fundraising committees, such as Planned Giving and Special Event committees, and is the clearinghouse for all Beth Am fundraising activities. Contact: Chair, Loree

Planned Giving Committee works with the Director of Development and in cooperation with the Development Committee and the Board of Directors. The Committee works as part of our overall fundraising effort 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. Contact: Chair, Ric

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. Contact: Chair, Jay

Membership/Community Committee 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. Committee activities include: the Beth Am Ambassador Program (greeters and docents); events for prospective and new members; helping to create personal connections for new members; organizing opportunities for fellowship at potluck dinners and holiday events; Sukkot Open Homes; and Seder Matching. Opportunities for serving on this committee range from taking on a leadership role in planning and organizing events and activities, to helping with mailings, phone calls, food shopping and set-up for events. The full committee meets three to four times per year. Let us know if you are interested in helping with any of these activities, or if you would like to serve as a greeter at services or a docent to prospective or new members. Contact:  Rabbi Heath Watenmaker

Congregation Beth Am
  • 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
  • (650) 493-4661 Contact Us

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).