Community | Congregation 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. (Click on a title in the table of contents below to jump to a specific section.)

  • Mission
  • Inclusion in Youth Education
  • Join Beth Am's Parent Circle
  • Join Our Committee
  • Social Stories
  • MISSION: 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. We achieve and live out the vision of INCLUDE Beth Am with these values:
    • Compassionate Listening | Shema  1שמע:
      We engage in active listening to understand the whole person and each other’s needs. We do not assume that we know what is right for someone else.
    • Language of Respect | Lashon HaKavod לשון הכבוד: We give dignity to people by using person-first language2, and by asking people what language feels most comfortable for them.
    • Whole Person | B’tzelem Elohim  בצלם אלוהים: Each person is created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. We strive to live out this concept in our congregation by valuing the gifts of each person, encouraging each person to find the most fulfilling way to participate in our community.
    • Leadership | Manhigut  מנהיגות: We believe in the ability of all in our community to lead our congregation to become a place that fully lives this vision. We empower young adults with special needs, our madrichim (teen aides), clergy, teachers, staff and lay leaders.
  • INCLUSION IN YOUTH EDUCATION: Beth Am's Youth Education strives to be a community where each child feels safe, welcomed and valued. For children with special needs who might need accommodations, our educators, together with our Inclusion Director, Nirit Zandman, work with parents, students and teachers to make sure that each child receives the accommodations that he or she needs. If you would like to speak with an educator about inclusion, please e-mail Nirit Zandman, our Inclusion Director or Sarah Lauing, Director of Learning and Educational Innovation.
  • JOIN BETH AM'S PARENT CIRCLE: This group is designed for parents who have children with a variety of unique needs, ranging from social, emotional, behavioral challenges, specific learning differences, giftedness, autism, ADHD, to intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and chronic illnesses. Beth Am’s Parent Circle is open to anyone who would like to share their journey (or just listen) and feel supported by other parents in our community. For more information, please contact Nirit Zandman.
  • JOIN OUR COMMITTEE: If you're interested in what we're doing, please consider joining our committee! Please contact Steve Bauman and or Leah Strauss at to join or help out. Be involved in our culture change!
  • SOCIAL STORIES are written to explain social situations to children with special needs (and to all children). These stories help children learn about social interactions and teach socially appropriate behavior. The Shabbat Service Social Stories (see below) was created by the INCLUDE team to help our young members become familiar with the service and feel more comfortable participating. We encourage families to download the story and read it with your kids ahead of time, so they know what to expect. There will be a few printed copies in the Foyer that you can use during the service.

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).