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What's Happening in September / October

Learn about what's coming up in the Beth Am community! For a listing of events, please visit the Beth Am calendar. Announcements below will be updated regularly, so please check back for new information.

Adult Education
Help Beth Am Thrive
Social Justice
Youth Education

Adult Education

Hebrew Classes for Adults: Begin the Week of September 14
Whether you are a beginner or nearly fluent, we have a Hebrew class for you! All classes will be offered online this semester.

Learn Something New — Adult Education Opportunities at Beth Am This Fall
In addition to our clergy-taught classes, we have several (online) opportunities for congregant-led learning this fall.


President's Column by President Andy Cheng: Turning Lemons Into... Applesauce?
As we approach the Jewish New Year, a time for rejoicing and introspection, I am reminded of the resolutions we also make for ourselves during the secular New Year. According to, one of the top 10 resolutions made last year was to “spend more time with family and friends”.


Beth Am's First Annual Honey Cake Bake

It’s hard to believe, but the High Holy Days are approaching! The Beth Am leadership is working hard to find new ways to help congregants feel connected to one another even though we won’t be physically gathering this year. That’s why this year, we invite you to help bake and deliver honey cakes to all Beth Am members who are 80 years old and above. (Please sign up to participate by Monday, September 7.)


Have a Suggestion for a Virtual Program?
We want to hear from you! To make a suggestion for a virtual program, please complete the suggestion form. We appreciate your feedback!

Beth Am's Approach to Re-Opening
With the health and safety of our community in mind, our Recovery Planning Team (led by Executive Director Rachel Tasch and Board Member Rachel Gibson) has been working to develop and implement the procedures needed to re-open safely, in a deliberate manner.




Download the Beth Am App
If you’re not using the Beth Am app, you’re missing out! Access your account, the membership directory and more – all from your smartphone. Available for download for iOS and Android.

Join a Beth Am Virtual Sh'ma Group
Sh’ma Groups are small, intimate, regularly-scheduled gatherings of people who want to have fun, make new friends, learn and celebrate their Judaism. And now, you can join a group that will meet over Zoom!



Want to Promote a Secure Israel?
Would you be interested in being kept abreast of current assaults on the Jewish community and combating these trends?

Help Beth Am Thrive September Fund in Focus:
Poltava Fund

Thanks to our community’s generosity, Beth Am of Poltava is able to help its members rediscover Jewish life after missing out on it for generations. Our support — community to community — nurtures the rebirth of Jewish connection after many years of repression, neglect and anti-Semitism. Beth Am Annual Campaign Needs You
Beth Am is more committed than ever to remaining the center of your Jewish life, a place to find meaning and fulfillment, and a safe and loving space for all who seek it. Thanks to the generosity of our members, we were well-equipped to respond, adjust and even thrive during the challenging circumstance of the last several months. But as we embark on our new year, we must renew our commitment to each other, and to the financial health of our congregation. Our world has changed — but our standards of excellence and our policy of welcoming members of all financial capacity remains intact. During this time, when many members have lost income due to COVID-19, we ask those who can, to please stretch a little. The Annual Campaign supplements membership gifts and education fees to complete our budget, supporting the essential day-to-day operations of Beth Am. Thank you in advance for your support! For more information or to make a gift online, please visit the Annual Campaign webpage or contact Mandy Eisner, (650) 493-4661, x211.

Social Justice

September Tzedakah Box: Benefitting JFCS Wildfire and Emergency Fund

As fires rage in our area, Beth Am's Tzedakah collection for August and September will go to Jewish Family and Children Services Wildfire and Emergency Fund. Any gift will go directly to help those affected by wildfires. JFCS provides emergency assistance to ensure that our community members are safe. We ask you to be as generous as possible.

IsraAID is urgently seeking volunteers to assist with their efforts in providing vital relief supplies to our most vulnerable communities. Operations are conducted according to CDC guidelines. Activities include:

  • In San Jose Warehouse: Sorting and packing of relief supplies
  • From San Carlos: Distribution of food packages to people's homes

Visit the IsraAID volunteer page to learn more.

Fall 2020 Justice / Tzedek Opportunities
During this season of reflection and introspection, we are also called to acts of justice. Isaiah, in the haftarah we read on Yom Kippur, challenges the community to use our fast to protect those on the margins. "This is the fast I desire: To unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of the yoke to let the oppressed go free; to break off every yoke. It is to share your bread with the hungry, and to take the wretched poor into your home; when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to ignore your own kin."  (Chapter 58) At Beth Am, we strive to meet the challenge of Isaiah. Please join us for tzedek-focused activities and learning throughout this High Holy Day season.



Write Voter Postcards with Beth Am Women!
Can you devote some time to encourage voters for the upcoming election in November? Join Beth Am Women at upcoming postcard writing parties. These parties provide a great opportunity to participate in democracy, and we are partnering with the Tzedek Committee, the Religious Action Center (RAC) and Reclaim Our Vote to write postcards that remind voters to get out and exercise their right to vote! This is a non-partisan Voter Postcard writing activity. 

Help Beth Am Send 5,781 Postcards to Voters by 5781
We are joining the Religious Action Center (RAC) of Reform Judaism to partner with Reclaim Our Vote to send postcards to voters to combat voter suppression. Please help us reach our goal of sending 5,781 postcards by Rosh Hashanah!


Honorable Mentschen: Beth Am members who are making a difference in the community.
We want to highlight the many people in our congregation who are stepping up to add extra humanity in our community and our world — in so many different ways. Read about them, then nominate a new one!


Clergy Column: By Rabbi Jeremy Morrison

How do we create a sacred place for individual and communal teshuvah (“return” or “repentance”) online?  This is the challenging question that confronts our community as we stand on the verge of our annual, and always remarkable, multi-week opportunity for covenant renewal, solidarity and for personal growth. The High Holy Day period that begins with S’lichot (Saturday evening, September 12) invites us to engage, through the process of teshuvah, in reformulation: to take the components of our identities and to realign them, to renew ourselves and to begin again.

High Holy Days 2020
This is the time of year when we hear the call of the shofar and celebrate the start of a new year. Our spirits are lifted as we are called together with friends, family and community members from all over the world for a time of reflection and renewal. Learn more about our 2020 (virtual) High Holy Day season programming with Congregation Beth Am.

Youth Education

A Different Type of Hebrew School
What comes to mind when you hear the words “Hebrew School?” For many of us, the associations are not exactly positive.  I’ve often heard parents say, “I suffered through this; now you will too.” As your educator, I have to ask — why exactly should Jewish education induce suffering?

Beth Am Youth Education Registration is OPEN!
Join us for a year of Jewish education like no other! Alongside fan favorites, such as Hagigah and Hebrew tutoring, we are responding to the moment with a brand new family education program that lifts up the home setting, nurturing the whole family with Jewish content relevant to our current times. We've also created a singular, rich, cohort-building program for 6th and 7th graders and are piloting an exciting new model for teen education for 8th-12th graders. We've also launched a new approach to Hebrew, better aligning our Hebrew learning goals with our greater vision for Youth Education. Learn more about our programming this year!

High Holy Day Youth Programs
The Youth Education team has been hard at work cooking up all sorts of great programming to help our younger members get in on the holiday learning and doing. Check out this wealth of great programming for kids and teens alike.


Sun, September 20 2020 2 Tishrei 5781