tree of life art2 reversed   B’er Chayim

Yom Shabbat, 9 Adar 5778
  • find-us-on-facebook-logo
  •   Facebook(Jewish Cumberland)
  •   Mezoogle
  • Home
  • History
  • Beautification
  • Sanctuary
  • Prayer
  • Torah
  • Music
  • Rededication
  • Celebrations

rededication photo in sanctuary

Welcome ---  to  B'er Chayim Congregation. We are proud to be one of the oldest Congregations in Maryland, and have the oldest continuously operating Temple building in the state.  Our building is over 150 years old, as is our congregation. With a membership of about 45 families it is a tight-knit congregation with congregants ranging from 5 months to 100 years of age.  As a result of our small size, new members are welcomed into the fold quickly and are able to be as active as they are willing and able to be.  Please contact our membership chairperson for information on our introductory membership offer.

B'er Chayim is a member of the Union of Reform Jews. Our history of affiliations has varied over the years however, ranging from Orthodox when first chartered in 1853, through classical reform in the late 1800 and early 1900's, and finally merging with Beth Jacob Synagogue (a Conservative Shul) in 1998.  Our current services are respectful of each tradition, with traditional services being held on festivals and Shabbat, incorporating both conservative and reform styles of worship. Our goal is to be the center of Jewish life for our region, and as an active and thriving congregation, we have met our goal

12/22 Shabbat Update

This Shabbat we will have the opportunity to honor the lay leadership of our congregation that has worked so hard to infuse our temple with creative energy, practical ideas, and a sense that this congregation matters not only because of its illustriuous past but also because of its future. As you know, some will be transitioning off the Board, others will be transitioning on, and still others will be continuing on the Board but in different roles.

The idea behind an “Installation Shabbat” is to give the new officers the “Kavod” (honor) of officially being welcomed into their new roles while showing respect and deference to those who have served for so long and with such devotion. As your rabbi, I understand that the work of a congregation is a combined effort between the lay and professional leadership. We come together to serve not only the Jews of Allegany County but also the larger goals of the Jewish people everywhere. As the leader of the Reform Movement stressed at the Biennial in Boston that Doug, Betsey, and I recently attended, the goal of “tikkun olam” or the healing of the world can never be that far from our collective psyche.

In this week’s Torah portion, we learn that there is a sense of destiny woven through the history of the Jewish people. Joseph, in fact, has so much faith in God’s ultimate plan that he does not even show any anger against his brothers for having thrown him into a pit or having sold him into slavery. Rather he embraces them and shows a deep understanding for the fact that even the most painful moments in our lives contain a teachable moment.

So we are taught by our sages not to despair and to perhaps take the challenge of keeping our congregation healthy and vibrant, despite the challenges we face, as a sign from God that energy, creativity, spirituality, and good old fashioned hard work will, one day, ultimately prevail.

Shabbat Shalom and hope you have a wonderful week of holiday celebrations ahead.  Please drive carefully and stay safe.


Upcoming Events

02.25.2018 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Religious School
Adult Education
03.01.2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Adult education
03.02.2018 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Hamentaschen Bake-off
03.02.2018 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Shabbat w/Purim Schpiel