Serving Hudson County’s Progressive Jewish Community for Over 150 Years

FAQs

We hope these will help you with your most burning questions. This page is a work in progress, we have more to say. If you can’t find the answer here or elsewhere on the site, please reach out to our office.  

Do I have to be a member to come to Temple Beth-El's services?

The short answer is no. We welcome all who want to pray, learn and celebrate with us for all our services. We don’t believe you should ever have to pay to pray, including High Holidays.

However, we do require that non-members register in advance for the Holy Days.

Please know that the only way we can sustain our ideals is through the generosity of our members and friends. If you can join and/or donate, every bit counts.

What if I don’t know Hebrew?

You’re not alone! Everything is presented in transliterations so you can sing and follow along every step of the way, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you catch on, or it comes back to you, depending.

And we’d love you to learn. Hebrew is not as hard as you might think, and Rabbi Moritt teaches basic Hebrew reading for adults almost every winter.

Do you keep kosher?

We are kosher style. We don’t allow pork or shellfish into the Temple, and do not mix dairy with meat in the same dish nor lay them out on the same plates. With our potluck dinners, we ask that you do the same with what you bring. We have loads of vegetarians and vegans and very much appreciate varied meat-free and gluten-free options.

Are you open to Interfaith Families?

Temple Beth-El is proud that our congregation’s non-Jewish family members are full members of our community. We welcome your entire family and hope that every member finds their unique place in our unique congregation. This includes everything from (certain) bimah honors to committee membership.

I need to say Kaddish. What do I do?

No reservations needed — just come. We say Kaddish at every service, and Rabbi Moritt is always available to support you in your time of mourning. We are also available to help you arrange for perpetual memory through a plaque or remind you of your yahrzeit on a yearly basis with a letter and invitation of tzedaka in your loved one’s memory. 

What do I wear to TBE?

Despite our jaw-droppingly gorgeous building and long auspicious history, we are much more about people than fancy appearances. Shabbat is a respectful come-as-you-are. B’nai mitzvah celebrations on Shabbat morning tend to be a little dressier, especially if you have an honor, as are High Holy Days. We do ask that if you are called to the bimah that your shoulders are covered and that hemlines for both men and women are no higher than an inch or two above the knee. Please be aware that our sanctuary is not air conditioned, so be comfortable!

We provide kippot/yarmulkes and tallitot (prayer shawls) for those who wish to wear them.

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