FAQs

Our Worship Community

How many families belong to Temple Beth Shalom?

As of March 2013, there are 370 families in our congregation.

Is Temple Beth Shalom a Reform, Conservative, or Orthodox synagogue?

We are a Reform congregation that is a member of the Union for Reform Judaism.

When are services?

For an up to date calendar of services please see the Temple Beth Shalom Calendar.

Is there service for very young children, a Tot Shabbat?

Yes, our Tot Shabbat service geared to the very young members up to 6 years old begins at 6PM. This is always prior to the congregation dinner and family service.  Please check temple calendar for specific dates.

How do I register for a Shabbat Family Dinner?

Register online to make credit card payments or call the temple office at 410-757-0552. Pre-payment is required.

What is appropriate dress for services?

We do not have a formal dress code, however, we request that you recognize the sanctity of our sacred space and wear clothing that demonstrates that respect. Kipot (head covering) and tallit (prayer shawl) are not required but are available if desired.

Is Temple Beth Shalom kosher?

Our policy reflects a blend of the varied traditions within the Reform movement. We are kosher-style. In simplified terms, this means that there is no pork or shellfish at any time within our building. In addition, dairy and meat are never mixed in the same dish.

Our Educational Community

How many students are in the Religious School?

There are over 248 students in a religious school that goes from kindergarten to 10th grade.

How do you announce emergency school closings?

In addition to the phonetree, we try to leave an outgoing message on the synagogue phone answering machine announcing the closing and we will use our website homepage.

When must my child enroll in Religious School in order to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth Shalom?

Fourth Grade is when our curriculum begins to focus heavily on the knowledge needed to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. There may be exceptions on a case by case basis, but Hebrew proficiency is essential. Extra make-up tutoring may be necessary.

When do we get our preparation materials?

Materials are presented to the families about 9 months prior to the ceremony.

Who are the tutors?

Temple Beth Shalom currently has three excellent tutors who have inspired students for many years. Ivy Mull, Robin Buchanan and Hal Katzman are unique in their approach and teaching style.

What is the Bar/Bat Mitzvah fee?

The complete fee which covers all of the materials and twenty half-hour tutoring sessions is $1,000.

Is there a fee for the rabbi and cantor?

While there are no set fees, it is often appropriate to make a contribution to the rabbi’s discretionary fund after the ceremony.

Financial Commitment of Joining our Community

What does it cost to join Temple Beth Shalom?

Our membership rates are based on a sliding scale. The dues support the facility and administrative costs. Anyone for whom the cost of joining a synagogue is prohibitive, we encourage to have a private conversation with a Financial Officer of our Temple Beth Shalom board.

Is there a Mortgage Reduction Assessment or Building Fund Fee?

Not for the first year of membership. After that, the assessment of $2,000 is payable over a five-year period.

Donations and Financial Commitments

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes. We accept credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.

To whom should I make my check payable?

Temple Beth Shalom

I have a question about my bill. Who should I speak to?

You should contact the temple office at 410-757-0552.