Community You Can Believe In
About Beth El
More than 60 years ago, a group of young couples gathered to create a new synagogue in the growing community of West Hartford. They envisioned an egalitarian synagogue filled with ruach (spirit), a place where people could make meaningful connections through celebration, friendship, ritual, learning and action. Children would find a home here and grow into knowledgeable and caring Jewish adults. Beth El would be a sanctuary in all sense of the word, a place of community and also a place where each of us could find shelter from the day-to-day to think about “the real stuff of living.”
Rabbi Stanley Kessler was invited to lead the congregation and he has been a vital part of Beth El ever since. Rabbi Jim Rosen took over rabbinic duties in 1992, joined in 2000 by Rabbi Jennifer Tobenstein as our first Associate Rabbi. In 2005, Rabbi Ilana Garber succeeded Rabbi Jen.
Today, Beth El remains true to its roots: a diverse, family-friendly community embracing people of all ages and backgrounds, Jews and their non-Jewish partners, and people of all of sexual orientations, genders and sexual identities.
The Beth El Mission
Our mission and vision come from nearly a year of conversations with members of our congregation, our board of trustees and our professional staff:
In everything we do, we work to create and sustain a vibrant, informed and engaged synagogue community – today and tomorrow. Our goal is to build community and deepen personal engagement through learning, caring and spirit.
Beth El Temple's 13 Core Values and Principles
A set of core values underscores who we are and what we do:
We are a community of communities (Beth El, Greater Hartford, Global) • Learning as Fundamental • The importance of Jewish Values and Ethics • The Centrality of Worship and Observance • Personal and Spiritual Growth • Tikkun Olam (Repair of the World) • Acceptance and Inclusion • Innovation and Tradition • Intergenerational Engagement • Supportive Pastoral Care • Celebration and Spirit • Support for Israel • Core Conservative Philosophy
From New Babies to Educational and Family Programs to Mitzvot, our Men’s, Women’s, Senior and Youth Programs, Services and Lifelong Learning Experiences, we are here to encourage and support you on your journey. You’ll find us a phone call away: (860) 233-9696.