Community You Can Believe In
Welcoming Interfaith Families and Celebrating Diversity
Singles, couples and families with diverse backgrounds find a home at Beth El. Our goal is to help everyone feel comfortable in our synagogue, whether attending a worship service, supporting children in their religious education, socializing or playing on our softball team.
Our rabbis recognize that people are not “one size fits all” and work to help all our members on their personal journeys. We welcome interfaith and gay and lesbian singles, couples and families into our community and encourage their active participation in all facets of synagogue life.
Some interfaith families choose to engage in a course of study towards conversion, while others are interested in learning more about Jewish practice in order to support their family’s experience. A non-Jewish parent or partner can participate in most aspects of Jewish ritual. During a baby naming or bar or bat mitzvah, the non-Jewish parent traditionally joins their spouse and child on the bimah and is honored by the congregation. The non-Jewish parent may also deliver an English reading as part of the bar or bat mitzvah service. All are welcome and encouraged to participate in Beth El committee life and social action projects.
Raising Jewish Children
Beth El is a partner in the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Mother’s Circle program, which provides resources, support and education recognizing and assisting mothers of interfaith backgrounds who are raising Jewish children.
Grandparents Circle: How Jewish Will My Grandkids Be?
This program is designed to help Jewish grandparents of intermarried children pass their heritage on to the next generation. The series of five educational and support sessions is led by Laura Kinyon, MSW LCSW. Laura has led the highly successful Mother’s Circle program for non-Jewish women who are raising Jewish children. Grandparents Circle is presented by Beth El in conjunction with Big Tent Judaism.
Beth El Temple is a member of Big Tent Judaism (formerly known as Jewish Outreach Institute). It is a great resource, and has a wonderful website for grandparents of interfaith couples (click here).
Rabbi Rosen and Rabbi Garber are very much interested in helping you feel at home in our congregation. Please call them directly to make an appointment: (860) 233-9696.