Religious Practices Committee


Photo of Beth Israel sanctuary by Kevin NashChair: Laura Lee Blechner

The work of the Religious Practices Committee ("RPC") is at the core of our life as a religious community. The mission of the RPC is to help shape Shabbat, festival, High Holy Day and life cycle services in a way that meets the spiritual needs of our members.

As Reconstructionist Jews, we wrestle with our rich Jewish past and, out of it, forge a practice that works for our community.  Working closely with the Rabbi, we study the Jewish tradition and carefully consider how we can apply it to the practical task of bringing that tradition alive today. We learn about services to make them more meaningful and study Jewish texts so they can inform the decisions we make.

Some of the specific tasks of the RPC include:

  • Working to enhance the Shabbat experience
  • Coordinating High Holy Day services
  • Organizing festival observances
  • Assisting in life cycle events for members
  • Addressing any ritual concerns or issues that arise within the congregation
  • Stimulating participation in all synagogue religious activities
  • Working with the Adult Ed committee to bring about innovative programs such as Torah Treks.

One of the strengths of Beth Israel is the active role that congregants play in leading services, reading Torah, giving divrei Torah (lessons about the Torah portion), leading festival celebrations, participating in High Holy Day services and participating in life cycle events for members of the synagogue.

Another quality that makes Beth Israel special is the spiritual energy and communal warmth that mark our services. The RPC is the locus for the vision, creative ideas and hard work necessary to maintain and build our spiritual community. Meetings are held monthly, usually at 10 AM on Sunday mornings (please check the synagogue calendar for details).

We welcome all members of Beth Israel to join us in this exciting work.