|19 Yehuda Hanassi Street
Fax : 09-882-5120
Aron Kreiser, President
Secretary: Sara Bordowitz
Bet Israel Masorti (Conservative) Congregation of Netanya, founded in 1971 by a small group of olim from North America, didn’t settle into a permanent “home” until 1977, when its original premises at 11 Kikar Ha’atzmaut were dedicated. By the mid-‘80s the kehilla had grown to over 300 families and it was time to look for larger quarters, and this time a synagogue that would be custom-made: It was time to build. However that isn’t so simple if you are a non-orthodox congregation, even if you can somehow find the funds! Well, after many trials and disappointments the site was finally found and building permission was granted, and in 1991 Bet Israel Congregation, lead by our beloved Rabbi Ervin Birnbaum, moved into its new building at 19 Yehuda Hanassi Street, a five-minute walk from the beach in North Netanya.
We are a fully egalitarian community, with women also taking religious and leadership roles on an equal footing. Seating is, of course, mixed. Over the years we have been joined by a large contingent of Russian-speakers, large enough to warrant them having the drasha in their own language on shabbat in the social hall (the sermon in the sanctuary is given in both Hebrew and English) after which we all join together again to complete the service and for a kiddush. We are justly proud of the fact that we have a daily minyan for shacharit at 8am (services on Shabbat mornings and Holidays begin at 8:30am) and, of course, there is a Friday evening Kabbalat Shabbat service. During the summer months, while Shabbat begins quite late, we start the service early, at 6 p.m., and since it is before the onset of shabbat, we enjoy a sing-along accompanied by guitar. We also have a full program of cultural activities which includes classes in Jewish studies, concerts, movies, Israeli dancing and bridge, as well, of course, as special events around the Jewish calendar.
Activities and News
Bet Israel’s outreach activities include:
- Havurah “Shabbalat”: Free Friday afternoon program for Hebrew-speaking families with young children, including games, handicrafts, songs and stories, and films – all based around the Jewish calendar.
- TALI School — volunteer tutoring in English, one-on-one, by a dedicated group of members
- Bar/Bat-Mitzvah program for needy families—twinning with bnei mitzvah in the States
- Bar/Bat-Mitzvah ceremony for children with special needs, in cooperation with the Masorti Movement in Israel and the Tushiyya School in Netanya