Volunteers are an essential part of making our diverse and rich range of programs and activities possible, and volunteering is the ideal way to meet new people at Congregation Beth El! We have hundreds of active volunteers, and there are many ways to be involved no matter what your schedule or available time. Contact us and we can match your interests and schedule.
The Congregation Beth El Chevra Kadisha (Holy Burial Society) is on call 24 hours a day to respond to the needs of community members when there is a death in their family. Together with our clergy, these dedicated volunteers ensure that the laws and traditions of the Jewish burial are executed properly. The Chevra Kadisha’s services include Tahara (preparation of the body for burial) an Shmira (watching over the body and soul of the deceased until burial). The Nichum Avelim group provides support to the mourners before and during shiva; helping the family set up their home for guests, delivering prayer books for minyan, and organizing a Shabbat meal.
Comprised of the working groups that manage Congregation Beth El’s budget, investments, and financial planning.
The Congregation Beth El Caring Committee organizes support for our members during important life moments and events. Organizing meals, making phone calls and visits, sending handwritten cards, and hosting social gatherings are just a few of the ways this committee cares for our congregants.
Chaverim (Friends) Connections is a social group that connects families with 3rd through 5th graders in the Jewish Learning Center and at Golda Och Academy. The committee organizes events designed to encourage children and families to meet and socialize, such as Fun & Games Under the Sukkah, Havdalah and a Movie, MLK Tikkun Olam Day of Service, and Volunteering at the Community Food Bank of NJ.
This group of dedicated volunteers focuses their efforts on the Annual Partnership Campaign and other fundraising initiatives for the synagogue community.
The House Committee helps keep our lovely synagogue in tip-top shape, responding to the evolving needs and demands of our growing community. Our Beautification Workgroups enhance the appearance of our building through decor, design, and landscaping — creating aesthetically inspiring spaces for members to worship, learn, and socialize.
Our Jewish Learning Center (JLC) Board and the JLC Family Engagement Committee work with the Director of Religious Education, Rivka Nelson, and her team of amazing teachers to support the school’s goals and operations, and to serve as a liaison to parents. This group leads various initiatives throughout the year to create a community of JLC families who are engaged and informed by planning events and empowering families for those in grades K-7 to build relationships at Congregation Beth El. The JLC Board and Family Engagement Committee are always looking for people to share ideas and help deliver fun and exciting experiences for our kids and their families!
The Nominating Committee is responsible for appointing members to the Congregation Beth El Board of Trustees. The group also serves as a volunteer clearinghouse, assisting members in connecting with opportunities for involvement that match their time and talent.
This group creates programs and initiatives that promote lifelong learning and fulfills our vision for a vibrant adult education program within and beyond the walls of the synagogue. The goal of our educational programs is to provide entry points for adults of all ages, backgrounds, and interests in meaningful and diverse Jewish learning experiences.
The Marketing and Communications Committee helps to promote events to Congregation Beth El members and to the public, and works to build awareness of Congregation Beth El to support our growth and expand our community presence. This committee manages our email, website, and Facebook page, as well as other communications, such as public relations.
The Membership Committee works to increase our membership and welcome our new members into the Congregation Beth El community. The committee also helps to build relationships with all congregants to better engage and connect the community through the encouragement of volunteering and participation. Along with other committees, the Membership Committee partners with our clergy to support our presence in the larger community through outreach events.
Our programming teams manage special events at Congregation Beth El, from major concerts to social events and membership mixers including the Annual Beth El BBQ, Shabbatons, the Purim Carnival, and The Big Quiz Thing.
The Teen Life (TLC) Committee provides opportunities for teens to deepen their connections to Judaism and the Congregation Beth El community. The TLC aims to foster a strong sense of Jewish identity among teens and further engagement in their Jewish life beyond b’nai mitzvah and high school. The TLC creates diverse points of entry for teens with varied interests, including social (Kadima & USY), educational, community service, social justice opportunities, and arts-related programming.
The Tefilah and Spirituality Committee partners with our clergy to help expand the experience of prayer and spirituality at Congregation Beth El, increase accessibility and meaning of our services for all participants, support our Shabbat and holiday traditions, and oversee worship operations. It is different from the traditional “ritual” or “religious affairs” committees of many synagogues, and welcomes volunteers with diverse interests in prayer and spirituality.
The Thelma K. Reisman Preschool Board is an active, volunteer board responsible for helping set direction for the preschool and consists of parents of current and former preschool students working closely with the preschool director, parents’ association and executive board. The Board discusses policy, raises funds, and plans and organizes events to ensure that we can continue to offer the best possible preschool education in the South Orange/Maplewood community.
The Security Committee works with our Executive Director to help plan and execute security and safety plans for our synagogue building and grounds.
The Social Action Committee leads Congregation Beth El’s membership in the holy work of tikkun olam (repairing the world). Both short-term and ongoing projects provide Congregation Beth El members with opportunities to serve the local community, become involved in advocacy work, and educate themselves and others on issues of socio-economic injustice. Connect with the Social Action Committee to learn more about Congregation Beth El’s ongoing work at the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges, the Interfaith Hospitality Network, and our new initiative BE Organized, an effort to effect policy changes the Congregation Beth El community wants to see on a local and state level. There is room for all interests and levels of time commitment on the Social Action Committee.