Reform Judaism is a denomination in the Jewish world that stresses the importance of autonomy. At Beth Miriam no one will judge your level of observance, the mitzvot you hold dear, your level of learning, etc. We encourage and provide many teaching opportunities for you to explore, learn and experience Judaism and your embrace of tradition and custom is unique to you. You can learn more about Reform Judaism by going to this link.
Will I understand services?
Yes. Services include plenty of English as well as Hebrew. You will find our prayerbook (siddur) to be easy to use, inspirational, and spiritual.
Can I come to services even if I am not a member?
Yes, absolutely. Please come to any Shabbat, bar or bat mitzvah service, or Festival service you wish. You will be most welcome.
My children are getting older and we would like them to have religious education. How does that work?
We have a cutting-edge Religious School. Many students begin their Jewish education at pre-school and others a few years before their bar or bat mitzvah (TBM requires at least 4 years before the bar/bat mitzvah). Our school encourages creativity and community in a healthy environment. For interfaith families, the child must be getting educated in Judaism only and completely to the exclusion of other formal training and participation in non-Jewish ceremonies and life-cycle events. There are no exceptions to this guideline. If you have questions about the school, please feel free to contact our principal, Stella Jeruzalmi Stanway.
What is the status of the intermarried family, gay family, single mom or dad, and so forth?
Beth Miriam understands the reality of today’s families. There is no more a ‘traditional’ family and we serve, teach and embrace every member of the temple. Though there are some limitations to what a non-Jew may be permitted (i.e., serving on the Board, reading from the Torah, etc.) you will find our temple to be so much more inclusive and accepting than many you may have experienced in the past.
I want to get married. Will the rabbi do it?
To be married by the rabbi of Beth Miriam, either you or your family must be a member. If it is an interfaith marriage, the rabbi has certain guidelines and will be most happy to meet with you.
What about dues?
Customarily, dues is the vehicle used to support Jewish institutions through history. Because we have no collection, we must have a dues. The rabbi has no knowledge of anyone’s dues status (unless they choose to share that information). If you have a question about dues, please contact the office at 732-222-3754 and our courteous and knowledgable administrator, Shari Nightingale, will be happy to give you any information you need. In the near future, you will be able to download the dues form but, from this link, you may download the application form.
I want to become Jewish. How can I do that?
Conversion is a serious decision and Beth Miriam can be a part of it. Please contact Rabbi Stanway for details and to discuss this important event. His phone number is 732-222-3754 at the temple.