B’ruchim HaBayim ~ Welcome!

Founded over 60 years ago, Temple Beth El serves the Jewish community of Humboldt County and provides a Jewish perspective in interfaith endeavors. We are proudly affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. Our members come from many different religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. We welcome Jewish and interfaith families and individuals, including those who are new to Jewish study and practice. We are a Welcoming Synagogue, dedicated to inclusion of all gender identities and orientations. 

Our programs are designed to meet the diverse spiritual, intellectual, and social needs of our approximately 130 member households. We gather to celebrate holidays, learn about our heritage, and support one another in times of joy and sorrow. Our rituals include prayer and song in Hebrew and English, Torah services and study, dancing and meditation led by our longtime spiritual leader, Rabbi Naomi Steinberg, our Temple Beth El Choir, and our dedicated Tefilah Leaders, including Rabbi Bob Rottenberg.  We offer a wide range of cultural events and educational classes with an emphasis on deepening our connection to tradition, understanding Jewish history, and exploring the complexity and depth of relationships between North American Jewry and Jews around the world.

We work together on local, statewide, national and international social and environmental issues, including climate, human rights, reproductive justice, and gun violence prevention. We seek out opportunities to support our local Native American, Black, Muslim and immigrant communities.

We both honor traditions and embrace innovation. We warmly welcome visitors to our events and our website!

Rabbi Naomi's Yom HaShoah Message 2022

Yom HaShoah - יום השואה  - is always challenging, and especially so this year as we see a steep rise in anti-Semitism and other forms of hate across the country and the world.  The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) recently began an historic partnership with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and here at Temple Beth El we have initiated an Anti-Semitism Task Force to develop and implement both reactive and proactive measures to address local problems and threats.  https://urj.org/what-we-do/social-justice/urj-adl-partnership  
It’s especially painful to acknowledge that Jews are not always the victims of terror but sometimes the perpetrators. This winter the URJ joined the ADL and other Jewish organization to take a strong stance against “ongoing terrorism and political violence committed by Jewish Israeli extremists in the West Bank against Palestinians, Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers.” https://www.timesofisrael.com/adl-other-jewish-groups-denounce-ongoing-terrorism-by-settler-e
In a happier world, the confluence of Passover, Ramadan and Easter would be a time of interfaith education and celebration, but this year we are seeing heightened tensions and tragic deaths of Israelis and Palestinians.  It was heartening to hear that President Biden will visit Israel in the coming months, reaffirming the United States' commitment to an equitable and secure two-state solution.  Biden accepts Israeli PM's invitation to visit Israel - Israel News - The Jerusalem Post
And as Yom HaShoah approaches, we witness the tragic escalation of brutal conflict and war crimes in Ukraine. The shocking photos of murdered civilians on the streets look like pictures from the Holocaust. We commonly translate shoah - שואה - as holocaust, from the Greek word holokaustos, meaning a ritual sacrifice that was "burnt whole." But the Hebrew word shoah simply means destruction.  

If You Care, Get Vaccinated

Dear Temple Beth El Members and Friends,

As our County grapples with a soaring rate of Covid infections, it's important for each of us to use our influence to encourage family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to get vaccinated. Please feel free to circulate this editorial I wrote with Father Daniel London:

"If You Care, Get Vaccinated."


B'shalom - In peace, Rabbi Naomi