What Makes Us Special?
Congregation Beth Tikvah seeks to inspire you to explore and embrace the parts of Jewish life, practice, and community that you find meaningful in a non-judgmental environment.
Are We Right for You?
Joining a synagogue is a highly personal decision. We invite you to get to know Beth Tikvah in person. We are hopeful that you will find our community, with its religious, spiritual, educational, and social offerings, valuable to you. We hope that you will feel right at home with us.
Beth Tikvah is not just many individuals who practice one tradition; we are many individuals who practice one tradition, as one.
Allow us to help you find your way in.
Throughout college and graduate school I was disconnected from Jewish life. After our son was born, my wife and I wanted to find a Jewish community that made us feel welcomed. We attended many events and services at different synagogues, but things didn’t really feel like we truly belonged until we came back to Congregation Beth Tikvah. As someone who grew up attending Hebrew School at Beth Tikvah, I knew it was a place that valued its small community and was a place where people built lifelong connections. It was important for us that our son have that same experience and build an appreciation for Jewish values. When I returned to Beth Tikvah with my family, we felt like we were home.
My wife and I knew we wanted to have a Jewish family. We had visited many different synagogues through out dating and early marriage of all denominations and honestly nothing just ever felt right. We knew we were interfaith, and while committed to Judaism, we felt judged and unwelcome at many of the synagogues.
Then we found CBT. Rabbi offered to have a coffee meet up with us. We just clicked. He and his future husband made us feel accepted for who we were. We felt like equals when we talked. Then rabbi explained part of his philosophy of Judaism, that traditions get “a vote and not a veto” and we were sold. It’s exactly what we were looking for.
Then we visited for out first shabbat and we were greeted and approach by nearly everyone in the shul. The atmosphere was warm and laid back. We didn’t feel like we had to put on airs to be accepted. Just being us was enough.
That’s all we were every really looking for, being us and that being OK. We found that at CBT. That’s why we joined, that’s why we attend, that’s why we try to contribute how and when we can. We can worship in our own Jewish way without feeling like we’re second class or not enough.
We became members in August of 1981. We were looking for a small conservative egalitarian synagogue, and Beth Tikvah fit the bill. CBT was a very close-knit family and we became close friends with the entire CBT family. It was a great decision.
I joined CBT because of its size and egalitarian philosophy, but was immediately drawn in because of the warmth I received from the congregants. Getting involved was probably the key to making the synagogue a meaning place for me. My gateway was Sisterhood and there I met a wonderful group of women doing great things in support of each other and the synagogue. Over the years, people may have come and gone but the feeling I get from the CBT remains the same. I love being a part of the membership committee because it gives me a chance to share my feelings with new families.
When I think about CBT, I think that the main thing that made me feel part of the community was volunteering. Serving on committees or in leadership roles caused me to work with fellow congregants, learn what makes each of them special, and feel welcome and connected whenever I attend CBT events. Being a member of CBT has been the one place I have belonged and felt connected regardless of the stage of our lives. Volunteering, serving on committees or in leadership roles caused me to work with fellow congregants.
We have been members for close to 34 years. Over all these years- there is no other place that we’d rather be! Beth Tikvah is where we met a lot of our friends for life!
I love being part of the CBT family. I always feel welcome and at home when I walk into our Shul.
We joined CBT 25 years ago when our oldest son was just born and, as South Jersey transplants were looking for social and spiritual opportunities. The same thing that brought us to CBT is why we stay.
What drew me and my husband Fred to CBT was that its building and community felt a little mussed-up, a bit shabby chic, which made us feel comfortable and that we had found our new Jewish home. Over 10 years later…we were right! This community has become an intricate part of our being, bringing friends that are now family into our lives.
In scary times, it is nice to have a community to turn to. I recall going to synagogue and gathering as a community after September 11, and at other times when Americans have felt the effects of prejudice or fractures in society.
The recent interfaith vigil we had at CBT after the Pittsburg shootings reinforced that there are good people of all different faiths standing with us against hate. That was very powerful, and CBT served as a place for our neighbors to express that support.
All in our chosen exact seats and turn to page one. Singing and reading the opening prayers, we move on to the Torah Service. The men are lined up on the side of the
room, ready to ascend the stairs to the bimah. Taking their prescribed places, the ark is opened, the torah is removed, prayers are repeated and so it begins. This is exactly the same in all AM services–3 aliyahs, remembrances for the sick and for the dead.
Prayers for our country, Kaddish for all. Sometimes the give and take, the up and down, the page turning, the repetition of lines of Hebrew can be heart-poundingingly emotional. Tears are easily shed, the beauty of the service; the ceremony so precise that one can depend on the consistency. And the solidarity, the comfort of the service and the people taking their duties so carefully and in earnest. All is safe in the sanctuary as we sit and stand. This is a fine beginning to a day, 7 AM Minyan.