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Diversity

When you engage at Beth Shalom, everyone is "one of us."

At Beth Shalom our mission is to become—for the people of Southern and Western Wake County—a community where the richness and fullness of Jewish life can be experienced, explored, and enjoyed. We embrace and honor our members' differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and all other characteristics that make each of us unique. As Torah teaches us, we are all created Betzelem Elohim—"in God's image."  

Whether or not you are affiliated with another religious institution, our community is a place you can call “home.” When you join us, you are part of our family.

Mission

Beth Shalom is a Jewish community formed by people of diverse backgrounds. We are united in a common desire to be inspired by the richness of our tradition through active participation in all aspects of Jewish life. As individuals and families, we strive to take part in meaningful religious practice, develop a love for life-long learning, engage with Jewish ethical ideals and moral values, reaffirm the bonds that unite Jews around the world, and build a communal home for all our members.

As a congregation, we understand that the active participation and commitment of all our members is fundamental to the growth and prosperity of a strong Jewish community. We reach out to welcome and embrace those who want to be part of the Jewish people, those who are accompanying and supporting their Jewish family members, and all those who are not yet integrated into Jewish community life.

Life Cycle Events

Your Marriage
Beth Shalom honors and recognizes every marriage, whether it is between two Jews, a Jew and a non-Jew, a man and a woman, or two people of the same gender. Rabbi Edery officiates at interfaith marriage ceremonies when the couple also plans to have Judaism present in their family life; our synagogue may be the venue for these weddings. Also, our rabbi may participate in marriage ceremonies for interfaith couples. For more information, please contact Rabbi Edery for a time to meet and discuss your plans.

Your Jewish Child
Beth Shalom, and more broadly, Reform Judaism, considers the child of a Jewish parent and a non-Jewish parent, by birth or by adoption, who is raised as a Jew, to be Jewish here. The fact that the child has a non-Jewish parent does not diminish the child’s Jewishness in any way. Please ask the rabbi if you have questions about what is meant by “raising one’s child as a Jew,” or if you wonder about how your child’s Jewish status is perceived among Conservative or Orthodox Jews, or in Israel.

Non-Jewish parents and grandparents may enjoy significant roles in raising a Jewish child, beginning with the Baby Naming or Brit Milah (Covenant of Circumcision). While the latter ritual may sound frightening to some, your rabbi is glad to help make the occasion joyous for you and all members of the family. In many interfaith families in which the children are being raised as Jews, the non-Jewish parents often play key roles in providing for their children’s Jewish education and in creating a supportive Jewish home. We view such parents as providers of a precious gift and a blessing to the Jewish people.

Please contact our rabbi to discuss these rituals, as soon as you know that you are expecting. He can offer you an array of suggestions and guide you. Visit the Life Cycle section of our website for more information on birth-related rituals and ceremonies.

Interfaith Families

Membership at Beth Shalom is not reserved just for those who are Jewish. Spouses, partners, and significant others of Jewish members are welcome as fully equal members. All members of Beth Shalom, Jewish or not, have voting rights at congregational meetings. While a few positions on our Board of Directors are designated only for Jewish members, non-Jewish members are involved in all aspects of our congregation’s governance and volunteering. They serve on committees, teach in our school, participate in our services and holidays, and are involved in the wide array of congregational leadership positions and activities. When you join us in "doing Jewish," you all are one of us!

Fri, September 18 2020 29 Elul 5780