Hazak is the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's organization for Jews at least 55 years of age. The function of Hazak is to address some of the social and educational needs of mature adults who want to stay in contact with their synagogue and want to continue expanding and enriching their lives.
Hazak, spelled het/zayan/kuph in Hebrew, means strength. It is also an acronym. Het stands for Hokhmah (wisdom). Zayan stands for Ziknah (maturity). Kuph stands for Kadima (looking ahead). Therefore, Hazak is an organization of strong seniors with accumulated knowledge, the ability to judge in a mature fashion, and aspirations to move ahead during the coming years.
At Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael the Hazak annual membership fee is $10. Our membership year is July 1 to June 30. Just send a $10 check to the Temple, payable to Hazak-Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, and we will add you to our membership rolls. There are additional charges for our annual Hanukkah party and spring luncheon meeting. Members receive a monthly newsletter containing, among other things, notices of coming events. Meetings are held monthly on Thursday afternoons featuring an interesting program and refreshments. We do not meet in January and February or the summer months.
Our Hazak Chapter is a member of the Jewish Seniors of Springfield (JSS), an organization that coordinates the activities of the Jewish organizations in the community, JSS also runs its own programs including annual lecture series in the fall and spring with prominent speakers. Hazak members are eligible to participate in JSS programming.
Membership in the Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael chapter is open to both members and non-members of Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, as long as they are Jewish and at least 55. Those less than 55 whose spouses are at least 55 are also eligible. Membership has grown year by year and is currently over 300. Members of the chapter are automatically members of Hazak at the New Jersey Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism as well and are eligible to participate in the programs they sponsor.
Our chapter is an integral part of Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael and is governed by a board that meets monthly. We have a seat and a vote on the synagogue's Board of Directors, and our representative speaks for the older members of the congregation. Since the founding of our chapter in April 2000, we have had a page devoted to our organization in the monthly Temple Bulletin.