Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael is an inclusive congregation, welcoming the broader community of mature couples, singles, families, interfaith and interracial families, and the LGBT community. We are dedicated to enriching the lives of our congregational family by providing an inviting environment for spiritual, educational, and social interaction and growth.
We have both ongoing and one-time events that endeavor to demonstrate our inclusive philosophy.
These events include:
- Coffee and Clergy – Held monthly, an interesting and lively session with our senior Rabbi, Mark Mallach, and Pastor David Knecht of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Meetings are open to the entire Springfield and surrounding community, and are held at the Springfield Public Library on Mountain Avenue.
- Scholar-in-Residence Spirituality Series - For the past few years, the Adult Education Committee has created a series of educational sessions leading the congregation on a Jewish Spiritual Journey. Some past courses have included: Judaism and Astrology, Beshert, Jewish Views on Afterlife, Spirituality and Shabbat, Kabbalat Shabbat, Judaism Magic and Superstition, Bubbe Meises, and the Soul of Animals.
- Culinary Institute - What do Jews eat in the Dominican Republic? Hungary? Russia? Head chefs teach a group of interested participants recipes from their specific cultures. The food is served to the congregation after Friday night services, along with dancing and other cultural lessons. Please check the calendar for when the series returns!
- November 20, 2016 – Hosted a performance of the Kaleidoscope Project. KALEIDOSCOPE is a narrative-arts driven initiative that was sparked by a desire to highlight the stories of Jews of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, observance levels, and interfaith experiences. Given the increasing diversity of the greater Jewish community, the performance highlighted the complex, personal stories of diverse Jewish voices through “edu-tainment”. A Q&A with the actors followed the performance.
- November 21, 2016 - The Springfield Interfaith Clergy Association and Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council host the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. The event is held the Monday prior to Thanksgiving, and is rotated among the participating congregations:
- December 16, 2016 – Joined non-profit agencies and interfaith congregations across Union County, New Jersey and beyond to participate in the first annual Union County Multi-Faith Homeless Shabbat Weekend.
"Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael has been the spiritual home to my family for almost 20 years. Yes, my husband Mariano is not Jewish, but that usually feels like a mere detail. We participate fully in synagogue life: my husband and I both regularly attend Friday night services, volunteer, and contribute financially. Both of our children had their B’nai Mitzvot at TBAY; my husband was a full participant who accompanied me to the bima for all of the parent honors. We also joined Rabbi Mallach on the synagogue trip to Israel. TBAY has been a welcoming community for us that we feel fully part of.
One more thing. I am not just a member of TBAY; I am also the Immediate Past President of the congregation."
Examples of Accommodations at Temple Beth Ahm Israel
- Large Print Siddurim and Machzorim
- Allergy-friendly meals and refreshments
- Gender-neutral restroom
- Elevators for entry into sanctuary and onto Bimah for wheelchair-bound worshipers
- Access to live streaming of worship services through computer (due to bandwidth concerns, must be arranged in advance with Temple office)