We are a welcoming congregation of Jews with diverse backgrounds, lifestyles, and levels of observance. The congregation began in 1974 when a small group of families came together to serve the Jewish community and help nurture a Jewish presence in Manatee County. The synagogue offers inspiring and participatory Friday night services, Saturday morning services with dynamic Torah discussion, and a monthly Havdalah. All major holidays are celebrated. The community also holds an annual Passover Seder and sponsors an annual downtown Bradenton Chanukah Menorah lighting.
Temple Beth El welcomes diversity among its congregation, students, and friends; services are available to anyone eager to learn and who is interested in participating in Temple activities. Our congregants join together to celebrate our faith in a warm, comfortable, and supportive environment, where all are welcome.
We are an inclusive, caring, egalitarian congregation. We are always striving to be a joyous, supportive home and place of worship that connects community; one that engages and enriches Jewish spiritual, cultural, ethical, educational, and social life. Temple Beth El welcomes all Jews as full participants in our congregation. Moreover, our congregation is open to all who wish to worship with us. We welcome individuals of all gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, nationalities, and levels of ability. We strive to fully integrate singles, single parents, couples, and children.
The Women of Beth El (Sisterhood), Men’s Club, and the Social Activities Committee are integral parts of temple life. The Sisterhood oversees sponsorship of the weekly Oneg and Kiddush, participates in various fundraising events, and holds monthly social/business meetings. The Men’s Club also meets monthly and sponsors a monthly Sunday morning discussion group along with other community development projects.
Education and learning are temple priorities. The Religious and Hebrew School program is designed for children from kindergarten through seventh grade and includes Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation.
Adult learning opportunities include Hebrew classes, liturgical music/trope classes, seasonal Shofar classes, and the Rabbi’s Dinner and a Movie, and Shabbat Dinners.
For the 2022-23 school year, we are very excited to introduce our students to a new curriculum called Shalom Learning! Throughout the year, the Temple Beth El Shabbat School students (now meeting on Shabbat morning!) will focus on the following sequence of core Jewish values:
Teshuvah - taking responsibility for your actions
B'Tzelem Elohim - honoring the image of G-d in ourselves
Gevurah - using one's inner strength and outer strength
Achrayut - doing what you can to make the world a better place
Hakarat Hatov - seeking joy and being grateful
Koach Hadibbur - understanding the power of words
Shalom - helping to create a more peaceful world
At Temple Beth El, we continue to believe in the value of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience but that it is time for a new and more worthwhile approach. We believe that the most important aspect of Bar/Bat Mitzvah study is learning how to live a Jewish life. This includes learning such elements as our history and the reasons for our practices. It definitely should emphasize Jewish ethical living, best accomplished by one-on-one learning with teachers and with their parents.