Mission, Vision, and Core Values

Welcome to Temple Beth Israel, Waltham MA

“My house shall be a house of prayer for all people.” (Isaiah 56:7)

Mission

Temple Beth Israel is an egalitarian, traditional synagogue welcoming all who seek to enrich their Jewish lives.  We are a community that celebrates Shabbat, holidays, and life’s daily happenings together; we embrace learning, social, and spiritual growth, and offer a meaningful Jewish presence in the Waltham area.

Vision

To cultivate Temple Beth Israel as a welcoming, multi-generational Jewish community that gathers for Jewish prayer, learning and rituals, and celebrates culture and involvement.

Statement of Core Values

A Welcoming, Multigenerational Jewish Community

  • Temple Beth Israel is a community of diverse individuals and families of varied life situations, sexual orientations, abilities, ethnic backgrounds, and incomes.
  • We value the connections we make supporting each other through the everyday, joyful, and difficult moments of our lives.
  • We welcome interfaith families as members to participate in synagogue life.
  • We maintain Temple Beth Israel Memorial Park as a cemetery for Jewish members, with a newly created interfaith section, Kulanu (All of Us).
  • We embrace a sustaining membership model, where members pay what they can to support the operations of the synagogue. We encourage voluntary donations and sponsorships.

Prayer, Learning, and Rituals

  • We are an independent, egalitarian and traditional synagogue that values joyful and spirited prayer, thoughtful Divrei Torah (words of Torah), and a full Torah reading, led by both clergy and members.
  • We love it when members lead, teach, read Torah or Haftarah, or give a D’var Torah at services.
  • We foster a culture of Jewish learning, including studying the Hebrew language and sacred texts, through educational opportunities at the synagogue and in the greater Boston area.
  • We honor Shabbat and Kashruth, and share Jewish observances in the synagogue and within our community.
  • We provide children’s holiday programs and Shabbat services.
  • We welcome families to join us in celebrating their child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Culture and Involvement

  • We celebrate our Jewish cultural heritage through communal meals, music, song, dance, and visual arts.
  • We encourage volunteerism, involvement, and participation in all aspects of synagogue life.
  • We act with social responsibility, guided by the issues that face our congregants and within Waltham and its surrounding communities.
  • We honor the survivors and victims of the Holocaust, and share their stories and traditions at a citywide Yom HaShoah observance, and throughout the year.
  • We provide a meaningful Jewish voice as good neighbors in Waltham’s interfaith community.
  • We strive to maintain the traditions of those who came before us as we make Temple Beth Israel stronger and more resourceful for those who carry on.