Religious Philosophy

The Beth Samuel Jewish Center was formed through the merger of several congregations in the area. Reform, Conservative and Orthodox shuls came together to form Beth Samuel. Our religious philosophy evolved from a fundamental position that all levels of observance and tradition should be respected and supported.

Our ritual and theological approach is along the Reform-Conservative spectrum - with Friday evening services leaning Reform and Saturday morning and High Holy Day services following a more traditional Conservative approach.

Beth Samuel takes a contemporary approach to Jewish life which integrates a deep respect for traditional Judaism with the insights and ideas of contemporary social, intellectual and spiritual life.

The Beth Samuel Jewish Center welcomes Jews by birth or choice, and multi-faith families. We recognize matrilineal or patrilineal descent, and encourage you to visit us to learn more about us.

 

 

Our Mission and Guiding Values

Mission: To cultivate the Jewish Experience where people of all ages and backgrounds come together to worship, study, socialize, and share Jewish values.

Beth Samuel Guiding Values:

Leadership: The governance of the synagogue is an activity of the congregational system, not just the board, and certainly not the responsibility of only one person. The ultimate governing authority is the membership. We value input from every member. The real work of the board is to ensure that the member’s vision and mission is fulfilled and that the congregation’s values are nurtured and sustained.

Worship: Worship enables us to connect with God, each other, and the past. Spiritually fulfilling worship refreshes our souls and enriches our lives as Jews and Jewish families.

Our Spiritual Leader: As our spiritual leader we value the commitment and dedication our cantor contributes to the community. As our link to traditions and our collective past, we embrace the connection she makes to the Jewish Experiences we cherish as part of our dynamic heritage.

Education: We are committed to life-long learning. From pre-K to adult education, we value the richness of educational experiences.

Jewish Social Experience: Recognizing that not all Jewish activity revolves around education and worship, we value connections we make during social activities.

“Kehillah”/Community Inreach: Essential to the Reconstructionist view is that the community as a whole is responsible for the outcome.

Tikkun Olam: We believe in the value and promise of Jewish action to heal the world through social action and understanding the need to contribute to the greater good.

Tzedakah: We value the performance of duty, justice, and righteousness that come with giving to those less fortunate.

Interact with Other Jewish Organizations: Our Jewish experience is enriched by our association with other synagogues and Jewish agencies in the Greater Pittsburgh Jewish community, the nation and the world.

Community Outreach: As members of a greater community we recognize our responsibility to give to the community that we depend upon for our lives and livelihood.

Covenant of Membership: Responsibility, privilege, and ownership reside in every member. Implicit in synagogue membership is the fundamental principle that the membership determines vision, mission, and values, as well as the long range direction, of the community. The board acts as the implementing agent for members.

Family: We value every members’ definition of family and all the diversity that brings to our congregation. We are committed to creating a culture of inclusivity, equity, and participation at all levels for all members and their guests.

Honoring the past: Like honoring our parents, it is essential that we honor the members of our congregation that have laid the foundation of all that we cherish and revere. There is a sacred trust in staying connected to the good work and successes of members that had the vision to build a congregation for current and future members.