News Nearby: Shaare Emeth Announces 'Collaboration' With B'nai El Congregation
The Sunday evening statement said B'nai El members could "assume the full responsibilities and privileges of Congregation Shaare Emeth membership," but makes no specific reference to a merger.
Sunday night, Shaare Emeth released this following statement:
The Shaare Emeth Board of Directors is excited to announce that Congregation Shaare Emeth and B'nai El Congregation will, once the members of B'nai El approve the necessary changes to their bylaws, enter into a new and innovative collaboration to create a lasting legacy for B'nai El on the Shaare Emeth campus.
B'nai El Congregation is repurposing the synagogue as an independent organization that will focus on engaging all Jewish adults, generally aged 50-75, who are seeking to uniquely broaden and explore their lives; socially, communally and intellectually.
The "new B'nai El" vision will insure the ongoing legacy of the B'nai El Congregation. Critical to this mission is engagement with a strong collaborator on a welcoming, multi-generational campus. Congregation Shaare Emeth supports the repurposed B'nai El mission and offers not only our collaboration, but also our facilities as a home for B'nai El's historic legacy, administrative base and casual gathering space. The "new B'nai El," funded primarily through B'nai El funds, with support from Shaare Emeth, will have a full time staff presence to serve as a facilitator of the new mission. This staff person and the "new B'nai El" program will also be based at Shaare Emeth.
As part of this collaboration, if they wish, all B'nai El members will be able to assume the full responsibilities and privileges of Congregation Shaare Emeth membership. Likewise, current Shaare Emeth members will be able to participate in the "new B'nai El".
"We, at Shaare Emeth, are particularly excited about this historic reunion with B'nai El. This collaboration celebrates the full circle of our long relationship. In 1867, Congregation Shaare Emeth was formed when members left the then orthodox Congregation B'nai El to found a Reform congregation," notes Rabbi Jim Bennett. "Ever since then we have maintained a strong and creative partnership with B'nai El. This collaborative project is the next chapter in our story."
Joe Pereles, President of Congregation Shaare Emeth, adds, "We welcome all members of B'nai El and are eager to support the collaborative efforts involved in this exciting new endeavor."
We will hold an open meeting at Shaare Emeth on Sunday April 14th during the Kibbitz Café serving hours to discuss this collaboration and to answer any questions you may have.
Patch will follow up Monday with representatives from both congregations to learn more about what this development means.