Whether you like to discuss books, participate in a men’s seder, schmooze, play on a sports team or play poker, help set up our Temple sukkah, or prepare Hanukkah packages for Jewish soldiers serving overseas – BETC’s Brotherhood wants you! Through our Brotherhood programs, men of all ages who are members of our congregation contribute to the community, both within and outside of the Temple, organize popular events, and make lasting friendships.
Along with our regular meetings on the second Tuesday night of each month, events are scheduled throughout the year. Some annual highlights include a Friday night Brotherhood Shabbat Service, the Hanukkah Latke party and contest, and preparing food for those with severe illnesses through Community Servings.
Last December, Beth El Temple Center once again sent Hanukkah packages (including menorahs, candles, music, gelt, and personalized cards decorated by our Sunday school students) to Jewish members of the armed forces in serving in Africa.
In addition, the Brotherhood:
- Builds two Sukkot for BETC Sukkot services and our “Supper in the Sukkah” celebration
- Meets at local restaurants or at the shul, with no agenda except to connect with one another
- Attends sporting events with our families – in past years we’ve cheered on the Celtics, Lowell Spinners and the PawSox.
- Distributes Holocaust memorial candles and raises money for charitable organizations in conjunction with our annual Yom Hashoah service. Past beneficiaries include the producers of the Holocaust film "Rene and I," the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA, Boston3G, a Boston based group for the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, and the Survivor Mitzvah Project.
- Assembles the 6-foot high menorahs at the front of our temple to celebrate Hanukkah
- Hosts a Sunday morning breakfast talk. Our most recent speaker was Temple member Rick Doblin, speaking about novel approaches to treating post-traumatic stress disorder using psychoactive drugs.
- Watches Jewish-themed movies, both at the Temple and at the Boston Jewish Film Festival. This year, we watched such movies as The Lady in Number 6, and The Dewey Stone Connection.
- Assembles a championship caliber softball team (semifinalists in the Kiddush Cup playoffs in 2011).
- Plans poker nights so that we will have an opportunity to shmooze and enjoy some Brotherhood “fellowship”
- Runs the Annual Sukkah Raffle, whose winner receives a backyard sukkah, assembled by the Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood also has a very active Men's Book Club that reads and discusses books with Jewish themes or about Jewish history. In the past, we have had guest speakers, including Murray Greenberg, author of “Passing Game: Benny Friedman and the Transformation of Football.” Recent book choices include “To the End of the Land,” “The Finkler Question,” and “Life and Fate” and “The Medallion,” a novel written by Len Abram, one of our very own Brotherhood members.
No matter what your background or tradition, we encourage you to join us in the Temple Brotherhood for some or all of these activities. It is a great way to connect with the welcoming Beth El Temple Center community. If you are interested or just want more information, feel free to send an email or call. We would be delighted to talk with you about joining the Brotherhood.
BETC Brotherhood President