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FAQs

Note: we continue to limit access to the building to protect the health of our members, staff, and guests. If you would like to visit the building (aside from services, when you are always welcome), don't hesitate to contact staff at office@bethemeth.org or check our staff page for individual email addresses if not shown below.

Where do most of the Congregation Beth Emeth (CBE) members live?

Our members live throughout the Northern Virginia area. The most prominent geographical concentration of members is in the Herndon/Reston area, roughly 50 percent. However, many of our members reside in Fairfax, Oakton, Vienna, Chantilly, Centreville, and Great Falls.

How do I become a member of CBE?

To join our congregation, we ask that you contact office@bethemeth.org or 703-860-4515, ext. 101, for the link to our membership form. On your membership form, select areas of interest to get involved as we encourage all of our new members to do so. Joining a committee, taking a class, or attending a social function are great ways to get to know fellow congregants. Someone from the Membership Committee will also contact you to help you get oriented and answer any questions.

How much does it cost to join CBE?

To learn more about membership dues, please call the main office at 703-860-4515, ext. 101, for the most up-to-date information. At CBE, finances are never a barrier to membership or participation in our community. We can talk about special circumstances with our Treasurer.

I am Jewish, but my partner is not.  Are we welcome at CBE?

At CBE, we fully embrace the increasing diversity of the North American Jewish community. There are many interfaith couples at CBE, and we offer couples and interfaith families support and resources to create Jewish homes and to practice and grow in Judaism.

Non-Jewish individuals are welcome at all of our religious services.  For those who do not read Hebrew, we have transliterations of the prayers every Shabbat. Non-Jewish parents of Bar/Bat Mitzvah youngsters are invited to stand at the Torah table and offer a prayer for their child during the service. Adult education classes are offered throughout the year, many particularly relevant for interfaith couples. 

We have no doubt that once you walk through our doors, you will experience the warmth of our community, no matter your religious background. 

I am not Jewish, but I want to learn about Judaism. Can I attend services at CBE? What do I do if I want to convert to Judaism?

We welcome anyone wishing to explore Jewish life, teachings, and culture. Non-Jewish individuals are welcome at all of our religious services. We have transliterations of the Hebrew prayers available every Shabbat. 

Whether exploring or considering conversion to Judaism, Rabbi Warner Ferratier ("Rabbi Warner") will help guide you along your spiritual path. Feel free to contact him at rabbiwarner@bethemeth.org to discuss your journey. For further information, here is a list of recommended books on Jewish history, ritual, and culture:

  • Introduction to Judaism:  A Sourcebook by UAHC Press
  • Choosing a Jewish Life by Anita Diamant
  • Embracing Judaism by Simcha Kling
  • Living a Jewish Life by Anita Diamant
  • Conversations with Rabbi Small by Harry Kemelman
  • Jews, God, and History by Max Dimont
  • Jewish Literacy by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
  • The Observant Life, edited by Martin Cohen
  • Entering Jewish Prayer by Reuven Hammer
  • Celebrate!  The Complete Jewish Holidays Handbook by Lesli K. Ross

I’ve recently joined the synagogue and am looking for a way to volunteer. What do you recommend?

Volunteering at Beth Emeth is a beautiful way to make new friends and become engaged in our community. There are multiple opportunities to volunteer and various levels of commitment—a little something for everyone. Whether you help stuff envelopes, sell tickets at the Purim Carnival, or support a local food pantry, we won’t say no to your help! To better understand what you can do, visit our list of volunteer opportunities or contact our Administrative Vice President.  

Does the Rabbi officiate at non-congregant life-cycle events, such as a bris or wedding?

Our rabbi will consider these opportunities. Please email rabbiwarner@bethemeth.org to discuss your needs.

What is Conservative Judaism?

Conservative Judaism in the United States of America began in 1886. Conservative Judaism, as described on www.ConservativeJudaism.org:

“represents the passionate and engaged center of the Jewish people…. Conservative Judaism strives…to express and communicate a deep commitment to our tradition's values, concepts, and rituals.

It is equally committed to the values of individual conscience, democracy, equal rights and protection for all humanity, and other hallmarks of Western culture to enrich and deepen our lives as practicing Jews…

…we believe that integrating the Jewish tradition with our contemporary culture is the best way to create a vibrant and meaningful form of Judaism for ourselves and our descendants.”

CBE is an egalitarian Conservative congregation. This means that women are given equal opportunity to count in the minyan (prayer quorum), to have an aliyah to the Torah, to chant from the Torah, to wear a tallit or tefillin, to lead services, to serve on the board, etc.  

To learn more about Conservative Judaism, please visit www.ConservativeJudaism.org or www.uscj.org.

Don’t see the question or answer you were looking for?                                                                     

Contact us at the main office at 703-860-4515, ext. 101, or e-mail office@bethemeth.org. We are happy to help.

Tue, May 28 2024 20 Iyyar 5784