Welcome to Congregation Beth Shalom!
At Congregation Beth Shalom, our mission is to celebrate our Jewish identity and promote meaningful connections to everyday life through ritual and spirituality, education for all ages, mitzvot and tikkun olam. We are proud of our Jewish heritage and strive to provide traditional and innovative activities to inspire development of relationships with each other and with God.
זֶה־הַ֭יּוֹם עָשָׂ֣ה יְהוָ֑ה נָגִ֖ילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָ֣ה בֽוֹ׃
This is the day that the LORD has made— let us exult and rejoice on it.
אֱמֹר מְעַט וַעֲשֵׂה הַרְבֵּה, וֶהֱוֵי מְקַבֵּל אֶת כָּל הָאָדָם בְּסֵבֶר פָּנִים יָפוֹת
Speak little and do much; and receive everybody with a pleasant expression.
-Pirkei Avot 1:15
Seek the good in everyone and bring it forth.
-Nahman of Bratslav
The full development of each individual is not only a right, but a duty to society.
-Louis D. Brandeis
It Started with Determination
The Jewish People have a great deal of experience with wandering, and Congregation Beth Shalom is no exception. Nearly fifty years ago, the genesis of a Conservative Jewish congregation had its humble beginnings in the Santa Clarita Valley, on the nothern-most edge of Los Angeles County. The first steps of our journey began with thirty-three determined families in the basement of a Newhall nursing home. The seeds these pioneers planted have taken root and flourished, growing into the CBS we have built today: a vibrant, egalitarian Spiritual Center that serves our ever-expanding Jewish community.
‘20 - ’21 Giving Campaign
Our ’20-21′ Giving Campaign has kicked off. Learn more about how you can help Congregation Beth Shalom reach its goal.
Donation Collected $67,935 of $50,000.
A Unique Approach
Several years ago the CBS Executive Board decided it was time to change the way our congregation viewed membership. Instead of “dues”, a new model was designed which would turn the conventional approach on its head. The decision was made to move to a Voluntary Pledge Program. Looking back, this revolutionary idea seemed fraught with risk.
As other temples had experienced, economic pressures put many congregants in a position of making the choice between re-joining or not. How could CBS provide the services and support our congregants relied upon without knowing we could afford to delivery? Could we continue to be the spiritual center of the Santa Clarita Valley? The answer to both questions is yes, and more. This unique path to the benefits of membership is working at Congregation Beth Shalom.
A Culture Built In Traditions
From Thursday morning minyan to Shabbat services, our magnificent sanctuary is home to services that reflect the very fabric of our community. Shabbat morning includes a reading of the weekly Torah portion with lively discussion that brings both Rabbi and congregant together in spirited conversation. And of course, the traditional coming of age observance is always a cause for celebration. Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies are cherished occasions in the presence of both family and friends. Both a culmination and a new beginning, the Bar Mitzvah brings an end to our Religious studies while at the same time begins a lifetime of Jewish learning.
An End to a Week
Shabbat is observed at CBS as it is around the world. Consistent with the traditions of Conservative Judiasm, we take a collective step back from our daily lives and embrace the sanctity of the holiest day of the week. That time between sundown on Friday and the lighting of the Havdalah Candle on Saturday night, this is when the Jewish Community of Santa Clarita can reflect on what events have transpired and prepare for whatever the week to come may bring.
Our services include monthly Tot Shabbat for families with toddlers, USY Youth-led Shabbat, and Musical Shabbat services by combining prayer with traditional melodies and lively instrumentation.
Jewish Education is at the Epicenter
This lifelong journey begins with our remarkable Childhood Education Center. We introduce Jewish customs and traditions to our Preschoolers and their families, celebrating the cycle of holidays that have bound us together as a People for generations.
Our BJE-accredited Religious School builds on this experience by providing a foundation for future learning. Students begin understanding Hebrew and learn the prayers needed to actively participate in Shabbat services. Our talented teaching staff connects our biblical history with present-day Israel and its central importance to the Jewish People.
The seeds we sow here have produced amazing results and our track record speaks for itself. Our students continue on to leadership positions in Jewish Summer Camps, participate in Jewish Gap Year Programs or enlist in the Israeli Defense Force, ultimately enrolling in some of the top colleges and universities in the US and Israel.
Bar and Bat Mitzvah Studies prepare our students for one very special day. The process, however, is about preparing our youth for a life transition: from boys and girls to responsible congregants and Jewish citizens. Lifelong Learning is not just an expression at CBS as education continues with our post-Bar Mitzvah Gesher program and Adult Education classes that bring contemporary Jewish issues into focus.
The CBS Preschool is the only comprehensive Judaic Childhood Education Center in the Santa Clarita Valley. Having served this growing Jewish community for 23 years, the importance of “Chai” – in Hebrew – is uppermost in mind. Twenty-three years since its creation, the talented staff of the CBS Preschool has contributed to the lives of classrooms full of young minds, some of who are now successful college-age students.
By providing a comforting environment for socialization, children are introduced to Jewish rituals and holidays in a way that emphasizes the growth and creative development of the individual child. Our activity centers provide an environment rich in learning materials, providing many opportunities for exploration, discovery, and problem-solving. Our credentialed teachers, trained in both early childhood and Jewish education, have the experience and skills necessary to meet the needs of preschoolers.
The CBS Religious School Experience produces spiritually and socially aware young people who leave better prepared to take on the challenges and responsibilities of a Jewish life, both here in the United States or in Israel. Although CBS is considered to be on the smaller scale in terms of actual size, the impact that our graduates have made has typically far exceeded their numbers. Members of CBS USY regularly hold Far West Regional Leadership positions. And many of our graduates have gone on to counselor positions at Jewish Summer Camps like Camp Ramah in Ojai and Alonim in Simi Valley.
Several of our students have served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in support and combat roles. Our record for college acceptances finds many CBS religious School graduates starting their freshman year at prestigious universities around the country including Northwestern, UCLA, University of Arizona and others.
Some of our grads choose a year of maturation and adventure after High School. Gap Year programs in Israel such as Nativ, Seminary, and Yeshiva allow students to continue their Jewish experience, an extension of the education they received at CBS.
Something For Everyone
As the CBS community continues to grow, so do the service groups that work to foster engagement and involvement among our CBS family members. Vital to our continued success are the CBS Sisterhood and Men’s Club, creating fun and exciting events for congregants within CBS as well as with outreach to the local Jewish Community.
Our youth programs have long been a source of pride and inspiration for CBS. Maccabees (k through 3rd grade), Kadima (4th to 6th graders), and USY (Middle and Senior High School Students) continue to create positive social connections for our youth. These programs benefit the community and reinforce our connection with Israel. Events such as Kinnus and Convention develop young leaders in our own local Far West Region and greater recognition on a national level.
The women of CBS Sisterhood dedicated to enriching the lives of our members families by coming together to celebrate the traditions of Conservative Judaism. The programs that are created by the Sisterhood benefit our Youth, Religious school and Preschool school, and the greater community. Events include our annual SCV Women’s Seder, Community Challah Bake, CBDS Torah Fund, and project Chicken Soup for home-bound AIDS patients.
Z’hava is an exciting new addition to the CBS Sisterhood. Comprised of women who are beginning their Temple lives, Z’hava caters to an under-40 demographic. By bringing a unique perspective to their events, this young women’s group will add new and exciting opportunities to get involved at CBS.
The CBS Men’s Club serves a dual purpose. As a fraternal organization, its goal is to make an active difference in synagogue life. Whether it’s distributing memorial candles for Yom haShoah, constructing and dismantling the Sukkah, or providing ushers for our High Holy Day services, Men’s Club is an opportunity to contribute while building lifelong friendships in the process.
Event sponsorship allows Men’s Club to bring an important fundraising role which benefits the congregation. Annual poker tournaments, wine tasting, and planned outings combine camraderie with service. And one-time initiatives like the Torah Restoration Project contribute directly to religious education programs at CBS.
It can feel challenging at times to find your niche in synagogue life. Even at a small, growing community like Congregation Beth Shalom! We have continued the tradition of Havurot here as a way for our members to strengthen connections with each other and bring families together on a more intimate basis.
The Havurah program consists of groups of 10-12 families who get together, socialize, and celebrate Jewish traditions. Each Havurah decides what its purpose will be and how it will maintain its character.
As we continue to grow, new Havurot are forming to help integrate our new member families. It is an exciting time to be part of the Congregation Beth Shalom community. We look forward to new families breaking challah together and taking full advantage of what CBS has to offer.