When the founding members of South Metro Jewish Congregation launched its Religious School in 1992, it was in an unheated classroom at Cedaroak Primary School. On a gray, drizzly Sunday, a pint-sized number of children attended, hungry for knowledge about their heritage, anxious in their desire to find Jewish peers. This grassroots endeavor enabled residents of the South Metro area of Portland to find a Jewish community close to home. From what was first known as South Metro Jewish Community sprang a vibrant congregation, one that is now a highly respected member of the larger Jewish community, drawing members from throughout the greater Portland area.
An organization emerges through the efforts of many, taking small steps and big leaps. Some of the highlights of our history include:
1996 – SMJC adds a worship program in addition to religious school, and Ann Brown becomes Cantorial Soloist.
1997 – Rabbi Larry Halpern joins SMJC as its first Rabbi.
1998 – South Metro Jewish Community becomes South Metro Jewish Congregation, and The Reverends Paul and Cathy Quackenbush make Emmanuel Presbyterian Church available to SMJC for services.
1999 – SMJC celebrates its first Torah and Ark.
2001 – SMJC joins the Union for Reform Judaism and establishes a Jewish Cemetery in Lake Oswego.
2005 – SMJC celebrates its Bat Mitzvah.
2006 – Rabbi Halpern retires. SMJC hires Rabbi Annette Koch as its new Rabbi.
2007 - SMJC adopts a Hebrew name and becomes Beit Haverim. Beit Haverim, House of Friends, expresses the true essence of our congregation.
2008 - Beit Haverim moves to our current home that we share with the Lake Oswego United Church of Christ, leading to collaborative social action activities in our community.
2009 – Rabbi Alan Berg joins us as our new Rabbi.
2012 – Beit Haverim's first Confirmation Class in many years completes their 2-year course and leads the Confirmation Shabbat Service.
2017 – Beit Haverim looks forward to our 25th Anniversary!
Over the years we’ve watched our children blossom into adults, secure in their Jewish identity. We’ve seen unaffiliated Jews, single members, and families of all types find kindred spirits and make enduring friendships. We’ve danced at weddings, rejoiced at namings, celebrated an Bnai Mitzvah, and cried together in times of loss. We’ve transcended religious differences and joined hands in interfaith worship. We welcome you to join us in our Beit Haverim community.
Newsletters from October 2013 through November 2015 can be found here.
If you would like a pdf of newsletters prior to that date then please email the office.
What happens when a bunch of Jewish ladies get together? Why, they eat, of course! The Beit Haverim Ladies' Group has a regular program of activities, all of which (seem to) center around food. What a great way to meet new friends and connect with old ones. Whether you are a member or a guest, married, single, widowed, have children or not, you are welcome to join us at our next event. We are a diverse group of women, from working professionals to stay-at-home moms, ranging in age from 20s to 80s.
These pictures are from our December Ladies' Night:
Join a happy, casual group on February 21st, 2017 at 6:30 pm for a fun evening of good food and good company.
Bring your favorite dish to share. Our host this month is Sue Garber. Please RSVP to her at email@example.com
When you RSVP, Sue will give you directions to her house. We hope you'll join our fun ladies' group.
When one of our students becomes a bar/bat mitzvah, it is an important event, not only for the student, but for his or her family and for our entire congregation. The student has dedicated him- or herself to study and preparation enabled by the family, to take their place as a participant in the Jewish life of the community.
Beit Haverim takes great pride in the young men and women who become B'nai Mitzvah and who are able to lead our worship service, read or chant Torah and Haftorarah, deliver a d'var Torah, and complete a mitzvah project. The skills our students develop allow them to participate actively in synagogue life in high school, college and beyond. We hope that the students and their families will find the experience enriching and meaningful so that they will develop a lifelong commitment to Judaism.
We invite you to read our B'nai Mitzvah Handbook to learn more about the Beit Haverim program.