Frequently Asked Questions

Who will feel comfortable at Beth Tikvah?

Our members reflect the diversity of the area, coming from all walks of life and many different religious backgrounds and ethnicities. We welcome Jewish singles and single parents, interfaith families and Jewish families in all their diversity, including LGBTQ couples with or without children. Our programs are designed to meet the diverse spiritual, religious, educational, and social needs of our members.

How can I get involved?

There are many ways to become involved at Beth Tikvah and meet other congregants. During your membership process, we hope to get to know you personally so that we can connect you with programs, groups and classes that complement your interests. We offer a warm and inviting atmosphere in which you can expand and explore your Jewish life.

I don’t read Hebrew. How can I possibly follow the Shabbat/Worship service?

Our prayer book, Mishkan T’filah, is written for all levels of understanding. The text is written in three types of wording: Hebrew, English transliteration, and English all on the same page. (A transliteration is a phonetically written version of Hebrew.) Throughout the service the Rabbi will guide the congregation through the prayer book so that the congregant may follow the service in the wording that is most comfortable to the individual.

How do I meet the professionals who serve Beth Tikvah?

We encourage you to get to know our rabbi, Director of Education, and Executive Director by attending Shabbat services and by getting involved in our programs and activities. You may also request a private meeting with any of our staff.

How do I become a member of Beth Tikvah? What is the process?

We’d love to have you join us. Just e-mail info@bethtikvahcolumbus.org or call 614-885-6286 for more information or to request a membership packet. Our Executive Director would be happy to give you a tour and answer any questions.

I’d like to join, but I don’t know anyone at Beth Tikvah.

We have many opportunities for getting involved and meeting people, starting as soon as you join. Our Membership Committee has designed a program that helps new congregants get comfortable at Beth Tikvah by matching them with current members that have similar interests. Contact the temple office for information on this program.

Why should I join now, my child is only two years old.

It is never too soon to be a part of the Jewish community. While we often think that synagogues are around to “teach Judaism” to our children, the synagogue’s greatest purpose is to support and to enrich each of us so that our own confidence as Jews can become the example from which our children will learn. Synagogues provide ongoing opportunities to study, experience, and enjoy being connected to a Jewish community. We support this by offering reduced dues to young families with a financial need. We also offer special programs for families with young children and a monthly Friday night Tot Shabbat service.

My kids are grown. What do I need a Temple for?

While we offer many family-oriented programs, it does not mean that we are only open to families with younger children. In fact, so many of our programs are for adults, as we seek to nurture a mature development of spirituality and Jewish connection for people at every stage of their lives. We focus on community building, with Sisterhood, Brotherhood, Adult Education, social action programs, special Shabbat programs, and, of course, our regular worship experiences. The temple endeavors to enhance your connection with other Jews and your personal search for connection and meaning.

Yes, all family members are warmly welcomed at Beth Tikvah. We encourage members to attend as a family so that the family unit can become closer and understand Jewish history, traditions, and culture. Our Rabbi is inclusive and encourages non-Jewish parents to participate in all aspects of children’s Jewish upbringing.

When we join Beth Tikvah, will my non-Jewish spouse be considered a member?

Yes. When a family/couple joins Beth Tikvah all immediate family members/partners are considered full members. All non-Jewish spouses/partners are welcomed and encouraged to participate on all levels including our committees, attend classes and holiday events.

Do you have other interfaith families at Beth Tikvah?

Yes. Beth Tikvah has many interfaith couples/families. Our goal is to welcome and include all members regardless of their religious upbringing.

What will be the status of my children in the Jewish community?

Since 1983, the Reform Movement has recognized the children of either Jewish parent (Mother or Father) as Jewish if they are raised and educated as Jews. There are many children in our congregation’s Religious School who have other religions in their extended families and our teachers have been trained to be sensitive to this.

We are considering enrolling our child in the Religious School. Are parents who are not Jewish welcome to participate in Religious School programs?

Jewish tradition places a high value on family life. We encourage both parents to be involved in their child’s Religious School experience and we welcome your participation. We have family programs and Shabbat dinners designed for students and their parents.

Will my non-Jewish spouse be able to participate in our children’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah?

Yes. At Beth Tikvah we include the entire family.

Have a question that we haven’t already answered?

  • For a confidential discussion to address your concerns, please contact our Executive Director, Debbie Vinocur

Thank you to the URJ for allowing us to reprint many of these questions and answers which are found in their pamphlets: “What’s Missing From Our Congregation…You!” and “Intermarried? Reform Judaism Welcomes You.”