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Freqently Asked Questions

Can I send my child to religious school without becoming a member?

Each member family at Congregation Beth Shalom financially supports not only the physical buildings but also the cost of providing a rabbi, administrative expenses, teachers, supplies, etc. We encourage the entire family to participate in the life of the congregation in order for education to be meaningful. These things can only be accomplished through active membership, which is required for enrollment in religious school.


Can I register my child for the preschool religious school class without being a member of the congregation?


Yes. Enrollment in our Sunday Religious School 3-year old preschool class is the only class open to non-members.


 Can I attend Adult Education classes without becoming a member?


Yes, almost all Adult Education classes are offered to the public. Since members of the congregation support the general operations of the synagogue, the class fees for non-members is generally higher than member fees. Occasionally, a members-only Adult Education class will be offered.


Can I become a member of the Sisterhood or Brotherhood without becoming a member of Congregation Beth Shalom?


Membership in our auxiliary organizations is a privilege given to Congregation Beth Shalom members only.


Can my child become a member of ARFTY (Arlington Federation of Temple Youth) without my family being members of the congregation?


Yes. The congregation’s senior youth group allows for non-member participation. There is an application and review process for children whose families are not members of Beth Shalom. Your child can join and participate in ARFTY.


What is Camp Impact?


Every summer, our senior youth group ARFTY, provides a day camp opportunity for disadvantaged children. The group members, students in grades 8-12, act as counselors and are responsible for programming, providing meals and raising funds to support the camp.


In February 2001, ARFTY received The Irving J. Fain Award for Social Action by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, DC. in recognition of their work with Camp Impact. This award is given to congregations that have undertaken significant programs of community service. The Religious Action Center represents 1.5 million Reform Jews and 1800 Reform rabbis in 870 congregations throughout North America.


Does Congregation Beth Shalom have conversion classes?


If you are interested in conversion, please contact the office. The conversion process is a personal and individual journey. While there is not a specific conversion class, it may require attendance at certain adult education classes that may be offered.


My spouse/partner is not Jewish. Does Congregation Beth Shalom welcome interfaith families?


Absolutely. Our congregation is comprised of Jews by birth, Jews by Choice and interfaith families. All members of the family are considered “members” and can participate on whatever level they find comfortable. Non-Jewish spouses may join the Sisterhood/Brotherhood and serve on committees.


How much does it cost to join Congregation Beth Shalom?


The Congregation uses a “Fair Share” program that enables each family to determine their level of financial giving. A guideline is provided, and with the assistance of the Office Manager, every family wishing to become a member is accommodated.


Does Congregation Beth Shalom have a cemetery? Is it open to non-members?


Yes. Our cemetery, Gan Shalom, is located in Moore Memorial Gardens in north Arlington. Any member of the Jewish community may purchase a space by contacting the Office Manager at 817-860-5448.

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