The People of Beth El: 100 Years Young

We need your help with a special Centennial project!
Have you submitted your story yet? 

As part of Beth El’s Centennial celebration, we are creating a special book, “The People of Beth El – 100 Years Young,” and we need your help!  We are collecting stories and pictures from our member families to create a Member Recollection chapter. Whether you’re a new member or a 50+ year member, we would love to include your memories in this once in a century project!

Not sure what to submit? You may want to use these brainstorm questions to get started or check out two great samples below – these are just samples – we welcome your creativity for your/your family’s entry. Our committee is also happy to meet with you to help and discuss the possibilities!!

Email Geri Recht at email hidden; JavaScript is required or call her cell at 412 983 6039.

Sample 1:  Carole Lampel Mantel

As a toddler, my oldest daughter, Hilary learned that “Beth El” translates to “house of God.”  She referred to shul as God’s house and once asked Rabbi Ken Stern if he was God!  I don’t remember his answer but for me, Beth El feels like MY house.  Many minor day-to-day happenings and every major life-cycle event have occurred within Beth El’s hallowed halls.

Carole’s Bat-Mitzvah, January 28, 1978
Carole, Bob, Leah & Howard Lampel

Back in the 70’s the community room served double duty as EVERYTHING from services to socials were held within.  I believe even the bima was movable for socials, a dance floor was stored under the stage and chairs were set up for Shabbat services. The brown dividers on wheels (still used today) helped the ritual committee (yes, Sam Balk was involved even back then!) manage traffic flow in and out of services.

My bat-mitzvah January, 1978, amidst a snow-storm, was one of the last to take place in the now called community room as Beth El was undergoing the “1977 Brick by Brick” expansion.  Rabbi Steindel and Cantor Weisberg led services and Sam Balk, president, sat with me on the bima.  My parents hosted a traditional Kiddush featuring wine challah and cake!  The Shabbat Kiddush has increased in sophistication over the past 40 years! [Read more…]

Sample 2: Arthur (Auchy) Katz

In 1961 I became a member of Beth El when Nate Tabor took me to the Beechview location.  Not long after, Beth El moved to Cochran Road. Al Weinstein was in charge of making sure that the road remained open; it was very muddy. To assist with this, he had Nate Tabor, Buddy Minsky, Al Lieberman and Myself on call.

By 1970, we needed to raise money for the congregation. The first fundraiser was an art auction which was very successful. Coordinating this event was: Paul & Eileen Ostfield, Joel & Mickey Roteman, Dr. David Spiegel, myself and my wife, Rhea. After how well the art auction went the same group of people held a Mardi Gras festival. It involved table games, roulette, and card games, which was also very successful.

Rhea’s Bat Mitzvah

I’m very proud to say that three members of my immediate family have made their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs at Beth El. This includes my daughter Gayle, my son Larry, and my wife. And I’m also blessed that this last year, I made my second Bar Mitzvah together with my granddaughters Ashley and Julia, who were having their first Bat Mitzvahs held at Beth El. [Read more…]

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