The Book of the Century

The People of Beth El - 100 Years Young

As part of Beth El’s Centennial celebration, we created a special book, “The People of Beth El – 100 Years Young.”  All member families receive a copy of the book.

Please pick-up your book at the office by May 15th.  After May 15th, books will be mailed to your home.

Additional copies may be purchased for $25.00.

To order a book for a parent, sibling, child, or friend, complete the form below:

The People of Beth El - 100 Years Young

  • Price: $25.00 Quantity:
    All member families will receive a complimentary copy of this special centennial history book. Purchase additional copies here.Mail check (payable to Beth El Congregation) to Beth El Congregation, ATTN 100 Book, 1900 Cochran Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220 OR call 412-561-1168 to pay with a credit card.


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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