Continuing the vision l Worship

By Glen Pickus, Temple Beth Or | Feb 06, 2019

Temple Beth Or’s creation story starts in a hot tub in Victoria, British Columbia, in the early 1980s when two of our founders attended a medical conference.

The two young physicians, just starting their own families, agreed there was a need for a vibrant Jewish synagogue in Snohomish County and agreed they needed to do something to make it happen.

In 1985 their vision was realized with the founding of Temple Beth Or. The founding families were energized and motivated to create a new synagogue to serve as the focal point for a vital Jewish community in Snohomish County.

Fast forward 34 years to Feb. 22, when there will be a ceremony at Temple Beth Or to install Rachael Kort as Temple Beth Or’s rabbi and to install a new president and governing board.

Despite the changes that all the years, five rabbis, and 20 presidents bring, the spirit of that hot tub meeting lives on.

Temple Beth Or was created to provide a visible Jewish presence in the area, to provide a religious school to help our children develop their Jewish identities, and to promote social justice.

Temple Beth Or today still strives to accomplish these same things.

Since 1985, the Religious School has grown and matured yet its goal continues to be to build a welcoming and supportive Jewish community for them.

The school offers a class called TBO Tots, which is for children under age 4. The program includes a variety of fun-filled developmentally-appropriate activities that focus on Jewish holidays, rituals and values.

Judaic studies are offered for preschool through sixth grade, where the essence of their Jewish heritage is imparted to our children and a path for their future independent observance of Jewish life is established.

The emphasis is on Torah study and prayer, Jewish history and values, Jewish holidays and rituals, and life cycle events.

Temple Beth Or’s Religious School also includes separate Hebrew classes for students studying to be a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

For teenagers there is the Confirmation class for grades 8-10 which covers a range of subjects, including discussions of current events and hot topics from a Jewish perspective.

Temple Beth Or’s congregational goal continues to be to create a warm, compassionate, vibrant, spirited, inclusive and participatory synagogue.

Our priorities continue to be to build a nurturing and interactive multi-generational congregation, to promote lifelong learning, and to provide meaningful, creative, and traditional worship services.

At its core Temple Beth Or is about transforming ourselves and our world through tzedakah (fairness), social justice, and g’milut chasadim (acts of loving kindness).

To find out more visit the Temple Beth Or website at and be sure to watch the videos.

Those two hot-tubbing doctors remain members of Temple Beth Or. I’ve never asked them but I suspect the Temple Beth Or of today is beyond what they had imagined yet is exactly as they envisioned.





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