Join a community, by which alone your work can be made universal and eternal in its results. – S.R. Hirsch, 1836

Temple Beth El relies on members and friends to help keep our community vibrant and organize cultural, educational, and spiritual programming. Laugh, cry, read, sing, watch a movie and more with loved ones and friends. We have activities for all age groups and interests. And if there is something you are interested in, we would love to hear about it.

We’re committed to k’lal yisrael (all the people of Israel), and we offer programs that promote a sense of shared community among our members — as well as Jews throughout the area and the world.

We need your talents and enthusiasm! To learn more about the various programs and other volunteer opportunities here at Temple, email the office or call the Temple office at (757) 220 1205.

Building and Grounds

The Building and Grounds Committee is responsible for maintaining the interior and exterior condition of the building as well as maintaining the grounds.  Members perform simple routine maintenance and repairs and arrange for contractors to perform more complicated repairs.  Examples of jobs are touch up painting, leaking faucets, changing HVAC filters, changing light bulbs, trimming shrubs, raking leaves, spreading mulch, cleaning gutters and making calls to contractors to get estimates for jobs. Members are called upon by the chairman on an as needed basis based upon the members skills.  Many of the routine jobs require no handyman skills and tools are provided.


Concerned with the well being of Temple Beth El congregants, the Caring Committee is flexible in meeting their needs. This includes sending cards and personal greetings for illness or loss, working with the Rabbi in assisting with post funeral activities (with consideration), planning and executing Shabbat Zakein (quarterly – a shorter Shabbat service and kiddush lunch for seniors) and working on other issues as they arise.  The committee produced a “Mourning Booklet” to assist at the End of Life.

CHAIR – Lois Ullman

Finance & Budget

Responsible for keeping Temple Beth El financially fit, the committee periodically reviews financial operations and investments and reports to the Board of Directors at scheduled meetings. The committee prepares an annual budget to address the needs and objectives of the congregation for approval by both the Board of Directors and the Congregation at the annual meeting.

CHAIR – Neil Portnoff, Vice President, Administration
MEETS – monthly, 2nd Tuesday, 7:00 pm

Film Festival

The Film Festival Committee strives to use the power of film to entertain, educate and
connect our audiences to issues related to Jewish life in the U.S., Israel, and around
the world by organizing the annual Virginia Peninsula Jewish Film Festival. Committee
activities include selection of films to review, screening selected films, final film
selection, scheduling venues, negotiating licenses and fund raising. The Film Festival
Committee is open to all members of TBE. If you are interested in joining the Committee or have ideas for films, please contact us at


The Membership Committee works to ensure Temple Beth El is a warm and welcoming place for all who enter our doors. The committee recruits and helps integrate new members into the life of the congregation. Our programs and activities help participants experience kehillah (our wonderful community) and develop personal connections with the goal to make everyone feel “There’s a place for me at TBE.”

CHAIR – Sue Portnoff


The TBE Program Committee provides informative, educational, and entertaining programs for TBE members of all ages. Programs include book discussions, speakers on topics as varied as Jewish art, CBD, and Jewish Supreme Court Justices, concerts and game nights.

If you have an idea for a program or would like to volunteer to speak on a topic of your choosing please contact the Committee.

CHAIR – Karlyn Owens, Vice President, Programs


The Communication Committee lets people know about TBE activities which can help them enjoy a fulfilling Jewish life in Williamsburg. We use this website and the e-News sent weekly to our congregation and friends.

If you’re a member and not receiving it, or considering which temple to join, contact us to be added to our mailing list.

This is a great way for you to get involved in telling our story. Communication students can gain experience in writing, graphics, and photography. It’s an opportunity to enhance Williamsburg Jewish life and promote adat reyim – our community of friends.

CHAIR – Open


The Ritual Committee enhances the religious function of the synagogue by providing programs and services that meet the religious and spiritual needs of all of our congregation members. We work closely with Rabbi David to make the religious aspect of Jewish life welcoming, inclusive and inspiring for all. We welcome new ideas and suggestions as our community continues to grow.

CHAIR – Stephen Alter

Safety & Security

The Safety and Security Committee is responsible for overall policies and management of safety and security at TBE.  Recommendations and policies we develop are implemented in conjunction with the Board, TBE Manager, TBE Security Liaison, and the Buildings and Grounds Committee.  We are also in frequent contact with the local representative of the Secure Community Network, a group dedicated to safety and security at Jewish facilities.

Areas of concern include security and alarm systems, cybersecurity, building security, video surveillance, outdoor lighting, police presence at TBE functions, and safety and security training for staff, teachers, Board members, greeters/ushers, and members.

CHAIR – Carl Devore

Social Action

This committee oversees planning social action programs and studies community issues and problems and recommends appropriate action by the Board of Directors. The Kulanu: Synagogues in Action Against Antisemitism, refugee-related issues, FISH Services, and the Community of Faith Mission emergency shelter program are important to the Williamsburg community and our synagogue.

CHAIR – Donna Lloyd-Jones