Beth Am is 'new and improved'


“Congregation Beth Am has been in existence since 1975 and we are still here!” said Co-President Joanie Mayer. 

The synagogue has gone through some major changes this year. The most significant one is that they sold their building in Longwood and are in the process of finding a new home.  They are also searching for a new rabbi who will bring a fresh vibrancy to the synagogue. If all goes well, they expect to have both by the summer of 2021.

Weekly services have been ongoing during the pandemic. Using Zoom, Friday night and Saturday morning services have been conducted by knowledgeable and inspiring lay leaders. The services are always well attended. In addition to services and holidays, many activities and social events have been occurring. Members have enjoyed weekly book and movie chats, two game nights of Trivia and Scattagories and a very special theater performance. The Men’s Club joined with other area synagogues and had a great event featuring a comedian. Members were able to enjoy a dessert and a bottle of wine that was delivered to their homes. A dedicated group of mahjong players has also persevered through the pandemic.

In preparing for the high holidays last fall, Co-President Dan Williams contacted their former rabbi, Merrill Shapiro. Rabbi Shapiro suggested that Congregation Beth Am partner with Shomrei Torah, a synagogue in Tallahassee, for the high holidays. Shomrei Torah was more than welcoming and even let them borrow 70 of their prayer books. The books were distributed to the members as they drove through the parking lot along with a calendar and a jar of honey for a sweet new year. The holiday services were a big success with more than 140 participants between the two synagogues.

Since the high holiday services, the relationship with Shomrei Torah has blossomed. They attend Congregation Beth Am’s Saturday morning weekly services as well as some social activities. Congregation Beth Am has been included in their events as well. Shomrei Torah recently had a panel discussion on human trafficking and they hold weekly adult education classes with Rabbi Shapiro, which are thoroughly enjoyed by both synagogues. A wonderful and unexpected outcome of the pandemic is that Congregation Beth Am and Shomrei Torah have become sister synagogues.

If anyone is interested in information about membership, please contact Sherry Williams at the synagogue office at 407-862-3505. Their website address is


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