To make your decision about membership easier, we've compiled a list of questions that prospective members ask us time and again. This list will probably answer some of the same questions that you have. Should you have a question we haven't answered here, please contact us so we can provide you with an answer.
1. What is Bet Aviv's dues structure?
Bet Aviv's annual dues cover a calendar year. For 2015, our dues are $400 for a single membership and $800 for a family membership. For members who join after July 31st of each year, there is a reduced rate. Membership includes High Holiday tickets for members and their immediate families. Invoices go out to each member household early in the calendar year. Members may choose to pay the amount due in full or in several installments. Special arrangements, if needed, can be discussed in full confidence with the treasurer or president.
2. Does Bet Aviv have a building fund?
No. Bet Aviv was founded on adherence to the Interfaith Concept. You can read about it by clicking here . In 2004, we became equity owners in the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center in Columbia, where we share space with other Jewish and Christian congregations. Because of this arrangement we do not now, nor do we ever anticipate having a building fund. Many members find this reassuring.
3. What kind of educational arrangements does Bet Aviv have for children?
Because our focus is on our adult members, Bet Aviv does not provide youth activities. We do have members who have very successfully used the services of our Cantor, Margery Auerbach to prepare for their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. For on-going education for youngsters, the Columbia Jewish Community school is an option open to Bet Aviv members.
4. My son/daughter's fiance is not Jewish. Would your rabbi perform this marriage?
Yes. Both our cantor and rabbi officiate at Jewish marriages for interfaith couples. Contact us to discuss your situation.
5. My son/daughter's spouse is not Jewish. Would your rabbi perform a baby naming for my grandchild?
Yes. Baby namings are a delightful addition to our Shabbat services. The grandparents, as well as both parents may choose to participate in the ceremony. Our cantor even sings a special song to the baby to commemorate the occasion.
6. Do I have to join Bet Aviv to particpate in its programs?
In addition to Shabbat services, we have four programs that are open to the entire community. The first is our highly acclaimed Adult Education program. Our Men's Club also welcomes non-members. Our very popular camera club decided to admit non-members of Bet Aviv. Most recently, our Genealogy Club is open to non-members. All of these are good ways to get to know us and to help you decide if Bet Aviv is the right place for you.
7. Does Bet Aviv have a cemetery?
Bet Aviv members may choose to purchase burial plots and services in the Columbia Memorial Park. We have a number of plots designated for our members in the Jewish section of this cemetery.
8. Why should I join Bet Aviv instead of other synagogues in the area?
In a nutshell, we are a family that joyfully welcomes visitors, guests and new members to our midst. Should you come to a Shabbat service, you won't find yourself standing alone. We'll make a special point to introduce you to the congregation and to seek you out at the Oneg. For more reasons why you should join Bet Aviv, click here.