Bet Israel is the only Masorti congregation among Netanya’s 200 synagogues. A pluralistic, egalitarian congregation.
Bet Israel is a membership organization and congregants form a close social group by regularly attending Shabbat services, daily minyanim, and the many holiday and social programs offered.
The seeds of the Bet Israel Congregation in Netanya began to sprout in 1971. In 1977 the first Masorti synagogue of the community opened, originally located on Kikkar HaAtzmaut, our central Independence Square. In 1992 a new magnificent synagogue was dedicated on Yehuda HaNassi and has become the permanent home of the community, located just north of the center. Since its dedication, it has become a magnet for many during weekdays and on Shabatot and holidays. Religious holidays are celebrated at Bet Israel alongside the state holidays.
There are plenty of social opportunities at Bet Israel. The congregation hosts many activities that are not specifically holiday related. One of the highlights at Bet Israel is our resident folk singer, the talented Batya Fonda, who offers themed programs of folk music, often in Yiddish and Ladino, with songs in Hebrew as well. She accompanies herself on guitar and always prepares a lecture and often slides and song sheets to educate us and involve us in the music.
The congregation regularly holds movie nights with “pop-‘n’-popcorn” (on weekdays), and monthly Kabbalat Shabbat program with a catered dinner.
Bet Israel has been the place for non-affiliated Jews to do a bar or bat mitzvah with all members of the family participating. The same is true for Shabbat Chatan (“aufruf”) ceremonies. Netanya’s Tushiyya School for children with special needs holds their Bar/Bat mitzvah ceremony in our sanctuary in the presence of our warm kehillah. The congregation has a daily minyan available to anyone in the community, member or not, who needs one.