Music

Welcome to musical life at Congregation Beth El!



We strive to infuse our congregational life with musical experiences that are accessible, meaningful, and joyful for people of all or no musical and Jewish backgrounds. Find out more at our Music Room by clicking here.

We understand music as an opportunity for connection to community; a critical and wonderful vehicle for teaching and learning Jewish language, history, ideas, culture and art; and one of many paths to God and spiritual experience. We value the full range of Jewish music: from Baroque art music to American folk rock and “camp” music, to songs of Israel, cantorial classics and the Yiddish theatre, liturgical music of the Sephardic diaspora and the chamber works of modern Jewish composers.

Join us for these and more!:

  • Youth band and other music electives in Youth and Family Education
  • Adult chorus and instrumental ensembles
  • Torah chanting classes for kids and adults
  • Jewish ideas through music in our early childhood programs
  • Training for lay service-leaders (baalei t’filah program)
  • Third Friday night Yism’chu service: meditative chanting, gentle drumming and spontaneous harmony
  • Wide variety of musical experiences in Shabbat and holiday services: in different styles, with and without instruments, led by both our clergy and our lay leaders

Our Music Director, Assistant Rabbi Reuben Zellman, would be delighted to talk with you about musical life in our congregation and how your ideas and talents can be part of it. Contact him anytime: RabbiRZ@bethelberkeley.org , or (510) 848-3988 ext. 228.