Volunteer at Beth Jacob
Our shul has a small staff and relies on volunteers. These deeply dedicated volunteers give many hours of their time each year to ensure that the synagogue functions smoothly. In due course, we hope to honor all of these volunteers, not only because it’s proper to thank people who give you a gift, but because they model the values that our tradition elevates: caring for community, selflessness, and generosity.

Tikkun Olam
Beth Jacob members volunteer for projects for others at our shul (Chesed and Chevre Kadisha) as well as interfaith projects that benefit the Twin Cities community at large.

Contact our Programming, Frances Fischer to learn more about how you can volunteer at Beth Jacob.


Beth Jacob Volunteer of the Month: Elizabeth Barnard (EB)

November 2019

Get to know our Beth Jacob Volunteers! Do you know someone who should be a featured volunteer? Contact Orit at orit.naomi@gmail.com

In what ways do you volunteer for Beth Jacob?
I am flattered and honored and a bit embarrassed by this recognition. At Beth Jacob I volunteer by being responsive: I show up, come to services, join study sessions, help sponsor an occasional Kiddush, compost the kitchen scraps, give occasional teachings, attend occasional trainings; I sit shmira and lift the Torah when asked. This is hardly noteworthy volunteering. I simply appear, show up, along with so many others.

I serve as chairperson of the Chesed Committee and have given serious thought to what “chesed” means. We offer meals to people with illnesses, injuries, or a new baby. At the instigation of Barb Neren, Beth Jacob is launching a program of Friendly Visiting of people who have a need for compassionate company. My intention is to expand the vision of how we can live in the world with chesed at the core, and how the Chesed Committee can enlarge the umbrella under which we take action as a community.

What do you do outside of Beth Jacob (work, hobbies, etc)?

My work life is a patchwork quilt of teaching opportunities: piano in the St. Paul Schools (and with Lorraine Hertz); woodworking at two locations; and building boats with underserved youth. When I’m not in class, creating lesson plans, or assembling materials, I might be found cooking, gardening, painting houses, building things, dehydrating food for camping trips, dancing in the kitchen with Lynn, or writing love letters to my granddaughters.

What’s something you love about Beth Jacob?

One thing I love about Beth Jacob is the support that is offered during a Torah service: people are not judged by their performance but appreciated for their efforts. Things need to happen, and we’re all part of helping them take place.

September 2019: Maxine Rosenthal

In what ways do you volunteer for Beth Jacob?

I pay all the cemetery bills, and years ago, helped update the map of the cemetery. I consider myself the shul nag because I call to remind people of their jobs on the coming Shabbat, such as reading Torah, kitchen duty, and lobby greeting.  Rabbi Liberman had the idea that the bar/bat mitzvah kids could write something about their Parshah on a piece of fabric and I would put them together into a Bein Gavra. I only continued doing that because the kids got so much pleasure seeing their work hanging in the social hall. I also made a more serious Bein Gavra that is used every week, which give me so much pleasure. I helped with the fund raiser a few years ago by making a Torah cover and then repeated the design in white for Rosh Hashanah. I am also a Gabbai, which is a great honor.

What do you do outside of Beth Jacob (work, hobbies, etc)?

Is there really an outside of Beth Jacob? I keep myself busy by making quilts, and lecturing and teaching about them. I also make beaded jewelry.

What’s something you love about Beth Jacob?

Beth Jacob is a community, my community. More like a family. Seeing the people at Beth Jacob makes my world complete.