BROTHERHOOD OF TEMPLE BETH EL
Brotherhood Brochure – 2020-21
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Brotherhood Membership Form
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The Brotherhood of Temple Beth El, established in 1919, was one of the first brotherhoods in the country. In 1923 we helped found the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods.
June 15, 2021
Dear Temple Member,
After the pandemic interruption, Brotherhood is back! We are especially looking forward to eventually resuming our Breakfasts by Brotherhood where our members prepare a hot nutritious breakfast each Sunday School morning. We serve and welcome students and their parents as well as other congregants coming to Temple. When the Temple kitchen reopens, the breakfasts will return along with the accompanying monthly speaker programs. This signature activity is both a service to our congregants as well as a social activity for our Brotherhood kitchen crew and for the breakfast attendees.
In anticipation of the coming year, we realize that the most important aspect of the programs that Brotherhood has been providing is the opportunity to once again enjoy each other’s company. Whether it is bonding over a hot meal at a Sunday morning breakfast, watching a Brotherhood softball team game or a Tigers game or United Shore League baseball game, going to a DSO concert or a JET Theater performance, or attending one of the many fun social events like a cooking class or the Super Bowl Party or a cruise on the Detroit River, it is the connections with our Temple community that we have so missed and are at the heart of all we do.
Many of Brotherhood’s service activities have continued during the pandemic, some with modifications. Others will resume soon. We initiated a Covid Relief Fund to help Temple families in need and also donated to several food kitchens; we supplied financial assistance for several Temple projects; and we maintained Brotherhood’s support for the Prentis Memorial Library, gifts to B’nai Mitzvah celebrants and holiday mailings to Temple’s college students. As our community returns to normal, Brotherhood will certainly continue our previous outreach activities with local charities and religious organizations as well as providing manpower and financial assistance for Temple activities and fundraising events.
We extend a warm invitation to you to join Brotherhood in this fulfilling part of Temple life. If your preference is to support Brotherhood with a donation, we are very grateful for your helping us to continue our service to Temple. In either case, please complete the enclosed form and return it to us with your check made out to the Temple Beth El Brotherhood.
We whole heartedly thank you for your past, present and future contributions, in whatever form, to the work of our Brotherhood at Temple Beth El.
The founders of Temple Beth El Men’s Club sought a way for men to become more active in congregational life, while enhancing camaraderie and enriching the social and cultural life of members. The concept was an immediate success from the very first project held in December 1919.
The Men’s Club rapidly grew to over 800 members. Its members over the years offered support to existing Temple programs, routinely created new programs where there was a need, built fraternal bonds, and provided a pool of volunteers for the congregation ranging from ushers to those visiting the homes of the bereaved. This vibrant and dynamic group existed for the next 60 years until the social forces of the late 20th century began to take their toll. Traditional male roles changed both within and without the congregation. Many no longer perceived the pivotal position played by Brotherhood and saw Brotherhood membership as a less valued asset in their lives. Temple members often found ways outside the congregation to express their interests and concerns.
The Temple Beth El Brotherhood of the 21st century has treated these challenges as obstacles to overcome. We have expanded membership to the entire community. Our programs are open to all – not just Brotherhood members. Brotherhood has formed linkages to other synagogues and faith communities for purposes of joint action to address social ills. We have attempted to convert Brotherhood to an organization of action and one of leadership, while being cognizant of our 94-year commitment to Temple Beth El, the Reform Movement, and Detroit’s Jewish community. Brotherhood no longer tries to fit members into “little boxes,” but seeks to have each member express the person’s interests and meet the person’s concerns. Our goal is to make Brotherhood a value added component in the lives of each of its members.
Brotherhood Slate 2021-2022
President: Mark Schonberger
Vice President: Leonard Beigler
Recording Secretary: Mark Schonberger
Corresponding Secretary: Julian Prince
Treasurer: Bruce Jacob
Immediate Past President: Bruce Plisner