I left my previous synagogue when I remarried. I had rarely attended. Rabbi Ted Falcon performed our ceremony in 2000 and we joined shortly thereafter. Six years ago, Rabbi blessed my Bar Mitzvah at age 56. My wife is Vietnamese and comes from a Buddhist tradition but loves our congregation and we never miss a Shabbat when we are in town. She has been warmly welcomed and we are truly part of a loving community. Starting as a cultural Jew with little training, I have found that the Jewish spiritual path, as iterated by Rabbi Ted and his home grown successor, Rabbi Olivier, resonates with me and has imbued my life with deeper meaning and intention, something I never thought would happen given my scientific, reductionist mindset. Finding Bet Alef has been one of the great blessings of my adult life.
I have not been practicing Judaism for 50 years, after trying many different synagogues. After moving to Seattle, I met Rabbi Ted Falcon through his guest speaking at Center for Spiritual LIving. Came to Shabbat and my first full attendance at High Holidays since I was compelled to go as a child. This immediately became my spiritual home: the peace and joy of the whole Shabbat experience draws me to attending every Shabbat. It is a loving, caring, accepting, and inviting community, now led by Rabbi Olivier Benhaim. He has been a congregant, student, and follower of Ted's for 12 years, continues and expands his teachings and has developed a Family Program in the past two years. My closest associates and best friends are all part of this community, and it has provided exactly the place to fill a hole that has existed in my heart for 50 years. I bless Bet Alef every week for its ability to make me a more complete human being than I am without it.
I have been an active member of the Bet Alef Community and it has been part of my extended family for 12 plus years. I love being part of a community that provides a place for supporting the greater Community as well as Spirituality and a place to seek my own identity. For the last 2 years I have been an active Board member helping to guide and build our community during these turbulent times. We are all inclusive - many of our members were not born into Jewish tradition - but have found a "home" from teachings of our Rabbis. It is a healing place for ourselves, our community and our world. Bet Alef is the BEST! Come visit - and you will probably want to stay like I did.
My family has been part of the Bet Alef community for 7 years, after having belonged to several other Jewish synagogues and communities in the Seattle area in the previous 16 years. We had hesitated to check out Bet Alef because services are held in Bellevue and we didn't think we wanted to drive that far on Shabbat - but by just a short time into our first visit, we knew we had found our spiritual home - and the drive became (most of the time!) another opportunity for contemplation and mindfulness. We also feel very lucky to have become part of the community in time for both of our sons to have become Bar Mitzvah under the tutelage of Rabbis Ted and Olivier.