Beit Ahavah was created in 1998 by a dedicated group who sought to build a Reform Jewish community in the greater Northampton area. This small group developed a vision of an inclusive Reform Jewish community where worship and study would be spiritually enlivening and meaningful.
Established as a formal congregation, Beit Ahavah affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) in June 2001, and since then, our membership has grown to nearly 100 member unit families. Our community is known for its inclusion of people from all backgrounds, LGBTQ+ people, as well as its support, sensitivity to and celebration of interfaith families.
We were warmly welcomed into the Florence Congregational Church (FCC) to house us in our spiritual home, and continue to build interfaith connections. The historical social justice legacy of the church and Florence center, situated along the Underground Railroad, means a great deal to us — the Northampton abolitionists established and built the church, and Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass lectured in the backyard pine grove. The Sojourner Truth Memorial Park and statue is located directly in front of the building, a site used for education, ceremonies and community events. Read more about the building’s history here, and about the statue here.
The congregation of Beit Ahavah is dedicated to a search for connection to our spiritual selves through worship and study, a strong emphasis on social justice and social action, and a fostering of community spirit and valuing of our diversity. Our programs and worship opportunities include:
- Beit Ahavah Community School, educating children from pre-K through B’nei Mitzvah
- B’nei Mitzvah Journey preparation
- Post-B’nei Mitzvah & Teen program/BAFTY youth group
- The celebration of Jewish holidays
- Services and celebrations throughout the High Holydays
- Shabbat evening and morning services.
- Monthly Tot-Shabbat service
- Special community family educational events.
- Opportunities for celebrating lifecycle events such as baby namings, bar/bat/b’nei mitzvah, and wedding/commitment ceremonies.
- Availability of our Rabbi in times of need.
All of our services and events are open, and we welcome anyone interested in participating in the life of our growing Reform Jewish community.