In 2003, the Shalom Fountain Hills social group was converted to a synagogue and Congregation Beth Hagivot was born. The first officers were: President Fred Widom, VP Chuck Pomerantz, Treasurer Susan Obst-Dworkis and Secretary Marla Cohen.
Our first religious leader was Cantor Howard Tabaknek. The services were held either at the Fountain Hills Community Center or at the Kiwanis Club.
The first Torah was borrowed from Temple Israel. Later, member Don Klein located our present Torah at a temple in Philadelphia. It was purchased by Terry and Marty Brown. The first service was in May of 2003 at the Community Center.
At the Torah dedication service, the attendees included the mayor of Fountain Hills and local politicians. The Torah was carried outside around the back of the Community Center, with the entire congregation following.
The first ark was built and donated by a local carpenter. The present ark was built and donated by the son of Norma and Al Banen in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary.
The chain on the Torah Pointer was the only surviving religious artifact rescued from a German synagogue that was burned down on Kristallnacht in 1938. It was donated by congregant Harry Sommers, the son of a member of the shul that was destroyed by the Nazis.
Congregation Beth Hagivot is a Reform congregation serving the Jewish communities of Fountain Hills, AZ and the East/Northeast Valley. Organized in 2003, we are a very special, close-knit community that celebrates Shabbat and all the other major Jewish holidays together.
Our congregation celebrates Shabbat monthly at the Fountain Hills Methodist Church. Services are followed by an oneg and the opportunity for us to all get to know each other better. Social events and other activities are held at Fountains Methodist Church as well as other locations within the Fountain Hills area and around the Valley. We have a Sisterhood and Brotherhood, both of whom perform charitable works along with providing a variety of social activities.
We invite you to join us for prayer, fellowship, and the celebration of Jewish life. For more information, call 480-650-3061 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
President: Ronnie Sue Taxin
Vice President: Sandy Borken
Vice President Ritual: Mark Elson
Vice President Social: Faye Borken
Secretary: Sheila Widom
Treasurer: Rena Bahrmasel
Members At Large: Ron Bahrmasel, Allyson Taxin, Stan Ziefert
Publicity: John Geller
Past President: Julie Orwin
Webmaster: Beth Gallob
In addition to her extensive knowledge of Judaism and ritual, Jessie has a lovely voice and is a wonderful asset to our services. She is the daughter of Rabbi Bonnie Koppell, a previous spiritual leader at Congregation Beth Hagivot.
Recently, Jessie participated in the Women's Leadership Institute (Jewish Women's Learning Center), where she developed a curriculum to help guide interfaith families through the task of raising Jewish children when one spouse was not born Jewish.
At each Shabbat service, we hand out our monthly newsletter that includes information about the Torah reading, upcoming religious and social events, and member life events.