The recent fire at First Church Berkeley did limited damage to the Sanctuary, but restoration will take a few months.
The church is pleased to announced that for a few months (a period of time yet to be determined), the congregation will be holding Sunday morning worship at Congregation Beth El at 1301 Oxford Street (at Rose Street).
Congregation Beth El is a Reform Jewish congregation that describes itself as a “liberal synagogue guided by a reverence for tradition.” It is led by Rabbi Yoel Kahn.
Church services will take place at 10 am on Sunday mornings, followed by food and conversation and adult education. Sunday School and a nursery will also be offered during the 10 am hour. As the staff and leadership of the church explored options for a worship space to use during the renovation, being able to meet on Sunday mornings was an important consideration.
Senior Minister Molly Baskette says, "Congregation Beth El was one of the many communities of faith to reach out to us immediately, offering the possibility of worship space. They even disrupted their high holidays to go into swift action to work through logistics with their leadership, the City of Berkeley and the neighbors who will be impacted by our move there. They have been at every turn eager, kind and faithful to their core values of welcoming the stranger. We look forward to worshipping in their beautiful space, and seeing what fruit our relationship may bear in the form of shared programming.“
As you approach Congregation Beth El, you will see a series of steps leading toward the worship space. If you go further up the hill through the parking lot, you will find an accessible entrance.
Congregation Beth El has an agreement with their neighbors to limit the effect on parking in the area and they ask that we do the same. Green commuting including carpooling is recommended. We're working on a system to facilitate carpooling that we will announce soon. The location is served by several bus lines on Oxford Street and Shattuck Avenue. It will also be acceptable to park in the CVS drugstore lot at 1464 Shattuck (at Rose) and the Gordon Realty parking lot at 2091 Rose Street (at Henry). These lots will only be available on Sunday mornings.
For those preparing after-worship food, it will be best to make vegetarian fare (or use chicken if you need to) to conform with the synagogue’s food preparation practices.
You fill find a map to the location below.