Congregation Beth Am
Since 1982, Beth Am has embraced the spirit of Dor L’Dor, passing our rich traditions from generation to generation as a Conservative synagogue in the heart of San Diego’s North County. We are home to members from diverse backgrounds, providing them an engaging religious life, opportunities for life-long learning from the Early Childhood Center to adult education, and innovative social and youth programs.
Our Guiding Principles
- Create an extended Jewish family where each member matters
- Inspire and motivate Jewish learning for all ages
- Infuse Tzedakah, Tikkun Olam, and a love for Israel in all that we do
- Maintain a warm and welcoming environment where each of us feels at home
For over 39 years and thriving, our Conservative community is at home in North County.
In 1982, a group of dedicated Jewish families wanted to establish a Conservative presence in Coastal North County San Diego. The undertaking proved to be prophetic. Rabbi Wayne Dosick, together with a small group of families, formed Congregation Beth Am (“Beth Am”).
Settling in the facility affectionately called the “Tire Store,” membership grew quickly with people coming from as far south as La Jolla and as far north as Oceanside. The very first year, Beth Am boasted a Hebrew school, the Jewish Learning Center. During the early years, the synagogue was virtually run by volunteers.
House of the People
During the first years, the congregation focused on growth, learning, and helping people get involved. True to its name, Beth Am had truly become the “House of the People.”
In July of 1991, Beth Am hired a new spiritual leader, Rabbi Arthur Zuckerman, lovingly known as Rabbi Zucky. Membership quickly grew from 160 to over 400 families. Rabbi Zucky instituted the 7 days/week minyan, programming for all ages, a preschool, and youth department.
Our New Home in Carmel Valley
By 1994, the Board of Directors realized that the “Tire Store” could no longer contain the burgeoning congregation and schools. A Capital Campaign began, and the land was purchased for our permanent location in Carmel Valley. A temporary building was erected, and the congregation joyfully walked and danced our Torahs over from Solana Beach.
It was a stunning night in June of 1999 when we opened our doors to our new Lizerbram Family Sanctuary and Hassman Family Social Hall. This time, it was only a short walk to move our Torahs, including the cherished Holocaust Torah donated by Hugh Friedman, z”l, and Lynn Schenk, to their permanent home behind the beautiful stained glass ark.
Guided by our Spiritual Leaders
During that same year, the congregation hired Rabbi David Kornberg as Assistant Rabbi. Rabbi Kornberg instituted the Center for Lifelong Jewish Learning, among many other contributions.
In 2004, upon Rabbi Zuckerman’s retirement, Rabbi Kornberg was enthusiastically welcomed as Senior Rabbi. With over 500 families to serve, the Board of Directors decided to hire an Assistant Rabbi; after a two-year search, we welcomed Rabbi Matthew Earne in 2006. Congregation Beth Am is blessed to have two vibrant and creative Rabbis who complement each other so well.
In 2017 after a year of our Capital Campaign “Building The Dream: Our Time… Our Turn… Our Future” with committee chairs: Ingram Chodorow, z”l, Wayne Harris, and Jeff Liber opened our doors to the new Education buildings and offices. Our Beth Am community was enthusiastic in reaching our next milestone.