BHCBE is an egalitarian Conservative congregation, in which men and women participate equally in the religious life of the congregation. As a Conservative congregation, we have a strong love and loyalty for Jewish tradition. The flavor of our services is traditional, and inviting. Most of the liturgy is recited in Hebrew, with English prayers interspersed, especially on Friday evenings and holidays. Our weekday services are led primarily by congregants; our Shabbat services involve the participation of congregants in reading Torah and haftarah, and in leading sections of the service. We offer classes in Hebrew reading and in synagogue skills to encourage greater participation, and also frequently offer alternative services alongside our sanctuary service on Shabbat mornings. On Shabbat mornings, we read the Torah according to the triennial cycle, as practiced in many Conservative congregations.
As a Conservative congregation, we honor the centrality of Halakha, Jewish law, in our communal practice, as interpreted by our rabbi, who is our mara d’atra–our religious authority–and by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly, the organization of Conservative rabbis. Conservative Judaism views Halakha as dynamic and open to the interpretation and insights of rabbis and scholars in every generation. In our individual lives, there is a considerable range as to the amount of Jewish law and tradition that is practiced by our members, and while we encourage our congregants to grow in their religious practice, all our members are respected for “where they are” on the continuum of Jewish observance. As Conservative Jews, we apply modern literary approaches to the study of our sacred texts, at the same time approaching the study of Torah with great reverence.