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Temple Beth Tikvah

Temple Beth Tikvah is Regina’s Reform Jewish congregation. It was formed in 1990 by a group of people who wanted a liberal alternative to the existing traditional Jewish congregation in Regina. Reform Judaism strives to make traditional Jewish writings and doctrines meaningful to modern Jews. To Reform Jews, personal choice is important as is the equality of men and women. Since the Temple’s inception, women and men have had equal opportunities and responsibilities to participate in worship and take on leadership roles in defining the policies and managing the affairs of the Temple. Reform services are observed in a mixture of English and Hebrew. The Hebrew language connects participants to history, culture, and to other Jews all over the world while prayer in English provides access to worship for those who are unable to read Hebrew.

Temple Beth Tikvah is a member of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) and the Canadian Council of Reform Jews (CCRJ). Through its membership to the Reform movement in North America, Temple Beth Tikvah has hosted a number of visiting rabbis from places as diverse as Texas, New York, Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Calgary. The Temple has hosted educational and cultural events for the Jewish community and the community at large. While the size of the Temple could sustain it, religious education for children under 13 years of age was offered. The Religious School curriculum included Jewish history, knowledge of Jewish customs and holidays, religious observance, Hebrew language education and Bar and Bat Mitzvah preparation. The Temple has prepared eight students for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Adult education was also a primary activity for the Temple. The Temple has hosted both formal and informal educational opportunities for adults, including book clubs, Hebrew language education, Torah study, and topical presentations. The Temple received a grant to provide a “Taste of Judaism” class for unaffiliated Jews, and also facilitated several conversions. Temple Beth Tikvah used the facilities of several organizations in Regina including the Rotary Senior Citizen’s Centre, the Cathedral and Al Ritchie Neighborhood Centres, the Cornwall Alternative School, the Unitarian Centre and Beth Jacob Synagogue.

In recent years the membership of the Temple has declined. Currently the Temple operates as a chaverah, the Hebrew word for a group of friends. Observance of holidays and the Sabbath are now held for a smaller group of people in homes. The Temple is still an incorporated charity and maintains its affiliation with the Reform Jewish movement in North America.

Elyse Fisher

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