Our Clergy: Beth Am’s Senior Rabbi, Lisa Sari Bellows, is distinguished not only by her knowledge of Judaism, but also by her keen ability to relate to congregants. When you listen to one of her sermons, you feel that she is talking directly with you; her classes are engaging and enlightening and her passion for social justice resonates throughout our community. Rabbi Bellows has a Masters of Arts degree in Divinity from the University of Chicago and she is a graduate of the Rabbinic Leadership Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.
Our Religious School: Beth Am’s Religious and Hebrew School is directed by Rabbi Richard Prass. Rabbi Prass’ full time responsibility is to ensure that our students receive an education that will bring them broad and deep knowledge about Judaism, including history, culture and traditions, and the land of Israel. Above all, he recognizes the importance of instilling in our students a sense of pride in being Jewish and in belonging to the greater Jewish community. His adult learning offerings are superbly taught, using a combination of text, humor, and challenging questions.
Our Cantor: Cantor Heather Aranyi, M.M., M.Ed. was named by the Chicago Tribune as “one of the most sought after singers and conductors in Chicago,” Cantor Aranyi is both a master educator and musician. In addition to serving Congregation Beth Am, she is on faculty at both The Lyric Opera and Northwestern University. At Northwestern, Cantor Aranyi is a thought leader who is frequently featured on panels and podcasts. She teaches entrepreneurism and innovation. Her transformative work in music and education at Lyric has been the subject of six documentaries.
Our Community: We are a sacred community that seeks to live a Jewish life of meaning and purpose. We believe that each of us is created B’tzelm Elohim, in the image of God, and we have unique gifts and talents to share with each other and the world. The membership of Beth Am represents the diversity of our larger community and we welcome interfaith families into our congregation.
Our Affordability: Beth Am strives to keep membership dues within the reach of as much of our community as possible. Financial commitments relating to membership reflect our awareness of the difficult economic times in which we are currently living.