“We had been in the Roanoke area for many years without getting involved in the Jewish Community. It really became important for us as a family to get more involved once our children were at school age. At this time, we called Beth Israel to find out more about the synagogue. We have all found Beth Israel to be a very warm and inviting place. We have felt from the very start that Beth Israel is a true family and we are so thrilled to be a part of it!” — Marc and Lisa H.
“We moved to the Roanoke Valley from Asheville , NC so that Josh could take a job as an engineer at TMEIC GE. Sarah took a math teaching position at Salem High School . Sarah is currently taking some time off to raise their 9 month old son, Jakob. When we first came to services at Beth Israel, while Sarah was pregnant, we knew it was the place where we wanted to bring our son into the Jewish world. People were so friendly, the rabbi was energetic, and the congregation immediately began to feel like home. We have now been at Beth Israel for a year and we have made some great friends, our son had his (very well attended) brit milah, and we continue to be amazed by the warmth and compassion of Beth Israel. We also hope to get to know more of you better throughout the coming years.” – Josh and Sarah K.
“It was 39 years ago when Roanoke became home to Alan and Karen Shreeman and their two children, Andrea and Joshua. Soon after that Beth Israel became their family. Yeled nursery school was a part of Beth Israel then and both of their children attended. We had our own Sunday School also and Karen became involved with it. Alan became the house chair. He also spent many pre High Holiday seasons changing the Torah covers with Sidney Katz. The children had their Bnai Mitzvot at Beth Israel. At that time Oneg Shabbats were held every Friday night and when there was a celebration the famous coffee punch was served. The families of all the other Bnai Mitzvot helped to prepare the baked goods for the Oneg Shabbat and the food for Saturday morning Kiddush lunch. In the days before Wanda, we had a cleaning crew who mistakenly threw out all of the flowers after the Friday night services of Andrea’s Bat Mitzvah. The other families, who were helping to set up for Saturday Kiddush, discovered the problem and went dumpster diving. No one was the wiser. Karen went on to teach at the joint Community Sunday School for many years and served as secretary of the Beth Israel Board of Directors. Alan was an active participant in the landscaping committee for the new building. We really love being part of the Beth Israel family”. — Karen and Alan Shreeman