Congregation Beth Israel is the center of celebration and of remembrance for every important event in a Jewish person's life.

Brit Milah

Our Rabbis and Cantor are happy to work with you to help you have a meaningful Brit Milah ceremony. We are happy to recommend a mohel among the local options including Dr. Richard Lowensohn, who is an obstetrical sub-specialist and professor at OHSU and has been certified by Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion to perform Jewish religious circumcisions.


Baby Naming

Naming and blessing a Jewish baby or child is his or her first welcome into Jewish life. The naming takes place within the congregational community at Shabbat Services, or congregants may have a naming ceremony at home.

B'nei Mitzvah

A Bar or Bat Mitzvah (beginning at age 13) celebrates the child's first reading from the Torah before the Congregation. Preparation starts with a meeting among the family, the rabbi and the educator. We have a two-year curriculum for our B'nei Mitzvah Students, which includes Hebrew, Jewish Studies and Tikkun Olam.


Congregation Beth Israel offers several settings for weddings of all sizes. Ceremonies can be held in the Main Sanctuary, Pollin Chapel or Shemanski Chapel. Blumauer Auditorium and Goodman Hall provide two options for celebrations, from small intimate receptions to full service dining and dancing receptions.

Beth Israel Cemetery

Congregation Beth Israel provides a beautifully maintained cemetery at 426 Southwest Taylors Ferry Road in Southwest Portland, 97219. The on-site Landau Chapel may be used for funeral services. Family plots may be purchased in a newly developed area of the cemetery. Ground burial is available as well as vault entombment and niches for urns in four mausoleums. Please call or email us for additional cemetery information.  Click here for a map.

Temple upperright

Sermon Texts

5778/2017 High Holiday Sermons

Rabbi Cahana's Kol Nidre SermonSanctuary

Rabbi Cahana's Rosh Hashanah Morning SermonSummer of Love / Summer of Hate – Love is What We Need

Rabbi Joseph's Erev Rosh Hashanah SermonDon't let the Fear keep you from the Joy


Sermons from Past Years

Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana
Senior Rabbi

5777/2016 Rosh Hashanah Morning SermonWelcome Home - Finding Life's Meaning Together

5777/2016 Kol Nidre SermonSh’ma Yisrael – Why Can’t We Listen? Black Lives Matter and a People in Pain

5776/2015 Kol Nidre SermonFor the Sake of Heaven

5776/2015 Rosh Hashanah Morning SermonG-d is still speaking - Climate Change

5775/2014 Kol Nidre Sermon
Facing Israel - The Struggle for Hope

5775/2014 Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon
Our Struggle with G-d

5774/2013 Kol Nidre Sermon Text
Cast a Giant Shadow

5774/2013 Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon Text
Relational Judaism

5774/2013 Prayer at the start of a New Year
Prayer read at the beginning of Erev Rosh Hashanah Service

The Battle for Gun Control - We Are Better than That. 12/21/2012
The Battle for Gun Control

5773 Kol Nidre Sermon Text
Israel - Challenges and Family

5773 Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon Text
Rabbi Sputnik and the Dreams of a Generation

5772 Kol Nidre Sermon Text
The Jewish State

5772 Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon Text
Marriage Equality

5772 Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon Text
We are Broken but We are Valued

Rabbi Rachel L. Joseph
Assistant Rabbi

5777/2016 Erev Rosh Hashanah SermonAgents of Hope

5776 Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon: Hineni

5775 Rosh Hashanah Evening Sermon
We Are Shattered Vessels

5774 Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon Text
Ani Ma’amin' - I Believe

5773 Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon Text
Transformational Judaism

Cantor Ida Rae Cahana
Senior Cantor

5772 Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon Text
Hineini. Shofarot: Be present, pay attention to the moment

5772 Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon Text
Remember who you wanted to be