Congregation Beth El Binah plants new roots

Author: James Russel
Source: The Dallas voice
Published: September 4, 2015

Congregation Beth El Binah, the Reform Jewish synagogue in Dallas, Texas with a primary outreach to the LGBT community, found a new home at Northaven United Methodist Church.

Rabbi Steve Fisch stands in front of Northaven United Methodist Church’s pipe organ holding one of Congregation Beth El Binah’s torahs that was moved earlier this week. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

A Reform Jewish rabbi and Methodist minister walk into a church.

What’s next?

“The beginning of a beautiful friendship,” said The Rev. Eric Folkerth of Northaven United Methodist Church.

At least that’s what both members of his church and Congregation Beth El Binah, the Reform Jewish synagogue with a primary outreach to the LGBT community, hope when the synagogue begins holding Shabbat services in a second story room after celebrating the High Holidays in the main sanctuary.

Beth El Binah said goodbye to the Resource Center, its home of 23 years on Monday, Aug. 31. The synagogue needed more space for its expanding education and outreach programs.

Folkerth and Rabbi Stephen Fisch have no doubts the relationship will work out.

One good sign? It only took a few months to hash out a deal between the church and synagogue, a remarkable feat for anyone familiar with the bureaucracy and hierarchy often embedded in organized religion. The fact that a deal was reached between two different religions also indicates the signs of a fruitful partnership.

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