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Letter from the President

TBA President Stuart Zangwill


Stuart Zangwill

Welcome to Temple Beth Abraham!

Whether you are considering joining our synagogue or simply planning to visit, we are delighted to have you explore all that our vibrant community has to offer. Allow me to share with you just a glimpse of what makes us special, and I hope you’ll be inspired to come see for yourself.

At the heart of Temple Beth Abraham is our incredibly diverse community. We are proud to embrace individuals and families from a rich tapestry of backgrounds, cultures, and life experiences. Our congregation includes people of all ages, spanning from the young to the mid-life, and our beloved elders. We celebrate our diversity in age, background, race, sexual orientation, and levels of observance. Many of our members actively participate in leading services, reading Torah or Haftarah, and leading prayers, while others choose to observe and learn.

Our spiritual leader, Rabbi Bloom, has been the guiding light of our congregation for over two decades. Rabbi Bloom has set the tone for our synagogue, creating an atmosphere of warmth, inclusivity, and love. He knows each of our nearly 500 families personally, connecting with every individual, from the young to the old. The mutual respect and affection between Rabbi Bloom and our community are palpable, and his musical talents, such as playing the guitar during Friday night services and special events, add a unique and beautiful dimension to our worship.

Temple Beth Abraham has proudly served the Oakland Jewish Community since 1908. As members of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), we welcome you to join us for services on any Jewish holiday(Shabbat being the most frequent!). Our religious services are well-attended, with streaming options available on YouTube for those who cannot attend in person. We offer a thriving Gan (our preschool) and Bet Sefer (our religious school), boasting excellent facilities, including a stunning main sanctuary. We maintain a balanced budget and have no debt, ensuring the sustainability of our community. Join us on Shabbat mornings for a delectable, caterer-prepared kiddush lunch open to the entire community—a perfect opportunity for great food and even greater schmoozing.

Allow me to introduce myself. I am deeply honored to have been asked to complete David Goodwin’s term as President of TBA in October 2023. My family and I moved to Oakland 29 years ago, and we immediately found our home at TBA. I am a Pediatric Hospital Medicine physician and also serve the Jewish community as a Mohel, one of three at TBA. All four of my children attended Bet Sefer (TBA’s Hebrew school), with three of them also attending Gan Avraham, our preschool. I was born in Los Angeles, and first came to the Bay Area, where I attended UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) and later returned after medical school at UCSD to complete my residency at UCSF.

In conclusion, Temple Beth Abraham is a warm, heimish, participatory, and egalitarian community. We take great pride in our ability to welcome visitors with open arms, and our educators are passionate about teaching. Whether you want to learn to chant Torah, discover how to celebrate Shabbat at home with your children or have questions about Jewish practice, we invite you to visit us and ask. Our doors are always open, and we eagerly await the opportunity to welcome you into our wonderful Temple Beth Abraham family.