Congregation Beth El–Keser Israel

85 Harrison Street, New Haven, CT 06515-1724 | P: 203.389.2108 |

Our banner is based on BEKI’s stained glass, designed in 2008 by Cynthia Beth Rubin. For information on this and other of Cynthia’s work, go to: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Artisan Fabrication by JC Glass of Branford, CT

Old Sisterhood page

The Sisterhood of Congregation Beth El–Keser Israel is a vibrant arm of the Congregation providing numerous volunteer opportunities for its members and crucial services to the Congregation. It serves the Congregation in all aspects of its life and continues as a source of strength as the next generation of women join its ranks. The Sisterhood is affiliated with the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism.

Programs of the Sisterhood



The Giftshop at Beth El Keser Israel is a community service project of the BEKI Sisterhood. Here you can find a wide range of Judaica to enhance the beauty of the mitzvot you perform.  Items such as tallitot, kippot, candlesticks, seder plates, Chanuka menoras, and mezzuza cases are in stock at competitive prices. Importantly, we carry “kosher” mezzuza parchments to grace your doorposts!

The Giftshop is now the only store in New Haven with a wide selection of Jewish themed books of interest to children, young adults and adults. We are proud to feature many BEKI congregant authors whose works include poetry, fiction, and non-fiction scholarship, self-help, and humor. Additionally, you will find books to supplement learning Hebrew, Cookbooks, Adult coloring books, Shabbat activities and inclusive-family story books for children.  We also carry toys, games and plush torahs for children. You can find beautiful jewelry, gifts for celebrating simchas and something special for your host or hostess.

The Giftshop provides BEKI Sisterhood with the unique opportunity to showcase the beauty of original Judaica created by local artists. We carry sophisticated Israeli silver wire-wrap kippot and jewelry created by Batya. And, we are featuring colorful Bible-inspired prints to grace your home and Judaic-themed all-occasion cards, artwork mugs and tea towels by local artist Karen Kassap.

Gift certificates are available. Special orders considered.

We are always open by appointment.

Contact the Giftshop at

Be Inspired. Shop with Us and Support a Local Institution.


Book of Life Award

After Passover an outstanding member of the Sisterhood was honored with the Woman of Valor Award for her volunteer efforts and community service at the Book of Life event. The Congregation values the volunteer efforts of its members and historically the Sisterhood has been a primary locus of its wealth of volunteer support.

Honorees: Ruth Greenblatt, 5766/2006; Gila Reinstein, 5765/2005; (None) 5764/2004; Paula Hyman, 5763/2003; Darryl Kuperstock, 5762/2002; Gloria Cohen, 5761/2001; Gladys Lipkin, 5760/2000; Martin Faymann, Charles Ludwig, and Louis Rogoff, 5759/1999; Harriet Barstein, 5758/1998; Helen Ross, 5757/1997; Grace Geisinger, 5756/1996; Violet Ludwig, 5755/1995; Mikki Ratner & Mimi Kahn, 5754/1994.

Torah Fund

For many years before Passover the Sisterhood has held a Torah Fund Supper or other activity as a benefit for the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism to support the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the scholarly center of Conservative Judaism. The Sisterhood’s efforts help insure that the next generation of rabbis, cantors, scholars and learned laypeople will have the resources they need to continue the unbroken chain of learning that links one generation to another.

Special Needs Seder

Most years shortly before Passover, the Sisterhood, along with Kulanu and in conjunction with the Jewish Family Service and Abel Catering, hosted an Adult Special Needs Model Seder at BEKI. From 1983 to 2014, the Sisterhood has hosted several dozen Jewish adults from the New Haven area with a variety of special needs. For many, this was their only taste of Passover, and one that they relished and looked forward to each year. The Torah teaches of four types of children, and the Haggada reminds us that we must tell the story of the Exodus to each son and daughter of Israel in the way that is most meaningful to him or her. Through the efforts of Sisterhood, the generosity of Abel Catering and the good offices of the JFS, the Exodus was reenacted through song, food and story at a table set in the Passover tradition. This was one of several BEKI outreach efforts for children and adults with special needs.

Goody Bags for Kids at Holidays

At Purim and Simhat Torah, the Sisterhood provides small bags of candy and raisins for all children present. In this way the Sisterhood tries to make sure that each child has a good time and has sweet memories of the holiday. The Sisterhood also provides refreshments for adults at these gatherings.

Upcoming Events