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Beit Simcha Begins/A New Congregation

Beit Simcha Begins this Month in Northwest Tucson

Congregation Beit Simcha (House of Joy), a new Jewish synagogue based in Northwest Tucson, is proud and excited to announce its first services, classes and events beginning October 2018. Established by a group of passionate, caring congregants and Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Beit Simcha is dedicated to creating a vibrant community that will strive each day to “Serve God with joy!” (Psalm 100:2). As a new progressive congregation in the northwest region of Tucson, Beit Simcha is open to all throughout the metropolitan area, and will provide weekly Shabbat services, youth and adult education, social justice opportunities, outreach and cultural Jewish programming in an underserved sector of Southern Arizona.

Inaugural Friday night Shabbat services will be held October 19, 2018 at 6 pm in the Pozez Event Room at the new Jewish Federation Building on River Road (just north of the JCC)—please check our new website, for more information. The Torah portion for that Sabbath is Lech Lecha, the beginning of Judaism with God’s call to Abram to “Go to the land that I will show you.” Youth Education and B’nai Mitzvah classes begin Wednesday, October 17th at the classroom location of Beit Simcha, 7493 N. Oracle Road, Suite 131 (north of Ina Road on the west side of Oracle Road). Adult Education Academy courses begin the following week with the initial sessions of "The Genesis Project," on Tuesday, October 23rd at 11:45 am and “The Zohar: the Kabbalistic Crown” on Thursday, October 25 at 11:45 am. The first Shabbat Morning Hike and Service with Rabbi Samuel Cohon will be held Saturday, October 20th, departing from Catalina State Park at 8 am.

Congregational President Craig Sumberg says, “We are thrilled to begin our new temple, and are dedicated to building a warm and welcoming congregation with strong connections throughout the community. Rabbi Cohon is an inspirational leader with an innovative approach to contemporary Jewish life.”

The mission statement of the synagogue reads, “Congregation Beit Simcha works toward a society in which Judaism is central to the lives of Jews and is a profound and positive force in the community and the world. Drawing on the incredible tradition of Judaism, Beit Simcha will reach far beyond the walls of the synagogue to learn, worship, serve and continually redefine what it means to be Jewish today.”

Congregation Beit Simcha’s first Torah scroll is one of the famed Czech Memorial Scrolls, received by Rabbi Cohon and his son Boaz from the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust at Westminster Synagogue in London, England on October 10, 2018. The regular use of this scroll will bring back to life a Jewish community that is gone and connect the congregation to Jewish history and heritage in powerful ways. Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon’s great-uncle, Rabbi Harold Reinhart of blessed memory, the founding rabbi of Westminster Synagogue, was instrumental in the rescue of these Holocaust-era scrolls and their refurbishment and redistribution to synagogues throughout the world.

For more information on services, adult classes, life-cycle ceremonies and other questions go to the synagogue website,, or call (520) 276-5675. For youth education (Religious/Hebrew School) information email Education Director Lori Riegel at or call (520) 276-9244.

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