March 2017
Rosemary Ponnekanti, Tacoma News Tribune

Craig Sailor, Tacoma News Tribune

Craig Sailor, Tacoma News Tribune

February 2017
Letters to the editor, Tacoma News Tribune

August 2016
Rosemary Ponnekanti, Tacoma News Tribune

December 2014
Costco chairman and co-founder Jeff Brotman is donating nearly $1 million to Temple Beth El in Tacoma to build a preschool and day care.

Brotman grew up in Temple Beth Israel, which in 1960 merged with Tacoma’s other Jewish congregation to become Temple Beth El...

Read more here:
April 2014
Outside Temple Beth El at 5975 S. 12th St., teen members of the Jewish congregation started putting 6,000 yellow flags on the lawn, each one representing 1,000 Jews
Read more here:

Candles are burning in the homes of Rabbi Bruce Kadden’s congregation today, in honor of those killed in the Holocaust. Kadden said members lit the candles Sunday night in honor of the Jewish remembrance day for the genocide, called Yom Hashoah, and will burn them for 24 hours as part of the annual observance...

Alexis Krell; Staff writer; Tacoma News Tribune

Read more here:

Outside Temple Beth El at 5975 S. 12th St., teen members of the Jewish congregation started putting 6,000 yellow flags on the lawn, each one representing 1,000 Jews who died in the Holocaust. They hoped to finish Sunday, and if not, said they would in coming days.

The project coincides with Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is Sunday. The flags will stay up until April 30.

Alexis Krell; Staff writer; Tacoma News Tribune

Read more here:
June 2013
"It’s awe-inspiring that we live in a place where young Jews are doing inspirational things for their community. Whether it’s protecting the rights of kids, doing outreach to increase participation in the Jewish community, or cooking a damn good meal, we salute these 10 Jews, all under the age of 40, and thank them for doing all they do."
November 2010
In 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected president, the Cold War raged between the Soviet Union and United States, and two Jewish groups in Tacoma overcame their differences and merged. The result was one larger, healthy congregation called Temple Beth El, which is observing its 50th anniversary this year.
STEVE MAYNARD; Staff writer; Tacoma News Tribune
Leah Holland, Temple Beth El’s new cantor and education director, who will be installed into her position on Nov. 12.

Rabbi Bruce Kadden on what Judaism teaches us about the value of interfaith relations.

Printed in Associated Ministries' The Channel, page 5.

September 2010


"A Taste of Judaism:  Are You Curious?" is a unique program designed to engage "beginners" - Jewish or not - in learning more about Judaism.  It has attracted more than 70,000 participants across North America during the past fifteen years, welcoming all who are curious about the Jewish tradition: unaffiliated Jews, interfaith couples, and interested non-Jews.

The three-session classes, given free of charge, are being offered in October at Temple Beth El in Tacoma.  For those who would like to explore or re-explore the foundations of Jewish tradition or for those who may be searching for an entrée into Jewish life, the course covers the Jewish perspective on spirituality, values and community.

Comfortable surroundings and an informal atmosphere encourage free and lively discussion of Reform Judaism's approach to living in our rapidly changing society.  Using traditional and modern Jewish texts, experienced rabbis, cantors and educators discuss the ways that Judaism addresses issues in our personal and professional lives.

For further information or to register for A Taste of Judaism, contact Rebecca Farley at (253) 564-7101.

This program is sponsored by the Union for Reform Judaism.


Cantor Holland on Tacoma KOMO

July 2010


TACOMA, WASH. – On Tuesday, July 6, Temple Beth El will officially welcome Cantor Leah Holland as its new cantor and religious education director.

“Thrilled” to be joining Temple Beth El as the new cantor-educator, Cantor Holland comes to Tacoma with credentials from the American College of Cantors.  Having decided to devote her career to Jewish music and the Jewish community, she entered cantorial school at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. During one year in Jerusalem and five years in New York City, she served as a student cantor at Reform Congregation Oheb Sholom in Reading, Pennsylvania, and Moses Montefiore Congregation in Bloomington, Illinois.  Cantor Holland earned her Masters of Sacred Music in 2009, and was invested as a cantor in May 2010.

Cantor Holland will be replacing Rabbi Elizabeth Wood, Temple Beth El’s current religious education director and cantorial soloist, who is moving to New York to attend cantorial school in the fall.

Temple Beth El will hold a special welcoming service for Cantor Holland on Friday evening, July 9, at 7:30 p.m.

Before entering cantorial school Leah received her Master’s of Music Education degree from Delta State University in Cleveland and received her Bachelor of Arts in music summa cum laude, at Barat College in Lake Forest, IL. She has worked as music teacher and choral director at the Quest Academy in Palatine, IL. She also worked for two years as a teacher responsible for general and choral music, at Greenville-Weston High School in Greenville, MS as a member of Teach for America Corps.

Cantor Holland grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, where she discovered her love of Jewish music and singing in her home temple's choirs. She was a long-time camper and counselor at Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute, a Reform Jewish summer camp in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

For more information on Cantor Leah Holland or Temple Beth El, please contact Rabbi Bruce Kadden at (253) 564-7101 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit our website at


TBE's 50th on JTNews

TBE's 50th in the Tacoma Weekly

April 2010


TACOMA, WASH. – Saturday, April 17, Temple Beth El in Tacoma will celebrate 50 years of serving the Jewish Community in the South Sound.

Temple Beth El will celebrate its anniversary with a banquet dinner held at the Fircrest Golf Club.  The dinner will honor those who have been a part of the Temple Beth El community since its merger, and also those who played a large part in Temple Beth El’s development and growth over the past 50 years.  Included in the speakers is Rabbi David Fine, a specialist in congregations in transition/merging congregations, speaking on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism.  The evening will also feature performances, including the music of Julie Mirel, a professional singer who has performed in concert halls and synagogues throughout the Western United States for 45 years.

Temple Beth El was founded in 1960 through the merger of two separate congregations in the Tacoma area – the conservative Sinai Temple and the reform Temple Beth Israel.  The two congregations, having struggled financially for years and seeing Sinai Temple without a spiritual leader, underwent momentous change in order to merge into one congregation.  Ultimately, with the guidance of Rabbi Richard Rosenthal, the two congregations successfully joined together with only a few past members from the Sinai Temple refusing to affiliate.

For the past 50 years, Temple Beth El has led the Jewish community in the South Sound, growing to fit the needs of its community.

For more information on Temple Beth El’s anniversary event or the temple itself, contact Rebecca Farley at or (253) 564-7101 and at





Our Community