In 1978 a Holocaust Memorial monument was added to the interior, to memorialize the six million Jews who perished, and particularly the parents and families of members of Beth Jacob Congregation. Through the perseverance of Ernie Hollander, the memorial materialized to provide a place at which yizkor prayers could be said for those with unknown burial places. As Ernie explained it, some years ago, it's a tradition to go to the cemetery before Yom Kippur and since I don?t know where my family is, and there was no place for survivors to go, it was important to have some place appropriate for saying a prayer before the High Holidays. There was an artist who came to my junk business, who understood the importance of having a monument in memory of those who had perished. He agreed to create a sculpture for whatever money was raised. The cost was $40,000, but we could only raise $26,000 so that he worked half a year for nothing. Since you can't have a perfect image in the shul, the Rabbi said to make forms with the eyes closed, cut off the ears, or remove the whole face. The resulting sculpture erected in the main sanctuary is designed to represent six million Jews, and names six crematoria. Six figures are depicted, each one damaged. There is a little boy with four toes, a little girl missing a piece of hand; all three girls are missing a piece of hand. Hitler damaged everyone – physically, mentally, and even those who survived. Surrounding the figures is marble engraved with 60 names in gold lettering. A burning bush emerges out of the tablet, and on the wall to the right is a burning Torah with Hebrew letters spread throughout the flames. This tells us that while the parchment burns, the Hebrew letters soar upwards in a new beginning. Finally Ernie expressed that, now on the Sunday before Yom Kippur there is a place to say prayers and let out some steam.
Beth Jacob has maintained an Orthodox Jewish Cemetery in Oakland for the last hundred years. For more information please contact us.
Beth Jacob is home to a wonderful reference and learning library located just outside our small sanctuary. The library includes Talmudic and legal texts, Torah and Tanach volumes with commentaries available, Jewish philosophy, reference and history sections. Texts include both Hebrew and English volumes. Feel free to take a look and see what interests you.
Our Mikvah, or ritual bath, is open to members of the community for personal use. It is also used during the day as a Keilim Mikvah - to immerse food utensils before use.
For family purity (evening) appointments: In order to ensure the privacy and safety of Mikvah goers and attendees the mikvah coordinators request that they are made aware of all times that the Mikvah is being used 24 hours before the appointment.
To schedule an appointment you may either:
1) Input it yourself into the Google Calendar with the name of the person attending, if you already have someone attending for you. *
2) The attendant can put into the Google Calendar when she will be attending.
4) You can call the new BJC Mikvah number: (510)-210-3823 and if not answered right away, one of us will call you back within 48 hours.
*If you need assistance understanding the Google Calendar please contact us through the email address or phone number above and we can walk you through it.
We welcome questions and suggestions!
All the best,
Bryna Fox and Meira Albert
Beth Jacob is proud to offer our two social halls with supervised Kosher kitchens to our members for family functions. In 2009, our small social hall won the J. Reader's Choice Award for best venue for a small party. Aside from the weekly Kiddush/Lunch, we also host Brit Parties and other small scale affairs there. Our large social hall accommodates larger venues, such as Shabbat Bar Mitzvah parties, our annual dinner, and other events. For more information, please contact our office.
Born in the summer of 2004, Beth Jacob's NCSY Lounge is a hidden treasure of our congregation. What used to be a classroom is now a place where young and old congregate for hours of fun! Our Lounge has a Foosball & Hockey table, both of which have seen some serious competition on their fields. The lounge also boasts a built in projector screen on which movies and our Nintendo Wii can be seen as larger than life. The lounge is open weekly on Monday nights for teens to come and hang out as part of our NCSY program, younger kids often hang out on the Hockey & Foosball tables on Shabbat morning, and adults can be found watching movies late night on the big screen. To top it all off, this room was built and set up by our very own congregants!