“One day Honi was journeying on the road and he saw a man planting a carob tree. He asked ‘How long does it take for this tree to bear fruit?’ The man replied ‘Seventy years’. Honi then further asked him ‘Are you certain that you will live another seventy years?’ The man replied ‘This man found a world containing full-grown carob trees. Just as my ancestors planted those trees for me, so I too plant them for my children.’” (Ta’anit 23a)
In 1962 four couples discussed the need for a Conservative synagogue in the South Bay Area. An ad announcing an exploratory meeting resulted in a gathering of more than one hundred people. Committees were formed to organize a new congregation. Incorporation papers were signed on January 21, 1963, and filed February 13, 1963, and Congregation Beth David was born! In April Congregation Beth David began holding services at the Meeting House inSanta Clara, with High Holy Day services and Hebrew School classes later that year.
Over the course of the next decades CBD has celebrated many firsts: the first Bar Mitzvah in October 1964, the first wedding in 1972, and the first chavurah formed in 1974. Our Hebrew High was launched in 1976, and in 1980 the Congregation held services in its current location for the first time.
Today, 50 years later, Beth David comprises a community of over 500 families. The synagogue is nationally recognized for its rich and varied programs. It is locally known for our interfaith and social action activities. As we approach our 50th anniversary, we are proud that Congregation Beth David retains the innovative spirit and communal warmth of our early days, and, at the same time, remains vibrant and creative in embracing the next 50 years.
Synagogues are the central institutions of Jewish life. CBD is where we and our families worship, learn, celebrate life-cycle events, extend community to support one another, and come together for cultural, spiritual, and social functions. We remain an important contributor to the Santa Clara Valley Jewish community.
CBD’s “Jewish Legacy” giving program provides funds for our Endowment to support programs and activities beyond the capacity of our standard operating funds – activities such as owning and managing the Beth David Memorial Gardens; helping co-invest in a home for future clergy; bringing a cantor for the High Holidays; and helping ensure the continuity and enhancement of our award-winning Religious School programs. Our Endowment will also continue to ensure that every Jew who wants to can participate in our synagogue life, regardless of their financial circumstances.
Just as a family’s savings provide security and opportunity, so CBD’s Endowment paves the way for a more secure tomorrow. As our Endowment grows, it will provide an important guarantee of a vibrant future for CBD and future generations of Jews in the decades ahead.
Why should you consider a bequest or other planned gifts to CBD?
When thinking about the future, we all worry about the worldly needs of those we will leave behind. But we also should concern ourselves with sustaining the world that they will inherit. By including CBD in your estate planning, you will help ensure that Judaism and Torah in our community will continue to flourish. Your gift helps guarantee the Jewish future in Santa Clara Valley.
A planned gift connects you to our community forever. For many of us, a legacy gift in a will or trust would not compromise our current standard of living or our ability to make gifts now. By planning our future, we can make sure that our loved ones are taken care of while also ensuring the future of the world that they will inherit.
Just as our ancestors built for us, now it is our turn. We invite you to join with us as we pave the way for future generations – and the next 50 years – at CBD.