As the newly elected board of directors’ president of Temple Bat Yam, I would like to reach out to everyone, Jewish and non, in Lake Tahoe and invite you to learn about our synagogue. Having just celebrated 30 years here on the South Shore, we are proud of our community.
Our Rabbi, Evon Yakar, is what makes Temple Bat Yam so special. His love of nature is combined with his love of Judaism and there is no better place to bring God and nature together than Lake Tahoe and the Carson Valley. Rabbi Yakar is also instrumental in the Adventure Rabbi Program and, because of his adventurous spirit, we have many outdoor activities — which make our synagogue unique compared to all others.
Rabbi Evon conducts services while on the mountain one Saturday each month in the winter. Literally on the mountain, in the snow, and not in the synagogue. We start off the morning skiing/boarding together and the Rabbi gathers us for a Shabbat Service (less than 30 minutes) outside of Tamarack Lodge.
Every year, in the fall, we put on a mountain biking event which we call “Riding Chai,” It brings together people of all biking ability levels to ride on the majestic trails in Tahoe. For those who would rather not go biking, we have some services out in the forest on Shabbat in the summer months. Essentially, we do our best to make Lake Tahoe itself a religious and spiritual experience.
We also recognize that we live in a resort community. So, we make our High Holiday services available to everyone visiting, as well as the locals. Hopefully you will come to see, our synagogue is not a constrained by its four walls kind of place you may have known in years past. While we are a Reform synagogue, we strive to give everyone who desires a connection to Jewish heritage, tradition, learning and living. Please come by to say hello and see what we are about!
— Gary Snelson is the president of the board of directors for Temple Bat Yam.