Using our Building — for Bar and Bat Mitzvah Families
We are delighted that you are considering having your event in our beautiful building. It is our hope that by providing you with information regarding room capacity, pricing, layout, etc., we can help to make planning your event easier and more efficient. If you are having a luncheon or evening party, or a catered affair, please submit the Building Use Application4 weeks before your event. It is not necessary to submit the Building Use Application Form if you are merely having a kiddush. If you have any questions about policy or equipment, please call the synagogue office at (978) 263-3061.
Accessibility Activities must be confined to the reserved space. If you are having a luncheon or evening party, the community court, sanctuary, social hall and kitchen are available for rent. The library, youth lounge, classrooms and office spaces are not available for rent. Access to restrooms, phone and cleanup materials will be available at all times.
Decorations No decorations, banners or signs may be placed on the walls or ceilings without prior approval. No sticky tape (including masking or drafting tape) may be used except on glass. Poster-gum may be used on painted walls. All decorations must be removed at the end of the function.
Food All food and food preparation must conform to Kitchen Policies and Kashrut Policies (see enclosed documents and see below). When a caterer will be used, the Rabbi must approve the caterer.
Alcohol No alcoholic beverages are permitted on the Synagogue premises without prior approval. To obtain approval the user must provide a certificate of liability insurance. Alcohol MAY NOT BE SOLD under any circumstances.
Electronics and Photography No outside appliances or electronic equipment may be used without prior approval. Use of the Synagogue sound system also requires prior approval. Note: during the service itself, no flash photography is allowed. Photographers may stand only in the extreme rear of the sanctuary. If you wish to video tape the service, slip a blank tape into the VCR recorder in the library
Entertainment A reception held directly following the service is considered in Jewish tradition as an extension of the religious celebration, a s’udat mitzvah (literally, a meal which is itself a mitzvah.) Any event that takes place on the Sabbath should not include elements that are contrary to the spirit of the Sabbath. Our congregation does include music as an integral part of our services and celebrations. We encourage music – live or recorded – which is appropriate for a Shabbat celebration – specifically, klezmer bands, Jewish and Israeli folk music groups or classical ensembles. Overly loud electronic amplification and inappropriate entertainment should not be a part of a Sabbath celebration. If you have further questions, please speak with the Rabbi. Similarly, if you are planning an evening event, which in late spring or summer may begin before the end of Shabbat, please speak with the Rabbi for guidelines on the timing of your celebration. Electronic music is permitted after sundown on Saturday.
Ushers You may bestow the honor of ushering at your discretion with the following provisos. At least one of your ushers must be a congregant. You are required to have two ushers for fifty guests and three ushers for 100 guests. If you need help acquiring ushers you should call the brotherhood a minimum of two months before your simcha.
Sanctuary The sanctuary holds 225 people including the choir. By opening up the swing space another 50 guests can be accommodated at your service.
Social Hall Beth Elohim's social hall is approximately 2,200 sq. ft. and can comfortably accommodate up to 120 guests at round and rectangular tables. A 400 sq. ft. dance floor and head table of 30 people is included in this configuration. At right is an example of a setup from an actual Bat Mitzvah. With additional tables set in the sanctuary, 30 additional people can be comfortably seated.
Community Court The spacious, bright alcove just outside the social hall and sanctuary is commonly referred to as the Community Court It is a friendly and attractive supplemental space that can be used for kiddush, cocktails and even appetizer service. Weather permitting, the beautiful outdoor garden at the entrance to the synagogue can also be enjoyed. Attached is the schedule of fees associated with building use and set-up.
Catering and Kitchen Use It is the custom at CBE for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah family to host and provide the Saturday morning Kiddush that usually consists of pastries, challah, wine and juice. Host families often supplement the traditional light kiddush with additional fancier pastries, fruit, coffee and tea. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah family is responsible for hosting the Kiddush for everyone attending Saturday morning services, which usually includes a small number of congregants and the choir, if they have participated in the service.
Any caterer will be delighted to work in our spacious, fully equipped kosher style kitchen. (Please consult the synagogue kashrut policy about what foods may be brought into the kitchen.) We usually set aside at least one refrigerator for the use of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah family and will try to accommodate additional storage and space needs, if we are informed in advance. Please see the Sisterhood compiled service guide for some suggestions as to caterers who have been used by families in the past.
If you are planning an extended Kiddush luncheon or evening party, you should pay particular attention to the following instructions. Also, please be aware that it is absolutely essential that you contact the office (978) 263-3061 2 weeks before your event to coordinate and confirm kitchen space and storage for luncheon and evening parties.
All uses of the kitchen by Congregation and non-Congregation groups/individuals must be scheduled in advance. If a caterer will be used, the Rabbi must approve the caterer and menu.
Most of the kitchen cabinets and pantry are kept locked. When kitchen use is planned, the appropriate cabinets and appliances will be locked/unlocked for you.
Supplies available for all Congregation-sponsored events are coffeepots, coffee, apple juice, hot and cold cups, sugar, stirrers, tablecloths, and limited amounts of napkins and paper plates. There is also a variety of cooking and serving utensils for Congregation use only. None of these supplies, except the coffeepots, may be used by an outside group or private party.
Everything that is used must be washed, dried and returned to its proper place. Cleaning supplies, including broom and dustpan, paper towels and dish soap are provided. All trash should be placed in the available trashcans. The janitor will empty the trashcans. However, if the bag is full, please tie the full bag and place next to the can. You should then put a new bag in the can. Trash bags are kept on the counter next to the microwave.
Leftover food from a meeting or other function should be taken home, given away or discarded. Do not leave anything in the refrigerator/freezer unless it is labeled with its intended use and dated. Conversely, do not take anything out of the refrigerator/freezer that is labeled for someone else’s function.
Paper goods bought for special functions should be taken home by the group or individual who purchased them, or they may be placed into the appropriate cabinets and become available for general use.
Groups or individuals using the kitchen equipment are responsible for the replacement of damaged or lost kitchen equipment.
No actual cooking from "scratch" is allowed on the Sabbath. Previously cooked foods may be warmed.
All food served in the Synagogue must be prepared and served in accordance with the Congregation’s Kashrut Policy. If you are planning a function with food, please refer to the Kashrut Policy document. If you have any other questions, call the Kitchen Chairperson or the Rabbi.
Brief summary of the kosher policy:
No mixing of meat and dairy products.
No non-Kosher ingredients (pork, shellfish). Be especially careful when bringing in packaged foods. Many crackers and cakes use animal fat. Read labels carefully.
Dairy foods may be prepared in members’ homes or by a non-Kosher caterer without regard to the utensils used.
Meat (Kosher only) must be prepared in the synagogue kitchen by congregants or provided by a kosher caterer.
Please remember: this is a community kitchen. Many people must use it, so use common sense and common courtesy in cleaning up afterwards and leaving it usable for the next person.
BUILDING ACCESS AND SECURITY
Security A board member will be assigned security duty during your Saturday morning service. This board member will arrive at the building ½ hour before services begin and will stay 1 hour after services are done. If you plan on arriving earlier or leaving later, then you will need to arrange for your own key. If you are holding an extended kiddush, afternoon or evening party, then you will be personally responsible for the building during the event. As such, you will not only need to arrange for a key, but you will need to designate a ‘security’ person for those hours of your event during which the board member will not be present. You and the security person should review the "Security Duties for Bar/Bat Mitzvah Families" document for a complete accounting of your duties. If you are planning an evening affair, you will need a copy of the "Security Duties for General Building Use" document.
"Keys" to the synagogue Swipe Cards may be obtained from the Congregation office secretary in the two days preceding your event. Call the administrator to set up a mutually convenient time (978) 263-3061. You should come in person and the administrator will show you how to use the security system and will answer any question you may have. You will also get a set of written instructions for accessing the building and a written set of security duties. A card should be used only for the event for which it was issued; a card should never be lent to someone for another event. If someone else will be opening the building for you or will be closing the building after you leave, BE ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT THEY KNOW HOW THE SECURTIY SYSTEM WORKS. They are welcome to come into the office for a demonstration or to call with any questions. The swipe card should be returned to the administrator’s office within two business days after your event. You may place it in the mail or slip it under the door to the administrator’s office.
In addition to the full sized commercial refrigerator, there is also a designated freezer that is available for events. The kitchen also includes a convection oven, a microwave oven and a six-burner commercial stove. In order to ensure adequate space for a luncheon or evening party, a two week advance notification of storage needs is necessary.
Included in the building use fee is the use of the synagogue’s tables or chairs. Any additional tables and chairs, as well as all linens must be rented. Recommended rental companies are listed in the Sisterhood service guide as well as the Yellow Pages.
A Kiddush, approximately 1 hour in length immediately following the service and involving our standard kiddush setup of 2 or 3 rectangular tables for food and beverage will not incur a room fee. The community court, social hall and the kitchen may be used.
An extended Kiddush, approximately 2 hours in length (and involving a more elaborate setup of the room, if desired) will incur a $200 fee for members and a $400 fee for non-members. The community court, social hall and the kitchen may be used.
A luncheon function extending till 4 p.m. will incur a $400 fee for members and an $800 fee for non-members. The community court, social hall and the kitchen may be used.
A dinner function extending till 11 p.m. will incur a $750 fee for members and a $1500 fee for non-members. The community court, social hall and the kitchen may be used.
A lecture, class or meeting in the social hall will incur a $200 for a member and a $400 fee for a non-member.
Deposit Policy Upon choosing a space, and committing to a definite date and time for your event, an Application for Building Use must be completely filled out and submitted to the synagogue office not later than 4 weeks before your event. Once the date and time is approved; a $250 deposit will be required for non-members in order to hold the requested space.
The room fee for non-members must be paid 1 month prior to the date of the event.
Cancellation Policy for Non-Members Cancellations must be made at least thirty (30) days prior to the date in order to receive the full refund less $100.
Recommended Services Guide for Bar/Bat Mitzvah Families Beth Elohim’s Sisterhood has put together an extensive resource guide. It includes names and numbers for florists, deejays, bands, photographers, videographers, hotels for guests, etc, and is based on information gathered from previous Bar/Bat Mitzvah families. Copies of the guide are available at the synagogue office.
It is the tradition at CBE for the family of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah to provide a floral arrangement or plants for the Bimah. CBE does not provide any floral arrangements.The family provides Bimah flowers as well as any additional floral arrangements for the building’s interior and exterior.
COST OF BUILDING USE
Regular Kiddush following Bar/Bat Mitzvah (<1 hour)
Kitchen, Social Hall and/or Community Court
2-3 tables for food & beverage
Extended Kiddush following Bar/Bat Mitzvah (1-2 hours)
Kitchen, Social Hall and/or Community Court
Tables for food & beverage, tables and chairs for seating as desired, etc. (setup and cleanup)
Luncheon (4-5 hours)
Kitchen, Social Hall, etc. (CBE MEMBERS ONLY—partial use of Sanctuary space)
Tables, chairs, etc. (Set-up and cleanup)
Dinner, wedding (evening event of 4-5 hours)
Kitchen, Social Hall, etc. (CBE MEMBERS ONLY—partial use of Sanctuary space)
Tables, chairs, etc. (Setup and cleanup)
Wedding Only (non-member)
Use of upstairs space for non-profit groups (Hadassah, JCC, etc.)