Congregation Beth Am celebrates 30th Anniversary at Labor Day Picnic in Carmel Valley


Every Labor Day, Congregation Beth Am (CBA) has a Labor Day Picnic that is free to all members and potential members of the synagogue. This year is very special as it is the 30th Anniversary of this synagogue that started in a tire store in Solana Beach.

“Come for a Day” and stay all year as Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner! As always, the Congregation Beth Am Annual Labor Day Picnic will be a hit…and it’s free! So if you are not a member, call to RSVP for the free picnic on Monday, Sept. 2, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at 858-481-8454 or With Kosher hot dogs and burgers (turkey and veggie too) and much more, including endless games for kids, it does not get any better than a great, free party!

Congregation Beth Am is located at 5050 Del Mar Heights Rd San Diego, 92130. Visit

History of Congregation Beth Am

More than 30 years ago a group of dedicated Jewish families wanted to see a Conservative presence in Coastal North County San Diego. The undertaking proved to be enormous. Rabbi Wayne Dosick, together with a small group of families formed Congregation Beth Am.

Settling in the facility, affectionately called the “Tire Store,” membership grew quickly with people coming from as far south as La Jolla and as far north as Oceanside. The very first year, Beth Am boasted a Hebrew School, the Jewish Learning Center. Congregation Beth Am also had one of the first Conservative ordained females, Rabbi Leslie Alexander, as an associate Rabbi and Judith Bender as cantor.

It was a stunning night, in June of 1999, when Congregation Beth Am opened its doors to its new sanctuary and social hall, according to Steve Hochberg, CBA president. During that same year, the congregation hired Rabbi David Kornberg as Assistant Rabbi. Rabbi Kornberg instituted the center for Lifelong Jewish Learning, among many other duties. Rabbi Kornberg was enthusiastically welcomed as senior Rabbi when then-Rabbi Arthur Zuckerman retired in 2004.

With over 700 families to serve, the Board of Directors decided to hire an assistant Rabbi and after a two-year search Rabbi Matthew Earne was welcomed in 2006. Congregation Beth Am is blessed to have two young, vibrant and creative Rabbis who complement each other.

Congregation Beth Am’s award-winning Youth Movement serves children in kindergarten through 12th grade, takes part in local and regional events, and has recently won the Chapter of Excellence Award in the Far West Region three times in a row.

Congregation Beth Am’s newest teen education program, Sabra, Hebrew for Credit, is now in its fourth year. With two active and involved Rabbis, a committed Executive Director, Dr. Ilana De Laney and a caring and dedicated Board of Directors, led by President Steve Hochberg, Congregation Beth Am offers something for everyone.

With traditional services, Family Services, Rock’n Shabbat, Campfire Shabbat, daily minyan and even a Sunrise Minyan, there is a way to worship for all. The Center for Lifelong Jewish Learning offers a wide variety of classes from cooking to arts, to spiritual and language.

No matter what week or month, there is programming for everyone, whether your interest is Social Action, Israel, celebrating holidays and festivals, social activities, family or adult retreats, fundraising and even wine-tasting.

Now in our 30th year, Congregation Beth Am’s spirit has never been higher as it strives to continue to meet the needs of the community. In the words of Theodore Herzl, “Im tirtzu, ein so aggadah” — “If you will it, it is not a dream.”