Welcome to Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue
Our Seattle synagogue is an inclusive, progressive, independent Jewish community deeply rooted in the enduring evolving wisdom of our ancient texts and traditions, yet unafraid to borrow and build from other sources in the service of offering a transformative personal spiritual encounter to all who come under our roof. We aren’t your old-school shul!
“Bet Alef” means “The House of the One.” And that house is big enough to include everyone.
Bet Alef is not only committed to personal, spiritual transformation, but also the transformation of our communities through commitment to immigration reform, care for the earth, interfaith interaction and peace-building, lifelong learning and education, and diversity and inclusion in both theory and practice. We are also a registered 501(c)3.
We welcome everyone to join us in by visiting for services and to serve the greater Seattle community.
"Socially Distanced" doesn't mean we can't be together for Shabbat!
We currently gather online to experience Shabbat while we are unable to gather in person. These gatherings are wonderful ways to remain connected to others and to find spiritual depth and practice while we are unable to gather in person to protect one another from Covid. We hope that you will join us for these regular gatherings and invite your friends and family to join us as well!
Join us for Kabbalat Shabbat Evening Services via Zoom and live-streamed directly from Rabbi Olivier’s home to Facebook and YouTube on the 1st and 3rd Friday evenings at 7 PM.
Join us for our 5781 Beit Midrash: The Guide for the Perplexed – a study of Maimonides – on the 1st and 3rd Shabbat Saturday mornings at 10:30 AM.
Bet Alef has shown itself to be caring, compassionate, engaged and inviting – even when gathering through technology. While we do miss gathering together in person, we are also excited to invite everyone to join us in one of our many points of connection online.
You are very welcome to join us for our Kabbalat Shabbat Services, on the 1st and 3rd Friday evenings of the month at 7 PM. These are, of course, free and open to everyone. On Shabbat mornings following our Kabbalat Shabbat Services, for the year of 5781 (2020-2021) we are hosting a Beit Midrash on Maimonides’ “The Guide for the Perplexed” at 10:30 AM. We hope that these points of connection on Shabbat will help you feel connected to your Jewish practice and our beloved community.
When it is safe for us to gather together again, you can find us in person in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood, located inside Seattle First Baptist. We will also continue to gather online, so that we can maintain and sustain these wonderful connections that we have made around the world in this digital time. We will continue to stream and offer ways to participate digitally whenever possible.
Shabbat services are the perfect entry point not only to explore Jewish tradition and spirituality through ancient and modern prayers and practices, but to take a break from the hectic pace of our busy lives and gather together to remember that we are human *beings* and not just human *doings.*
Shabbat at Bet Alef synagogue is a regular oasis from our busy, over-stimulated, clock-driven lives. Come rest, reflect, re-connect to and remember the Oneness that we are. They are also a bridge to carry our mind, body, and spirit from the work-week into the fullness of Shabbat, and a laboratory to learn more about and experience the Jewish mystical path.
Celebrate With Us
There are many changes this year in our High Holy Days process. Please visit the High Holy Days page to learn all the details about our services this year.
The great early masters of the Chasidic movement of Eastern Europe, some 250 years ago, described the spiritual journey as an evolution from the egotism of the separate sense of self, to one maturing toward ever deeper humbleness, to the ultimate dissolving of the self into the Self.
They used a play on words, in Hebrew, to describe this journey
from ani, אֲנִי (i am), to ani, עָנִי (humble), to ain, אֵין (nothingness).
One of the paths that lead us into such depth of practice is the path of forgiveness that the High Holy Days challenge us to walk every year. Rabbi Olivier proposes to match each of the three unfolding Chasidic stages to the three major convocations of the Days of Awe: S’lichot, Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. You are invited to come discover together in community the personal transformation that is possible when we engage in such profound practices.
How to Join Us For Shabbat Online
All the details for how to take part in our Kabbalat Shabbat evening services and Beit Midrash are posted on our Ways to Participate Online page. Our Shabbat Prayer Booklet and Sefaria’s Pirkei Avot are also available for download. We look forward to sharing this sacred space with you together.
Beit Midrash 5781: The Guide of the Perplexed
Saturdays at 10:30 AM
Join us on the 1st and 3rd Shabbat mornings for our study of Maimonides’ The Guide of The Perplexed. This controversial text has been a point of contention for centuries in Jewish communities.
This philosophical masterpiece is, indeed, credited for ushering in a new era in Jewish thought and, as such, for being a transformative influence on our people.
Please purchase the translation of The Guide of The Perplexed by Shlomo Pines, which includes an Introductory Essay by Leo Strauss.