Congregation Hesed Shel Emet has a long and rich history in Pottstown. We are an independent Jewish community rooted in the Conservative tradition. Our mission is to provide for our members and their families a warm and friendly place to associate with each other and to learn and increase their knowledge of the Jewish religion; to provide Jewish ceremonies and traditions for life cycle events such as weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs; and to provide Jewish education for our children and Jewish religious services to our members. Read more.
We welcome visitors and hope to see you at one of our services or events!
Rabbi Ira Flax serves as our rabbi and spiritual leader. Rabbi Flax studied at Gratz College, Hofstra University, Yeshivat Aysehl Avraham and JTSA. During his first year of graduate school he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Air Force Chaplain Service. After years of study with many leading rabbis and scholars, Rabbi Flax entered the Air Force in 1988, endorsed as a conservative rabbi by the Jewish Welfare Board.
Rabbi Flax served overseas in Turkey, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. Creating bridges between the various communities he was awarded numerous citations, commendations and awards for his dedicated service. He received a commendation for a Seder held in honor of the sesquicentennial celebration of Jewish life in Turkey. He received another commendation for his work with the 76 wounded soldiers evacuated from the battle of Mogadishu, known as the “Black Hawk Down” incident.
He served as an adjunct professor at the United States Air Force Academy lecturing for the departments of History, Philosophy and Political Science. In recognition of exceptional outstanding service he was awarded the Cadet Wing’s Plaque and Saber, the only chaplain ever so honored. In 1996 Rabbi Flax received a “Letter of Excellence” as outstanding Orator at Squadron Officers School. In 2006 he was named outstanding preacher for the AF Chaplain Service. Rabbi Flax was invited to the White House twice, and offered the benediction at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Rabbi Flax retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel with more than 30 distinct medals, awards, citations and commendations.
Rabbi Flax can be reached at: 610-326-1717
EDUCATION & HEBREW SCHOOL
At Congregation Hesed Shel Emet, we believe it is the responsibility of everyone in our Jewish community to educate our children in our traditions. That is why we are proud to offer FREE TUITION to children of our members in good-standing at the Hesed or 1982 level. Religious education should start at birth and be nurtured and fostered by the family in the home. Our formal Religious School education begins in Kindergarten with weekly Saturday classes from 9:15 AM until 12:00 PM (noon). At 3rd grade, the children begin to learn Hebrew with an expanded curriculum and an additional weekday afternoon class held from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM. This class for the 2019-2020 school year is on Thursday afternoon.
Our education program includes specialized tutorials for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah student. There is no fee or charge for the tutoring or the religious ceremony for members in good standing at the 1892 Level or Hesed Level . (See membership information at the bottom of this page).
Our children are engaged throughout the school year in the Torah service during our weekly Shabbat services, and special events for holidays such as Hanukkah, Tu B'Shevat, Purim and Passover.
2020-2022 Board of Governors
You may contact the officers listed above by emailing your concern with the person's name in the subject line to:
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Secretary - Judy Bieberfeld
Treasury/Finance - Tom Faranda, Paul Prince
Communications/Administration - Bob Misko, Larry Cohen
Ritual - Philip Borger
Cemetery - Paul Prince