Our Story

We are a Reform synagogue, founded in 1981 and made up of more than 750 households. We are a progressive congregation that provides a sacred community for worship, study, and Tikkun Olam.

Bet Shalom was founded in the spring of 1981 when a small group of families organized and engaged Rabbi Norman Cohen as its first rabbi to help establish the fledgling congregation.  During its first two and a half years, Bet Shalom held services and Religious School at the Sabes JCC in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. After moving to our first permanent home in downtown Hopkins in 1984, the congregation began to grow, attracting both individuals and families as Bet Shalom became a place where we could laugh, cry, love, and grieve as we practice our Judaism together.  

In 2002 our congregation realized the dream of building our own facility in Minnetonka which answered so many needs the Hopkins building did not.  Our “new” home houses our preschool, Bet Shalom Yeladim, our youth education and engagement programs, adult education, a fully functioning kitchen, program, and offices space and more, all of which encircle our sanctuary in the center of the building.  The sanctuary serves as an intimate prayer and gathering space, yet expands to accommodate a larger congregation at different times during the year.

Bet Shalom has been blessed with an esteemed list of clergy since its founding.  Rabbi Norman Cohen was the first Senior Rabbi and after leading the congregation through its first 35 years, became Rabbi Emeritus in 2016.  Cantor Sarah Lipsett-Allisonz”l first came to Bet Shalom in 1997 as our Cantorial Soloist and became Cantor after completing her studies in 2006.  Rabbi David Locketz began as Assistant Rabbi in 2004, became Associate Rabbi in 2007 and Senior Rabbi in 2016. Rabbi Crimmings joined our clergy team as Rabbi Educator in 2013 and became Associate Rabbi 2017.  Cantor Richard Schwartz was installed as our Cantor in 2018. Our Clergy, staff, and synagogue mission are supported by the Board of Trustees which is comprised of 18 members.

Today, we are more than a congregation, we are a community. We are single, married, widowed and divorced. We are LGBTQ, and we are straight. We are single parents, coupled parents, Jews by birth and Jews by choice. We are proud of this diversity and provide a variety of ways for each individual to express his or her Judaism.