For more information about the history, philosophy, and practices of Reconstructionist Judaism, click here:

Alvin and Roberta Michaels continued - 


When the war was over, their lives began in earnest. Roberta became a teacher in Brooklyn and Al began his career as a pharmacist. He worked at the Harlem Hospital, the Brooklyn Hospital and opened his own business. Five years after their wedding, Bonnie-Dara was born and eight years later, Tammi-Ruth was born. Tammi had a learning disability, so Roberta stayed home for the next 10 years to give her the best possible start. After that, Roberta became the principal of a private school, Winston Preparatory, for special needs students in NYC - once more, always being there for Tammi-Ruth.

They loved to travel and were fortunate enough to visit France, Italy, England, Egypt, Spain, Israel and Morocco. Al told a story about their visit to Morocco. Tammi was small in stature and walked slowly. They took a tour out to a beach with a Moroccan guide. He thought Tammi was adorable and took her hand to lead her to the beach, which made her feel very special. On the way back, the Arab called her a “mini” and said in jest, “I’ll give you two camels for her.” They all got a good laugh from that.  
When Roberta was growing up, her family spent many summers at the Lake St. Catherine Inn, and Al and Roberta wanted to share that experience with their girls, as well. In 1995, after years of wonderful visits to Vermont, they bought a condominium in Manchester. By the year 2,000, they moved to Vermont permanently. Roberta had taken two years of training to become a docent to lead children through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was an enlightening experience for her, so she traveled back to the city for two years, several times a month to continue in this role. Al served on the Manchester Village Board for five very satisfying years, and on the Board of Trustees of Equinox on the Battenkill for ten years.
Their daughter, Bonnie-Dara, who is the curator of the Yeshiva Museum, lives in lower Manhattan with her husband Dr. Michael Tunik and their daughter Melissa.
I sat outside with them on their lovely deck surrounded by trees, watching the song birds at their feeders and the Humming birds darting back and forth. They are so loving and solicitous towards one another and clearly, still in love. 

Beth El Community Profiles
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Areas We Serve


Beth El serves a broad geographic area including southwestern Vermont, northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts, and eastern Resnsselaer and Washington counties in New York. Click Contact to see a map of our location.


Vision Statement


Congregation Beth El is a diverse and welcoming Jewish community, balancing traditional Jewish core strengths and values with a forward-looking perspective that respects our ever-evolving culture.


Building on an inherited congregational history dating back to 1909, Congregation Beth El looks to its history and roots for inspiration, while forging multiple paths for its members to address and express their Jewish identity.


Programs and activities that appeal to a wide range of congregants, opportunities to socialize with our geographically dispersed membership, and responsible financial stewardship are actions which will carry Congregation Beth El onward through a sustainable and secure second century



Congregation Beth El  107 Adams Street  Bennington  VT  05201


Tel: 802-442-9645     Email: cbevtoffice@gmail.com

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