Our congregation is an independent, conservative Jewish community with deep roots in Pottstown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. We recently celebrated our 125th anniversary.
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. Congregation Hesed Shel Emet is so very proud to have Rabbi Flax and his wife Vicki join our congregational family.
Rabbi Flax can be reached at: 610-326-1717
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 <click here for membership info>. 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 grade 3, the children begin to learn Hebrew with an expanded curriculum. At that point in time an additional class is held on Tuesday afternoons from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM.
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.
During the religious school year, students will enjoy a variety of fun, holiday-based events, such as our “mock” Passover Seder, a (Hanukkah) party (and gifts!) and the kids’ favorite - Purim play and carnival. We have an active music program to assist in learning prayers and traditional melodies.
2018-2020 Board of Governors
President: Julia Katz Secretary: Stephanie Windrim
Treasury/Finance: Ed Freedman, Tom Faranda Ritual/Education: Mark Pastor
Cemetery: Paul Prince, Allan Altschull Communications/Administration: Bob Misko, Larry Cohen
Sisterhood: Amy Wolf
YOU MAY CONTACT THE OFFICERS LISTED ABOVE BY EMAILING YOUR CONCERN WITH THE PERSON'S NAME IN THE SUBJECT LINE TO HESEDSHELEMET575@GMAIL.COM. YOUR MESSAGE WILL BE FORWARDED.