In 1980, Beth El produced the first gender-neutral prayer book. Vetaher Libeynu (Purify Our Hearts) was a ground-breaking effort reported by the Associated Press and featured in many media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal. Five years in the writing by more than thirty Beth El members, this weekly/daily prayer book combined original English translations and meditations with the Hebrew sources. Vetaher Libeynu is now in its 12th printing.
Other prayer books created by Beth El members:
- Kanfay Shakhar (The Wings of Dawn)- siddur (prayer book) for weekdays
- Limnot Yamaynu (Number Our Days)- a prayer book for a house of mourning
- Chadesh Yamenu (Renew Our Days)- a Rosh Hashanah machzor (High Holiday prayer book)
Simchat Torah: For the holiday that celebrates the annual cycle of Torah reading, Beth El instituted a joyful new ritual of unrolling the parchment scroll in the sanctuary. Beginning in 1977, Beth El members have joined together to see the first five books of the bible in their entirety – carefully and lovingly holding up the hand-written Torah. This custom has since been adopted by congregations and communities around the world.