Welcome to Am HaYam. We are an egalitarian Jewish community led by the membership and dedicated to providing an inclusive, rich, and varied Jewish experience. Members represent a broad range of Jewish backgrounds, traditions, and beliefs and contribute to making this a vibrant Jewish presence on Lower and Outer Cape Cod.
Membership is open to any individual who would like to participate. There are no dues. We are supported solely by voluntary tax-deductible donations. All members are invited to take part in any of our programs and to join the committees that make them happen.
We offer a wide variety of programs to nourish your spirit, challenge your intellect, and strengthen your community ties. All programs are open to the public.
Am HaYam, a Havurah serving the Jewish community on the Lower and Outer Cape, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with a dinner at Preservation Hall in Wellfleet. A video produced by one of the founding members about the history of Am HaYam was shown; and entertainment was provided by Bart Weisman, well-known Klezmer musician.
Twenty-five years ago in March of 1987 a small group of Jewish families in and around Wellfleet decided to get together to celebrate Purim with a potluck supper in one of their homes. Aware that there was an increasing number of Jews living on the Lower and Outer Cape, they formed Am HaYam (people of the sea) first as a cultural and social organization and eventually adding religious services such as Friday night Shabbat and the high holy days, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This year, Am HaYam celebrated Purim with its usual service and shpiel and with a potluck supper to commemorate that first Am HaYam event.
Over the twenty-five years since its founding, Am HaYam has grown to include more than two-hundred members including year-rounders, seasonal members, and vacationers. It continues to provide religious services in addition to educational programs such as the Women's Torah Study, Rosh Chodesh Women, the Play Reading Group and Sunday Torah Study. Its Adult Education Committee provides educational and cultural programs with speakers and Jewish films covering a wide variety of topics and interests.
Am HaYam has no building of its own. It uses local venues such as the Brewster Ladies Library and the Wellfleet Library for some of its programs; and Chapel in the Pines in Eastham and the Federated Church in Orleans for its religious services. Potluck suppers and Passover Seders have been held in such venues as the Wellfleet Senior Center, St. Joan of Arc (Orleans), and the Orleans United Methodist Church. Am HaYam has no dues and relies entirely on donations to fund its services and programs as well as its own commitment to support local non-profit organizations such as Lower Cape Outreach Council, Habitat for Humanity, VNA, Homeless Prevention Council and more. It also supports LCOC with an annual food drive between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Am HaYam's services and events are free and open to the public. Am HaYam is a member of the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts and the Nauset Interfaith Association.