Founded in 2004 and located in the Ozark Mountains in Northwest Arkansas, Congregation Etz Chaim is made up of families with diverse Jewish backgrounds with common goals and ideals. We offer a variety of programs, schooling, Torah study, services, and a Jewish Community.
The members of Congregation Etz Chaim pride themselves on creating a safe and comfortable place for any Jew no matter their background to participate, grow, learn, or just relax and enjoy being Jewish. CEC is unaffiliated, which enables us to meet the varied needs of Jews in our tight-knit community.
To enhance the meaning of our lives as Jews, we strive to foster the reciprocal connections between the synagogue and its congregants. Children, adults, individuals and families come together to create a multigenerational community participating in religious and social activities, lifelong Jewish learning and the larger Jewish community.
Congregation Etz Chaim offers a Jewish foundation and “home” for individuals and families within Northwest Arkansas and neighboring communities. We are fully committed to a policy of welcoming anyone into synagogue life and our community regardless of gender, marital status, race, age, sexual orientation or economic circumstances. We are committed to foster an environment that is a caring, multigenerational, and inclusive.
We encourage social responsibility. The performance of Mitzvot is an integral part of our Jewish lives and spiritual fulfillment — within our community and by outreach to others.
Congregation Etz Chaim was founded on Aug. 4, 2004, by 12 families who met on July 13, 2004, in a home in Rogers, Ark., to discuss the feasibility of such a task. The group with common goals and diverse talents was able to quickly establish meeting places, clergy, religious school and overall financial obligations. Once formed, the group quickly grew within six months to 32 families. On March 24, 2005, Congregation Etz Chaim’s 32 families purchased a small church on the corner of Moberly Road and Central Avenue in Bentonville, Ark., and converted it into the first synagogue in Benton County and said to be the first newly established synagogue in a rural southern community in more than 50 years.