Founded in 1951 by a small group of Jews who met in each other’s homes to practice their faith, a culture of warmth and mutual caring was created in those early days that is still the practice at our congregation. Because those founders represented an isolated group on a small island, they became family in more ways than just spiritually, they shared good times and supported each other in times of hardship, showing real concern for each other.
Today, we no longer worship in each other’s homes, but instead we share our warm and inviting synagogue as we mark the important moments in each other’s lives. We owe this special place to the diligence and hard work of our founders, who envisioned a permanent future for Jews on this beautiful island and formally established the synagogue as a legal entity in 1969. A reflection of their determination and skill at community building, it took them only four years to make our synagogue building a reality in 1973.
Temple Beth Shalom has been blessed with riches in many ways, not the least of which have been with our wonderful spiritual leaders. After being ably lay-led for many years, our community welcomed Rabbi Sandford Hahn, z”l, as our first Rabbi in 1994. With pride in Rabbi Hahn’s stature as a prominent figure in the Conservative Movement and in the Philadelphia Jewish Community, Temple Beth Shalom experienced a true transformation during his more than 11 years of leadership. His prominence in the life of our congregation is recalled each year with the Rabbi Sandford Hahn Memorial Lecture, which draws nearly a “full house” of Jewish and non-Jewish participants to hear our guest speaker.
Rabbi Rosalind Glazer brought her special talents to help our congregation transition through the loss of Rabbi Hahn upon his retirement in 2004. Her melodies, her concern for congregants, and her unique style were hallmarks of her tenure on Temple Beth Shalom’s Bima.
With such riches of leadership, we are truly blessed to have another wonderful Rabbi as our spiritual leader. Rabbi Gerald Fox joined Temple Beth Shalom in the Summer of 2006 and has been making connections and bringing smiles to our congregation since even before his official arrival. A wonderful speaker and teacher, Rabbi Fox creates a special atmosphere of learning and warmth at each service and program he leads. Our congregants look to him as a spiritual guide and a confidant as he engages our members on many levels.
We invite you to experience the rich traditions and relaxed atmosphere of Temple Beth Shalom. Come and join us. We welcome you to our family!
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Temple Beth Shalom is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ). Overall, we follow a more liberal understanding of Jewish law as practiced within the Conservative Movement as we fulfill the needs of a diverse congregational membership.
For more information about the Conservative Movement, please visit the website of the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism.