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History

The role of Temple Beth El as a model of commitment to all congregants, to the greater community, and to the world is directly linked to its rich history.

Rabbi Manfred Swarsensky (z"l) was hired as the first rabbi of Temple Beth El in 1940, one year after the Temple was founded. There were 12 members at that time, a number that grew to 400 member families during the 36 years of his tenure.

Rabbi Swarsensky was from Berlin and had survived the Holocaust. He valued social justice, improving race relations, interfaith connections, and caring for our environment. His vision of care was renowned regionally and nationally, and inspired the Temple Beth El membership, establishing a strong foundation of programming in these areas. 

Following Rabbi Swarsensky’s retirement, Temple’s next rabbis—Rabbi Kenneth Roseman (z"l) and Rabbi Jan Brahms—never wavered from these priorities.

Today, with almost 600 member households and under the leadership of Rabbi Jonathan Biatch, Temple Beth El remains a place where social justice opportunities abound and co-exist in a warm community of mutual care, inclusivity, and accessibility.

June 16, 2024 10 Sivan 5784