Temple Beth-El

From Bhamwiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Temple Beth-El in 2010

Temple Beth-El is a synagogue located at 2179 Highland Avenue in Birmingham, at the intersection of 21st Way South (formerly Beech Street). The congregation was founded in 1907 as Birmingham's second Orthodox congregation. The synagogue was the 3rd to be constructed in Birmingham after Temple Emanu-El and the Knesseth Israel Synagogue. It was formed by members splitting from Knesseth Israel.

In 1944 Beth-El became affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and is now the only Conservative-affiliated synagogue in Birmingham, and one of only four in Alabama.

Currently, Temple Beth-El serves approximately 700-800 Jewish families in the Birmingham area. The Temple's "Sisterhood" chapter is affiliated with the Women's League for Conservative Judaism, while the Men's Club is part of the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs. The Temple's youth groups are organized under the United Synagogue Youth.

Temple Beth-El's rabbi is Brian Glusman. The hazzan is Daniel Gale.

Building

The current sanctuary, completed in December 1926, was designed by Charles McCauley in a Romanesque style. Beth-El is one of only a few Conservative synagogues in the United States to have its own mikveh or ritual bath.

The back part of the original building was added in 1950. William Chambers designed the renovated interiors at the time. A cultural center and classroom building was added in the 1990s, followed by renovations to the sanctuary, chapel and social hall in the 2000s.

The interior is graced numerous sculptures by Phillip Ratner.

Civil Rights Movement

On April 28, 1958, 54 sticks of dynamite were placed outside Temple Beth-El in a bombing attempt. According to police reports, the burning fuses were doused by heavy rainfall, preventing the dynamite from exploding. Although the crime was never solved, police considered Bobby Frank Cherry, later convicted of bombing the 16th Street Baptist Church, to be a suspect.

Leaders

Rabbis

Presidents

References

External Links