Temple History

It all began in the fall of 1950 when more than 100 families adopted a charter, organized a Board of Trustees and a Religious School and held services at the Masonic Temple in Bayside. Isaiah Zeldin became our first rabbi. In 1953 we acquired the property on Northern Blvd. for our permanent synagogue, and Rabbi Herschel Levin became our first full time rabbi when Isaiah Zeldin left to become the director of the UAHC’s West Coast Reform congregations. We later expanded our building, and in 1964 it was officially dedicated.

In 1957 Robert Abelson was elected our first full-time Cantor. In 1971 we engaged Cantor Hilda Abrevaya, the first woman Cantor in US. 1978 sadly marked the passing of Rabbi Herschel Levin and Rabbi Bruce Goldwasser was installed as his successor. 1978 also marked the year when we adopted the “Gates of Prayer” as our prayer book.

Rabbi Bruce Goldwasser retired in 2009 after 31 years of service at Temple Beth Sholom. We engaged Rabbi Sharon Ballan as our new rabbi.

Countless families have worshipped and brought up their children at Temple Beth Sholom. We have become a vibrant part of the tapestry that forms the Jewish community and the multi-cultural entity of Northeastern Queens.