Steering Committee Members Articles of Incorporation Signers Land Donors
In late 1975 a few young families met to discuss the possibility of establishing a synagogue in Tempe. Many Jewish families with very young children were affiliated with JOT, the Jewish Organization of Tempe. JOT had a preschool near the ASU campus and offered a summer program for older children. While there were synagogues in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Mesa with which many Tempe Jews were also affiliated, there wasn’t one in Tempe. As the young children would soon need to begin their formal religious education, there was a strong desire to have a synagogue within their own community. The group believed that if they could initially get 40 families to commit to a new synagogue, it could happen.
A Steering Committee was organized in late 1975 to work on the Temple’s framework and programming while enlisting the requisite number of interested families. Through word of mouth and a lot of phone calls to friends, relatives and neighbors it didn’t take long to reach the 40-family goal.
In April 1976, the first community meeting was held at Christ Chapel United Methodist Church on Southern Avenue during which a name was chosen, task forces were organized, a religious school director was introduced, and reports were read concerning land that had been purchased by five of the original founding families, ideas for rabbi selection and thoughts for the synagogue’s religious character. Over the summer an Executive Board was chosen. By September, 57 students (K-8) were enrolled in Religious School; a Student Rabbi had been hired part-time for the year (June to June), and High Holidays Services were held at the Church of the Epiphany on Price Road. In October, official Temple membership was 64 families.
Between 1977 and 1980 Temple membership increased to over 100 families.
Funds were raised to erect the first building which was completed in the summer of 1981. It was dedicated as the Marvin M. Reznikoff building in August of that year.
Steering Committee Members
Articles of Incorporation Signers