Today is July 9, 2020 -

Our History

Temple Israel was founded to fulfill a need of many Jewish Scrantonians who wanted a Conservative approach to their religious practices. These Jewish men and women wanted a more traditional approach to Judaism than had been practiced by the American Reform movement. They took steps to organize, and meeting as an official group at the Y.M.H.A. on July 14, ailment 1921. By August 11, order 1921, the group had named the newly formed synagogue “Temple Israel.” A building (a former church) was purchased with plans to remodel. During the last months of 1921, Rabbi Alfred H. Kahn was engaged as Rabbi. A. B. Cohen, a Scranton philanthropist, headed a committee to organize a Hebrew school and the newly formed Temple was granted a charter and constitution.

The following years saw change in the Temple organization. First, Mr. Saul Goldforb was Cantor, and in 1923, William S. Horn was named Cantor and teacher. Also, a new Rabbi, Max Arzt, was hired on January 15, 1924. With the growth of a larger membership, a new building became a necessity. Many fund-raising events were held in the community to offset the cost of both a new Temple edifice and a new Hebrew school, which already had four teachers, including Cantor Horn and Louis Wolf, a famous Jewish educator. The new building was to be built on the site of the older one. Albert Gottlieb and Louis Reisman, the latter a Scranton native, were hired as architects. The official “Laying of the Cornerstone” of the Temple took place on June 19, 1927. Temple Israel looks to its proud heritage as a firm foundation for a strong future.