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Our History

1929 | Congregation Beth Sholom was founded on July 11, 1929 to fulfill the needs of a growing community. Property was purchased at 30 Field Street from St. John’s Episcopal Church. In this early period the congregation numbered 65 members. The congregation engaged Rev. Max Gordon as cantor, reader, and secretary. He served Beth Sholom for more than 16 years until the time of his death. Rev. Gordon conducted a private Hebrew School on the synagogue premises throughout his tenure.
1934 | Beth Sholom celebrated its fifth anniversary. A void existed until the congregation voted to elect Rabbi Solomon Skaist as its first Rabbi.
1935-40 | Rabbi Aaron Goldin, son of the late Rabbi Israel Goldin of Rochester occupied the pulpit.
1941-42 | Rabbi Samuel Horowitz, occupied the pulpit
1942-51 | The congregation was without the services of a spiritual leader for a period of nine years.
1951 | Rabbi Max N. Schreier, a graduate of Yeshiva University assumed the pulpit of Beth Sholom.
1952-53 | Work on the new building began.
1954 | The Shul Building was completed for High Holiday Services. Formal dedication of the new building was held in June.
1954-56 | We opened our own Hebrew School with a registration of 65 students. The Aron Kodesh in the Chapel was transferred from Field Street and dedicated by Morris and Esther Garelick in memory of their son, Rabbi Philip Garelick.
1955 | The daily chapel was dedicated in memory of Joseph Becker, by his children.
1956 | Rabbi Henry Hoschander, a graduate of Yeshiva University, the University of Massachusetts and Wayne
University, succeeded Rabbi Schreier. A Torah was presented by the Julius H. Goldberg family. In a short time, the school enrollment outgrew the available space. Thinking of the children’s needs first, the plans for a permanent sanctuary were tabled and with Max Cohen as president, a two-story Religious School building was planned.
1956-60 | Cantor Israel Dubner led the services.
1960-66 | Cantor Zalmon Lottner led the services.
1961 | Construction of the Religious School Building was started. Ain Yaakov affiliated with Beth Sholom and turned over all its assets.
1962 | The Isadore D. and Joseph J. Goldberg Memorial Library was dedicated.
1963 | Formal dedication of the Religious School Building was held in January.
1964 | Congregation Anshe Polen endowed a classroom and a Memorial Plaque Board. Several of its people became members of Beth Sholom.
1966-74 | Cantor Yitzchak Weischner led the services.
1970 | Unfortunately, Beth Sholom was bombed and the buildings were heavily damaged. The membership and the community at large cooperated and helped to renovate and restore the Shul. In May, Agudas Achim Nusach Ari Congregation (known as the Morris Street Shule) merged with Beth Sholom. Beth Sholom had a dream for its new Sanctuary. A Building campaign was launched in January 1970.
1971 | Ground-breaking ceremony of the Agudas Achim Sanctuary and the Idelle Krieger Youth Center.
1973 | Rabbi Henry Hoschander, after 16 years as Beth Sholom’s spiritual leader, accepted a new position in Toronto, Canada. Rabbi Dayan Moshe Swift conducted the holiday services.
1974 | Rabbi Zvi Ettinger was elected as spiritual leader.
1974-78 | Cantor Zeev Hertz led the services, taught in the Hebrew School and was Youth Director.
1975 | On October 12, the Agudas Achim Sanctuary and the Idelle Kreiger Youth Center were dedicated.
1976 | A Succah was erected in memorial to the late Abraham Berzansky, who was loved and respected by all.
1977 | Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick was elected our spiritual leader after having been Rabbi of Congregation Agudath Achim in Little Rock, Arkansas. With his youth and vitality, he helped Congregation Beth Sholom continue to grow and become an integral part of the Jewish Community of Rochester.
1978 | Congregation Tiphereth Israel merged with Beth Sholom. Cantor Gartenhaus came to Beth Sholom. He not only chanted the services and read Torah, but he also taught in the Hebrew School and was Youth Director.
1980s to mid 90s | During these years several building renovations took place including the custodial quarters, social hall, library, lobby, coat room and basement.
1986 | Cantor Simcha Samit came to Beth Sholom to lead services and work with our youth.
1988 | Cantor Yehuda Rossler was hired and remained at Beth Sholom for two years.
1990 | Rabbi Kilimnick’s Bar Mitzvah Dinner was celebrated on December 5th. This special dinner celebrated the Rabbi’s 13 years at Congregation Beth Sholom.
1997 | Light of Israel, the only Sephardic Congregation in Rochester, moved into the Beth Sholom facilities.
2005 | The 75th Anniversary Year. There were several events throughout the year celebrating Beth Sholom’s 75th Anniversary including an Art Auction, Garage Sale, and a special trip to Israel in the summer.
2012 | Rabbi Avi Kilimnick is hired as assistant Rabbi.
2017 | Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick retires as Rabbi, becoming Rabbi Emeritus after 40 years of service to the congregation. Rabbi Avi Kilimnick becomes Rabbi of Congregation Beth Sholom.
2021 | Rabbi Avi announces he will make aliyah, fulfilling the longtime dream of his parents.
2022 | Rabbi Dov Winston is hired as the congregation’s Senior Rabbi

Past Rabbis

2017 - 2022
Rabbi Avi Kilimnick
1956 - 1972
Rabbi Henry Hoschander
1977 - 2017
Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick
1951 - 1956
Rabbi Max N. Schreier
1973 - 1975
Rabbi Zvi Ettinger
1941 - 1942
Rabbi Samuel Horowitz
1935 - 1940
Rabbi Aaron Goldin
Rabbi Solomon Skaist

Past CBS Board Presidents

Jacob Sher
Max Potter
Julius Lebowitz
Samuel Senzel
Louis Stark
Irving Goldstein
Louis Stark
Harry Elkind
Jack Reitkopp
Victor Salitan
Sol Gerber
Joseph H. Kaplan
Irving Goldstein
Samuel Senzel
Irving Goldstein
Samuel Senzel
Irving Goldstein
Sol Gerber
Joseph Kaplan
Irving Goldstein
Max Cohen
Samuel Schwartz
Moe Schreiber
Ellis Gruber
Abe A. Meltzer
E. David Subar
Bert Weinbach
Ellis Gruber
Jack Azar
Burton Schreiber
Ronald Freeling
Edward Lebowitz
Rabbi Joel Morris
David Movsky
David Goldstein
David Movsky
Ruth Lebowitz
George Kornfeld
Rabbi Joel Morris
Sam Schlagman
Matthew Rosenbaum
Jonathan Weissman
Kim Holtzman
Steve Schwartz
Jonathan Sadik
Hillel Deutsch
Keith Newman

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Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784