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1956: Establishment

Temple Beth Tikvah was established in 1956 by a group of 15 Jewish families eager to come together to meet, study and worship, and to provide a place where their children could learn about their Jewish heritage. Within the next few years, the fledgling congregation received its first Torah, affiliated with the Reform Movement, and chose to name the new Temple, Beth Tikvah; House of Hope.

1960: Rabbi Shai Shacknai

By 1960, the congregation had swelled to 150 families and welcomed Rabbi Shai Shacknai as its first full-time spiritual leader. Our beloved Rabbi Shacknai guided the young, committed Wayne Jewish community through its early years until November 1969, when both the Temple and the entire Wayne community suffered a tragic loss with his untimely death.

1970: Rabbi Dresner

As the congregation struggled to regain its spirit and hope following the death of Rabbi Shacknai, the Temple retained Rabbi Israel S. Dresner, who ably served our congregation for 25 years. He retired in 1995 to become Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth Tikvah. Rabbi Dresner was and continues to be instrumental in transmitting the beauty of our heritage and in teaching Jewish values to children and adults alike.

1995: Rabbi Wylen

Rabbi Stephen Wylen served Temple Beth Tikvah from 1995 to 2014.

2016: Rabbi/Cantor Simerly

Temple Beth Tikvah’s 60th year also commemorates two other milestones for the temple: Charles Romalis’ 50th year as the temple’s beloved Cantor, and the installation of the temple’s first female Rabbi, Rabbi/Cantor Meeka Simerly. The temple’s leaders and congregants continue a dynamic, progressive heritage of prayer, strong social conscience, engaging in acts of Tikkun Olam (deeds to help repair the world), and teaching, learning, and practicing Judaism. Temple Beth Tikvah remains committed to supporting the diverse spiritual, educational, cultural, and social needs of our temple family.

Future: Looking Forward…

Our House of Hope is far more than just a house. It is a home for the Jewish community in which we find G-d’s presence, values, and teachings. We use these as the foundation upon which to build a strong and meaningful Jewish life for each of our families. We invite you to visit us at our spiritual home. We hope that you will want to make it your home as well. Our door is always open. We look forward to extending a warm and sincere welcome at any time.

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