Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Temple Israel's diamond anniversary

Sixty years ago, 1954, Temple Israel—with 89 charter members—was founded by a group of young Jews looking for a Conservative, yet progressive, way of practicing Judaism. The Central Christian Church building, located at Ridgewood Ave. and Cathcart Street, one block from Lake Eola, was the congregation’s first home—purchased for $40,000. Today, after having been housed in several buildings over the years, stands on property located at 50 S. Moss Road in Winter Springs.

On Dec. 6, the congregation will celebrate two diamond anniversary events. The first will be honoring the founders of Temple Israel who, 60 years ago, started this new congregation, and the second will be in honor of the 60th wedding anniversary of Rhea and Harry Rein, long-time members and supporters of the synagogue.

Temple Israel was created in a “simpler” Orlando than one finds today. It was only the third congregation in the area, everyone knew everyone, and Disney and the digital age hadn’t even begun. Today, within the synagogue family, everyone still knows everyone, and the history of the synagogue holds many memorable milestones accomplished through the years. Rabbi Joshua Neely is the anchor and spiritual leader of Temple Israel.

The evening will begin with cocktail hour, featuring Israeli hors d’oeuvres followed by dinner and a silent auction. There will be live music, a professional photographer and more. Cocktail attire is requested. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 10 p.m.

Tickets for this special anniversary event can be purchased online at http://www.tiflorida.org or through the synagogue office (407-647-3055). Everyone in the community is cordially invited to celebrate the special history and family ambiance of Temple Israel.


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