In the early 1950s unemployment was at a record low- 3.3 percent. Chinese and North Korean troops pushed United Nations forces south of the 38th Parallel and re-took Seoul giving rise to the Korean War.
The United States Congress passed the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution limiting the time a U.S.president can serve to two terms. The country endured the painful trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
The “King and I” had its Broadway debut. Brown vs. Board of Education began its journey through the courts. Willie Mays joined the New York Giants in May; the “Yankee Clipper,” Joe DiMaggio, played his last major league game in September; and last, but certainly not least, Temple Beth-El was born!
On Saturday, April 28 Temple Beth–El will honor its founding members and celebrate its anniversary. A large gala celebration is planned. Our founders will recount the congregation’shumble beginnings. The congregation was in fact founded by a small group of dedicated residents who wanted to bring Reform Judaism to the area.
The founders recall that they first met in the home of David Tapper, who would eventually agree to become the congregation’s first president. Later, the group hosted a meeting for the community at what was then known as the Far Hills Inn. The first worship services were convened in some rented space above the old A&P in Somerville. Services were scheduled for 9 p.m. in the evening because many of the founding members were merchants and needed the late start time.
The temple’s founders readily tell all, that they joyfully did everything that was needed to build the community, from cleaning the floors, to serving as teachers in the religious school, fundraising, bookkeeping, and cooking. They forged deep friendships and created the vibrant temple community.
On April 28th, Temple Beth-El will celebrate its rich past as well as all of its accomplishments over the past 60 years, such as being an active participant in the Interfaith Hospitality Network and helping to get homeless families back on their feet, and being a strong and enduring supporter of the Somerset County Food Bank.
Since its founding Temple Beth-El has grown considerably. The congregation remains committed to the dynamic spirit of Reform Judaism. It has also remained faithful to its roots and tradition. In the warm and loving spirit of our founders we provide extensive educational opportunities for the young and the young at heart enabling all of our members to grow spiritually.
If you are interested in attending the April 28 gala, please call the temple office at 908-722-0674.