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A Word About The Words
The Hebrew terms on this site represent core principles (Middot) of Jewish belief.
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Established in 1946, just after the Holocaust and prior to the founding of the State of Israel, BZBI has served the community around Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square for more than 60 years. Formed by the union of three congregations, BZBI has been at home in our striking Neo-Gothic synagogue on 18th Street since 1954. Today, under the leadership of Rabbi Ira F. Stone and Cantor Sharon Grainer, BZBI practices Conservative Judaism with an egalitarian worship service, bringing Torah, T'Fillah (prayer), and Gimilut Hasadim (Acts of Loving Kindness) to life in our vibrant urban community.
Temple Beth Zion holds its first prayer services at the Jewish Y at Broad and Pine.
Temple Beth Zion acquires the Lit Mansion at 319 S. 19th Street at the head of Delancey Street and transforms it into a synagogue.
Temple Beth Zion acquires a magnificent, Gothic stone church at the corner of 18th and Spruce Streets just off famed Rittenhouse Square for its new home. Under the leadership of architect Beryl Price, the church was converted into a synagogue which included the installation of the the sanctuary’s breathtaking stained-glass windows fashioned from hand-installed French, English, German and Dutch glass.
Temple Beth Israel, the third oldest congregation in Philadelphia (founded in 1840) merges with Temple Beth Zion. The congregation renames its synagogue Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel (BZBI).
BZBI merges with the Neziner Congregation (founded in 1896). The Hebrew School is named the Neziner Hebrew School in honor of the Neziner Congregation. The school auditorium is rebuilt to house the Neziner Ark and Bimah. The Neziner Sanctuary chandelier is restored and hung in the Kahaner Auditorium.
The Abigail R. Cohen Preschool is founded and named.
The Laurie Wagman Playschool is named.
BZBI is ... "A source of good friends and of belonging to a community, a place of comfort peace and rest, a supporter of the values we sought to teach our children, a connection to our family history." - Michael Garz