History

Since our founding in 1971, Temple Beth Ami has been dedicated to being an open, inclusive Reform congregation, encouraging our families to find their way to active involvement. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, Temple Beth Ami remains committed to embracing Judaism, fostering connections, and encouraging innovation. 

Temple Beth Ami promotes the enduring and fundamental principles of Reform Judaism to ensure the continuity of the Jewish people.  In 1999, the congregation moved into its current 62,000 square feet facility on Travilah Road.  While Temple Beth Ami has grown in physical size and membership, it remains committed to the core values established by those few founding families back in 1971.

50 Years in the Life of Temple Beth Ami  1971-2021

  • 1971: In October, seven couples meet to plan a Reform Jewish congregation in northwest Montgomery County, and in November, the congregation’s first Shabbat service is held at Ritchie Park Elementary School.
  • 1973: In May, Rabbi Daniel Polish becomes our first rabbi.
  • 1974: Torah study begins in October.
  • 1979: Phyllis Greene is hired as the first principal of our religious school.
  • 1980: In May, a new building is dedicated on Hurley Avenue, and in July, Sue Roemer (z”l) becomes our first full-time cantor.
  • 1981: Rabbi Jack Luxemburg becomes the first full-time rabbi in July.
  • 1985: The congregation sponsors its first congregational trip to Israel.
  • 1989: The Nursery School opens with Karen Greenberg as Director.
  • 1991: Janice Rosenblatt becomes the first Executive Director.
  • 1993: Rabbi Brian Zimmerman becomes our first assistant rabbi.
  • 1997: Groundbreaking is held for our new building on Travilah Road.
  • 1998: The march of Torahs from Hurley Avenue to Travilah Road and High Holy Days are celebrated in our new building.
  • 1999: Rabbi Julie Zupan begins as assistant rabbi, and the congregation participates in writing a Torah scroll.
  • 2001: First annual outdoor BBQ Shabbat and Cantor Patricia Hickman becomes our cantor.
  • 2002: Shelly Gordon is hired as our first program director.
  • 2003: Cantor Larry Eschler becomes our cantor, and Rabbi David Spey becomes our assistant rabbi.
  • 2007: Theatre Company debuts with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. and Alex Kugler becomes our first cantorial soloist.
  • 2008: Kim Roberts hired as Director of Education. and Rachel Brook begins as cantorial soloist.
  • 2009: Paula Sayag hired as Early Childhood Director.
  • 2010: Rabbi Baht Weiss becomes our associate rabbi, and Joshana Erenberg begins as cantorial soloist.
  • 2016: Rabbi Gary Pokras becomes our senior rabbi.  Kayitz summer programming starts and we celebrate Rabbi Jack Luxemburg with a gala.
  • 2017: Rabbi Jack Luxemburg becomes rabbi emeritus.
  • 2018: 2020 Vision Initiative begins.
  • 2019: Debbie Ezrin becomes our second executive director.
  • 2021: Temple Beth Ami celebrates its 50th anniversary.