HISTORY OF SCARSDALE SYNAGOGUE TEMPLES TREMONT & EMANU-EL
Scarsdale Synagogue was founded in 1961 when Rabbi David Greenberg joined approximately fifteen families to establish a new synagogue, which was originally housed out of a neighborhood church. By 1968 the size of the congregation had increased. A family donated the land we continue to occupy, and loans were secured to finance construction of a larger, permanent home for the growing community. True to Jewish tradition, the school was the first space to be completed. Worship services were held in the room we still use but now call the Social Hall. Several who worshipped with Rabbi Greenberg remain active and valued members of our sacred community.
Membership in Scarsdale Synagogue grew along with its reputation and by 1976, when Tremont Temple came into the picture, the building was stretched to capacity. Tremont Temple was established in 1909 in the Bronx by a community of German Jewish immigrants. By the early 1970's the congregation had dwindled and its' members were looking for a new home. The imposing Greek Revival building on the Grand Concourse was sold to a church. The religious artifacts,Sifrei Torah,and memorial plaques that told the story of Tremont Temple were brought to Scarsdale Synagogue. In December 1976 our congregation's name was officially changed to Scarsdale Synagogue Tremont Temple.
The consolidation of Scarsdale Synagogue and Tremont Temple resulted in an increased and invigorated membership, and provided the funds to build a new sanctuary. In October 1978 the new sanctuary was dedicated with a great sense of accomplishment. The modern design was inspired by the famous wooden synagogues of Poland that had been destroyed in the Holocaust. The cedar walls are intended to conjure the biblical "cedars of Lebanon," and the columns are intended to be reminders of the pillars in Solomon's Temple.
Rabbi Greenberg retired from Scarsdale Synagogue Tremont Temple in 1980, and in 1981 Rabbi Stephen A. Klein became our new spiritual leader. Rabbi Klein was our Rabbi for 31 years, leading a generation of congregants and their families, and was valued as a warm-hearted person who reached out to every family in the congregation and to the community at-large.
In 1984 Cantor Kerry Ben-David began his lengthy partnership with Rabbi Klein, replacing Cantor Nico Castel, and our congregation continued to grow. In 2002 we successfully concluded ourL'chaimcampaign -- funds were raised for an Endowment and for the expansion of our building. A youth lounge, computer lab, classrooms and an alternative worship space were added to the existing structure. Also included was space for our new and expanding early childhood education program, Mazel Tots. Cantor Ben-David retired in 2005 and Cantor Chanin Becker joined our clergy team.
Cantor Becker's arrival heralded a new level of partnership between our Rabbi and Cantor, as well as a new liturgical repertoire, and additional prayer and learning opportunities for the women of our community. These worship, learning and social activities have become an integral part of the fabric of our community. Cantor Becker also initiated our Communal Worship Committee, cementing the shared responsibility for meaningful worship between clergy and lay leadership.
In 2008, our community went through yet another metamorphosis when Temple Emanu-El of Southern Westchester consolidated with Scarsdale Synagogue Tremont Temple. An active Reform congregation in Yonkers for 108 years, Temple Emanu-El was effected by changing demographics, as Tremont Temple had been in an earlier time. Temple Emanu-El was a congregation with a rich history of innovative worship, education and social action and its' members were warmly and successfully welcomed to their new home. Continuing their tradition of having their Temple represent the concept of "... worshippingAdonaiin the beauty of holiness..." the members of the former Temple Emanu-El brought with themSifrei Torah,memorial plaques and many items of Judaic art and artifacts. The merger has been smooth and we have emerged as a stronger and enriched community.
Rabbi Andy Gordon joined us in 2008, and served with distinction as Assistant and Associate Rabbi through June of 2012.
In June of 2012, Rabbi Klein retired, concluding a remarkable tenure of spiritual leadership. Rabbi Jeffrey Brown succeeded him as Rabbi of Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El on July 1, 2012.
Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El 2 Ogden Road Scarsdale, New York 10583 Phone 914.725.5175 Fax 914. 725.4551 Email: email@example.com