Temple Beth Israel is located in Bay Isles
On December 2, 1979, a small number of Jewish families met in a living room to light the spark that would kindle the light of Judaism on Longboat Key. That light would grow and become Temple Beth Israel. With the guidance of retired Rabbi Albert Shulman of South Bend Indiana, the group met first in homes and then in the community room of the Coast Savings Bank, now Sun Trust Bank, just down the street from our present location on Bay Isles Road.
As our numbers grew, we moved to the social hall of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church on Gulf of Mexico Drive. We soon needed a rabbi to fulfill the needs of a growing congregation and invited Rabbi Philip Frankel, Rabbi Emeritus of Lansing Michigan, to be our rabbi five months each year.
In 1985, the time had come to erect our own home. The generosity of our members exceeded expectations and our new synagogue was built without any future encumbrances.
In 2001, we again expanded our facilities, to provide even more meeting and activity rooms to satisfy the needs of our committees and classes. The Gift Shop expanded again, as did the Choir Room.
A series of Rabbis lead the congregation up to August 1, 2016, when Rabbi Stephen L. Sniderman became our current, spiritual leader. The congregation is supported by Bay Isles residents, with 60% of the membership living in Bay Isles.
Temple Beth Israel is a vibrant community with many Social, Cultural, and Educational Programs that keep the membership engaged, up to date, and learning. We congratulate them!