Spiritual Comforts Take Root (cont'd)
The first services for Jews in Teaneck were held in the studio of Israel Doskow, an artist who lived on Elm Avenue. More than seventy people attended High Holy Day services led by Rabbi David Pearlman. Leaders were Dr. J. Dewey Schwartz, Mr. Doskow, Dr. Barnet Bookstaver, Dr. Nathaniel Saviet, Dr. Morris Kleit, Judge George Marcus, Benjamin Gordon and Miss Fanny Feinstein.
Religious school classes began in 1933 at 780 Palisade Avenue. The group then moved to the Masonic Square Circle clubhouse on Monterey Avenue in 1935 when 400 attended High Holy Day services. The congregation later Purchased the building at 1075 Queen Anne Road, now the home of the First Church of Christ, Scientist.
That served until 1949 when the Teaneck Jewish Community Center on Sterling Place was dedicated. Attending the ceremony were Mayor Clarence Brett, Township Manager James T. Welsh, Councilmen Cecil Haggerty, Walter Cummins, and Milton Votee, with Dr. Lester Neulen, superintendent of schools. The premises have been enlarged to include a swimming pool, athletic health club, and youth facilities. The Conservative congregation led by Rabbi Judah Washer is the largest Teaneck's six Jewish congregations.
Temple Emeth, a Reform Congregation, began in 1947 when members of fifty families met in the Hackensack Y.M.H.A. They later met in the Odd Fellows Hall in Hackensack and in a large residence on Larch Avenue, Teaneck, now the home of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County. The group purchased a tract on Windsor Road and in 1959 dedicated a large meeting hall there. A sanctuary was completed in 1965. The temple's facilities today include classrooms, youth lounge, sanctuary, and the Joshua Trachtenberg Library, named for the late rabbi emeritus. Rabbi Louis Sigel now leads the congregation.
Congregation Beth Shalom, Teaneck's second conservative synagogue, was formed in 1950 through the efforts of twenty-eight families and Rabbi and Mrs. Barry Schaeffer. First meetings were in two store buildings on West Englewood Avenue, the group having established its congregation and Hebrew school simultaneously.
In 1951 Congregation Beth Sholom purchased the former home of Christ Episcopal Church at Rugby Road and Rutland Avenue. This was expanded to include a sanctuary, auditorium, youth lounge, classrooms, and a gymnasium. Rabbi Schaeffer has been the cantor and spiritual leader from the start. Mrs. Schaeffer conducts a Hebrew class for handicapped children.