Jewish synagogues in Calgary are proud of their city’s contribution
to an important chapter in the history book of Jewish life in Canada.
Calgary was home to the first permanent settler of this particular religious persuasion,
and was the site of it's first organization.
In 1888, fur trader Jacob Lynn Diamond left the Vilna area and arrived in Calgary to take up residence.
He and his wife Rachel were instrumental in organizing and strengthening their
faith-based community, allowing their East Calgary home to serve as a makeshift
center, synagogue, and funeral chapel.
Photo courtesy of the Calgary Library.
Picture shows the first synagogue on 325-5th Ave SE which was built in 1911 and demolished in 1968.
Alberta’s first synagogue was consecrated in 1912, and the congregation
understandably chose to name itself "House of Jacob."
Growth led to the formation of numerous independent organizations, causing the
House of Jacob membership to dwindle considerably by the 1950's.
Eventually the temple fell victim to urban renewal, but the new temple on 12th Street and 12th Avenue SW attracted new, young members and re-energized the aging congregation.
In its present location at 1613 92nd Avenue SW (Jerusalem Road),
Congregation House of Jacob-Mikveh Israel
continues this tradition of serving the Orthodox community of Calgary.
Under the spiritual leadership of Rabbi Zev Friedman, the tabernacle
offers daily and Shabbat services, commemorations for all important occasions,
hospital visits to patients, Shabbat hospitality arrangements for guests,
and religious education for adults, youths, and the sisterhood.
visitors can learn more about the temple and e-mail any questions to Rabbi Friedman.
House of Jacob's commitment to providing strong educational foundation
to the youth led to the creation of Akiva Academy in 1960.
educates children from preschool through junior high school.
As a spiritual leader in Judaism's Conservative movement,
Beth Tzedec Congregation at 1325 Glenmore Trail SW
serves worshipers through the guidance of Rabbi Jordan Ofseyer and Cantor Hazzam Alex Stein.
offers daily morning and evening Minyanim as well as weekly Shabbat mincha and ma'ariv.
Special functions such as Coffee and Current Events, Sisterhood Study Day,
and Bingo games are held throughout the year,
and schedules and details are available at the website.
Beth Tzedec leads yearly post-commemoration services for the
Calgary Jewish Community Centre's
Holocaust Education and Remembrance Committee.
The synagogue's website also presents a link to the site of the
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism,
where visitors can get information and news about the Conservative Jewish community.
For those who are seeking a Jewish Reform congregation,
Temple B'nai Tikvah at 900 47th Avenue SW
provides a welcoming spiritual facility and religious services
under the leadership of Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman.
B'nai Tikvah began as a small group of Calgary families in 1979 and
grew to become the second largest Reform congregation in western Canada,
with more than 280 families as members.
In 2003 the temple acquired its present building in Calgary's residential Britannica area.
The temple has a similar history of growth in the educational realm,
beginning its classes as small gatherings led by volunteers in their homes
and progressing to classes taught by professional educators in various locations.
In September 2005 the school settled into its synagogue space,
where a full staff of teaching professionals conduct classes
for children from three years old to post-B’nai Mitzvah age.
furnishes information about B'nai Tikvah, publishes issues of its newsletter Kol Tikvah,
and includes links to Calgary-Jewish-Community-Council,
Union for Reform Judaism, and Canadian Council for Reform Judaism websites.
Whether your observance is Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform,
there's a place for you in one of Calgary’s synagogues.
Your spiritual well being will be enhanced when your financial well being improves,
which makes me suggest that you consider what's coming next.
Thanks for your visit
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