Toledo’s Jewish community originated before 1857, and organized a synagogue known as “Beny Israel” sometime before 1871. The year 1966 was selected by B’nai Israel’s board as the synagogue’s centennial.
The B’nai Israel that has entered the 21st century would in many ways surprise its Civil War era founders, but they would be pleased with what they see. Newly located on the campus of the Jewish Community Center in Sylvania, Congregation B’nai Israel offers a welcoming and friendly environment for worship, study, cultural events and social activities. We are a member of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and take seriously the tenets of the Conservative movement.
B’nai Israel is a truly diverse congregation. We have approximately 350 families and individuals as members– but we count them one by one. Our members live not just in Toledo, Sylvania and its suburbs, but also in surrounding communities such as Bowling Green and Findlay, Ohio, and Monroe, Michigan. Congregation B’nai Israel was an early leader in the U.S. in the movement toward equal participation of men and women in Jewish religious life. This is a tradition we proudly maintain.
Cantor Ivor Lichterman joined us in 2011, having previously served as cantor at Congregation Anshei Israel, Tucson, Arizona.
We maintain a daily minyan, drawing men and women of all ages to begin and end the day with prayer. Congregation B’nai Israel is proud of its wide range of educational activities for both adults and youth. Our excellent religious school instills our youth with a love of the Jewish tradition. Our adult education programs offer stimulating learning opportunities at all levels– from an introduction to our tradition to advanced discussions of philosophy and text. Courses vary from season to season.
Congregation B’nai Israel continues its long tradition of cooperation within the Jewish community. We are one with our fellow Jews of all denominations. B’nai Israel is also widely recognized as a center of broader community and inter-religious cooperation as we pursue our obligation of Tikkun Olam– our obligation to repair the world.
Join us for any of our services, classes or social events. If you have any questions, call us or e-mail us.