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Am Tikvah:  Born Rich in History

Beth Israel      Our Shanghai Heritage

Congregation Am Tikvah is the result of a merger of two storied synagogues, B’nai Emunah and Beth Israel Judea. Both legacy shuls had a long history in San Francisco and were formally merged in the fall of 2021. Prior to the merger, Congregations B’nai Emunah (Conservative) and Beth Israel Judea (Reform) had shared a successful religious school for nearly ten years and had celebrated many holidays together as part of the four-synagogue Southside Jewish Collaborative (SJC).

The merger has resulted in a vibrant new congregation, embracing the rituals and values of both streams of Judaism but open to a post-denominational modernity–a vibrant, diverse, and multi-generational congregation blending tradition and innovation. Both legacy synagogues are steeped in history.

Congregation Beth Israel Judea was formed in 1969 from the merger of two San Francisco communities. Congregation Beth Israel, founded in 1860, was established as an Orthodox synagogue, becoming the oldest Conservative synagogue west of the Mississippi. Temple Judea, founded in 1953, was a young and growing Reform Jewish community and the first Reform San Francisco temple built in almost 125 years. Those two congregations joined together to create a fulfilling synthesis of traditional ritual and contemporary Jewish practice and settled into the building at 625 Brotherhood Way.

Congregation B’nai Emunah was founded on Chanukah 1949 by mostly German Jews who had fled the Nazis to Shanghai in the late 1930s. Shanghai was the only place that would accept them without visas. Uprooted, but not defeated, they established synagogues and schools, businesses, and community centers in Shanghai. After the war, many of the “Shanghai Jews” continued their amazing journey across the Pacific to America, opening a new chapter of the Jewish diaspora. The small congregation grew dramatically and purchased the site at 3595 Taraval in 1976. In 2019, Congregation B’nai Emunah celebrated its 70th anniversary.

Congregation Am Tikvah is proudly affiliated with the Reform and Conservative Movements.

Sun, June 16 2024 10 Sivan 5784