History

history

In 1880 Wolfe Brody started the Chattanooga Jewish community. A Tennessee State Charter was issued to the “Brethren from B’nai Chein” in 1888. In 1903 the Hebrew Ladies Aid Society was formed, now known as the B’nai Zion Sisterhood. The Chattanooga Free Hebrew school was established in 1909. The congregation’s name was changed to B’nai Zion in 1924. On October 9, 1961 the congregation’s affiliation was changed from Orthodox to modern Conservative. The ground was broken for the current McBrien Road synagogue on November 4, 1973. In 2013 Rabbi Susan Tendler became the congregation’s first female Rabbi.

1880 Wolfe Brody starts the Jewish community in Chattanooga.  Mrs. Brody digs a hole in her back yard for the first mikvah.
1888 A Tennessee State Charter is issued to the “Brethren from B’nai Chein” on May 11
1888 Meeting place for B’nai Chein is rented at 1208 Carter Street.
1890 Site of the present B’nai Zion Cemetery is purchased.
1894 Larger meeting place is rented at 1027 Carter Street.
1900 Fire destroys 1027 Carter Street.  Louis Slabosky rescues the Torah scrolls.
1902 Carter Street synagogue is built.
1903 Hebrew Ladies Aid Society formed.  Today it is the B’nai Zion Sisterhood.
1909 Chattanooga Free Hebrew School established.
1924 Name changed to B’nai Zion Congregation.
1931 Vine Street synagogue building dedicated March 29.
1934 Sunday School established to supplement Hebrew School.
1961 B’nai Zion changes affiliation from Orthodox to Modern Conservative on October 9.
1973 McBrien Road synagogue groundbreaking on November 4.
1975 Torahs carried from Vine Street to McBrien Road in March.
1987 Solomon Schechter Award of Excellence – Adult Education.
1984 B’nai Zion becomes egalitarian, giving women full participation in religious services.
1991 Solomon Schechter Award of Excellence – Synagogue Administration
2000 B’nai Zion’s website goes online.
Synagogue of Excellence Award – Computer Communications (website)
2002 Solomon Schechter Gold Award – Website
2004 Synagogue of Excellence Award – Bulletin
2004 McBrien Road Building Interior Renovation
2013 Rabbi Susan Tendler installed as B’nai Zion’s first female rabbi.

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