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114 McBrien Road  Chattanooga TN  37411     423.894.8900     fax 423.894.8902     shul@bzcongregation.com

Rabbi Susan Tendler
Director of Congregational Learning
Lay Leadership
New Member Information
The Jewish Community in Chattanooga
City of Chattanooga
Beit Sefer Ivri: The Hebrew School
Our Synagogue
Cemetery & Funeral Information
Our History


Mr. & Mrs. Brody
Mr. & Mrs. Wolf Brody


Louis Slabosky
Louis Slabosky

Carter Street location
Carter Street location

Hebrew Ladies Aid Society
Hebrew Ladies Aid Society.

Vine Street location
Vine Street Synagogue

Torah Walk
Torah walk from Vine Street to McBrien Road

McBrien Road Dream
McBrien Road Building Campaign


Our History

In 2013, we marked B'nai Zion's 125th anniversary.  We have come a long way from the 19th century pack peddlers to the Internet Age of the 21st century.

B'nai Zion Timeline

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 Ed.

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.


Rabbis, Reverends & Cantors of B'nai Zion

1887-1891

Rev. J. Friedman

1892-1894

Rev. I. Kolintz

1894-1895

Rev. M. M. Sechinskey

1895-1897

Rev I. Friedland

1897-1900

Rev. Abel Levitt

1900-1902

Rev. Kramer

1902-1905

Rev. Herschel Contor

1906-1909

Rev. Efraim Mennen

1909-1911

Rev. I. Block

1911-1912

Rev. Eliezer London

1912-1914

Rev. Morris Miller

1915-1919

Rev. Lazarus Schulsinger

1916-1918 Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Zaiman*

1918-1919

Rabbi Abraham Burstein

1919-1943

Rev. Issac Maisel

1943-1947

Rabbi Israel Gerstein

1947-1956

Rabbi Aaron Walden

1956-1960

Rabbi Harris Swift

1960-1961

Rabbi Louis Lederman

1961-1966

Rabbi Joseph Renov

1965-1987

Cantor Louis Rothman

1966-1969

Rabbi Samuel April

1970-1970

Rabbi Harold Markman

1974-1979

Rabbi Moshe Frankel

1979-1992

Rabbi Richard Sherwin

1992-2006

Rabbi Josef A. Davidson

1998-2006

Cantor Neil Schwartz

2006-2008

Rabbi Meir Goldstein

2010-2012

Rabbi David Cantor

2012-now Rabbi Susan Tendler

*In the years around 1918, there appear to have been several rabbis who served B'nai Zion for very short terms.  Rabbi Zaiman does not appear on any of the lists of Rabbis from which this master list was compiled, but his family contacted B'nai Zion with evidence that he was one of the rabbis in that time period.


For a picture-intensive history of Jews in Chattanooga, including many of our early members, shop The B'nai Zion Gift Shop for Jewish Community of Chattanooga by Joy Effron Abelson Adams.



Archived Documents
 
Alabama's Sand Mountain: An Early Kibbutz - reprint of article by Trudy Trivers
Harry Edelstein Meets Death Under Switch Engine - newspaper article
Two Are Killed and Six Injured at Rail Crossing - newspaper article

Shadow of The Swatstika - magazine reprint