Temple Sharey Tefilo
Our congregation’s history began in 1874, when 10 merchants from Orange, New Jersey met in a small room above a storefront on Cleveland Street to establish Congregation Sharey Tefilo of Orange. In 1895, the congregation moved to another building in Orange, which served as the congregation’s home until 1927, when Rabbi Stephen Wise dedicated the congregation’s imposing, Grecian-pillared Temple on Prospect Street in East Orange. Founded as an Orthodox synagogue, the congregation affiliated with the Reform movement in 1921. Its membership increased dramatically in the years following World War II, as Jews migrated to the New Jersey suburbs.
In April of 1948, 229 families from Sharey Tefilo, citing the need for a new type of religious experience, established Temple Israel in South Orange. Within a year, Temple Israel’s congregation had purchased the historic Kip-Riker mansion on two and a half acres of land, the site of our congregation today. Temple Israel grew in both size and innovative programs, with expansions of the facility in 1953 and 1963.
Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel
The joining of our two Temple families into a single congregation occurred in 1982, when the 500 members of Sharey Tefilo carried their Torahs into Temple Israel’s sanctuary.
Today, our sacred congregation, Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, continues our proud tradition. We have watched our Temple grow to become the inclusive community we are today, enriched by our diverse congregation and committed to providing a lifelong Jewish experience with programs for members at all stages of their lives, from preschoolers and teens, to young families, empty nesters and older adults. As a congregation, we have made significant contributions to the well-being of American Reform Judaism, Israel, and a spiritual, ethical, social, and communal impact in the lives of our Temple family.
Throughout the history of our congregation, the ethics, values and rituals of our religion and our community have guided us in creating a vibrant, relevant and meaningful Jewish experience.
Today our congregation of 750+ families come together for worship, learning, service, action, and social programs in TSTI’s sanctuary and state of the art multi-purpose building.