Temple B'nai Israel: Temple Presidents | Temple Spiritual Leaders
Tree of Life: History

TBI: Temple History

1912 Letter mailed to McKeesport Jewry to form a new congregtion. A.M. Simon heads organization committee.

1913 Louis Brav is first Rabbi; Frank R.S. Kaplan, President. Family dues, including seats, $15 per year. Mrs. Wm. Kimmelman is first Sisterhood President.

1914 Jenny Lind St. property purchased for $4,500.

1915 Six acres of land acquired for Elrod Cemetery.

1916 Religious School Purim program at White's New Theatre.

1922 Goundbreaking for Shaw Ave. sanctuary. Dr. Noah Sunstein is chairman of cornerstone laying. Simon Kalstone heads Building Committee, with Henry Friedman and Eugene Krow.

1923 August 26 - TBI is dedicated! Eugene Krow is President, Egon Pesson, Cantor. First Memorial Window donated by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Friedman.

1939 Brotherhood Community Forums - Joseph Odle is Chairman.

1945 TBI mortgage paid in full.

1950 Friday Night Forums. First speaker is Milton Sussman. Sam Hirshberg is honored for his 15 year tenure. Debts in excess of $60,000 were paid off during his presidency.

1951 Breakfast Club Brotherhood Sunday mornings. Membership asked to support new school building. Mrs. Lil Amper heads gift shop, a new Sisterhood project. Cantor is Mr. Tabatsky.

1952 Egon Pesson Building is dedicated. Sisterhood's new project is an annual calendar. TBI Youth Group conducts a High Holy Day Children's service.

1954 Sisterhood remodels kitchen for $8,200. Chairman is Mrs. Joseph Odle.

1958 Sisterhood begins Catering Service. A 16-voice volunteer choir beautifies services.

1962 TBI celebrates its golden anniversary at Baldoc. Chairman is Dr. Al Levin.

1963 Sanctuary is air-conditioned, as is social hall and kitchen.

1965 Rosh Hashanah reception is made an annual event by Sisthood.

1967 Morley Meredith, Metropolitan Opera baritone, sings at our High Holy Day services.

1968 Ida Rae Hirsh is our Hazzanit.

1973 TBI has an August cookout at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Benovitz. On September 22, we honor our 50th year in this sanctuary and the 61st year of our formation. Program Chair-man is Bernie Goodman. First Sweepstakes Banquet - Sylvia Byer is Chairman.

1979 Our students attend Religious School at the Hebrew Institute in Pittsburgh. A Touch of Classes, the reunion of all TBI confirmands, is held in June; Babe and Phil Wingert are Chairmen.

1981 Sylvia Byer chairs our brand new TBI Tuesday evening Bingo. First Break-the-Fast is held in our Social Hall following Yom Kippur services.

1982 As part of the celebration of Mollie Siegel's 100th birthday, the Siegel family refinishes the Rabbi's lecturn and presents its twin for use by the Hazzanit. In May, Leonard Berkovitz is made Honorary President for Life. TBI honors its 70th anniversary in this sanctuary; Irene Wander is Chairman.

1983 TBI picnic at White Oak Park; Bingo turns over $20,800 to TBI. Summer services held at Tree of Life Sfard.

1985 Bingo purchases a cooler for the kitchen, as well as electronic air cleaners, new social hall lighting, and new entrance doors to the social hall.

1987 Marlene Rowe becomes our new Executive Secretary in June.

1993 Rabbi Danny Schiff becomes our new spiritual leader.

1996 Regina Klacik becomes the new Executive Secretary in June. Tony Gall becomes the custodian.

2000 After years of merger talks, the Temple was approached by the Tree of Life Sfard to buy their property in White Oak. We are very pleased to be able to move to White Oak Boro in May, to take over a Jewish House of Worship. Many members of the Tree of Life have joined us in creating a bigger, stronger, more viable congregation. Louis Anstandig, our president, brought this to fruition with the help of many dedicated Temple members.

2001 Under the guidance of Rabbi Schiff, Lou Anstandig, and and members of the Temple board, our membership has grown to over 170 families. We are now a dynamic growing congregation and look forward to a bright future. top

A.M.Simon       1912
Frank R.S.Kaplan       1913-1923
Eugene Krow       1923-1934
S.H. Hirshberg, Sr.       1934-1949
Charles Apter       1949-1950
David Rubinstein       1950-1952
M. A. Cowan       1952-1962
Harry L. Wechsler       1962-1964
Leonard Berkovitz       1964-1966
Robert Coslov       1966-1968
Earl Benovitz       1968-1970
Bernard Goodman       1970-1972
Stanley G. Brown       1972-1974
Irene Wander       1974-1976
Scott Apter       1976 1978
Dr. Daniel Spiegel       1978-1987
Reva Rack       1987-1990
Bernard Goodman       1990-1996
Louis Anstandig       1996-2008
Joel Kaufman/Steve Mayer (interim)       2009
Dick Leffel       2009-

Joseph Zeisler 1912
Louis Brav 1913
Murray A. Alstet 1915-1924
Egon Pesson, Cantor 1924-1948
Isador Rosenthal visiting
Albert T. Bilgray 1945-1948
Wolli Kaelter 1949-1953
Robert Raab 1954-1962
Sidney I. Goldstein 1962-1969
Leonard Winograd 1969-1988
Philip Blachorsky 1988-1991
Leonard A Helman 1991-1993
Daniel Schiff 1993- 2009
Paul Tuchman 2009-