Temple Beth Sholom is a conservative Jewish congregation that has a history that is more than 100 years old. Our community began with a small number of families who bought the property for our very first house of worship on Coolidge Street in Framingham in 1905 for $1,000. A small building was built on the site and formally dedicated in 1908. The congregation was called The United Hebrew Congregation and, at the time, worshipped in the Orthodox Jewish tradition.
A teacher was hired to go from house to house instructing children, since there was no formal religious school. Eventually space was rented so the teacher could meet with the children outside of their homes. The synagogue grew as more Jewish families emigrated to the United States and by 1929 the Ladies’ Aid Society, which became the Sisterhood of the Congregation, was begun. One of the primary goals of the Sisterhood was to raise funds for a Religious School at the synagogue and it began to meet in the small building on Coolidge street. Women, and the Sisterhood, continue to support many congregational activities at Temple Beth Sholom
As the years went by, more Jews began to emigrate to the United States and settle in Framingham and wanted a less orthodox way of worship. By 1946 a group of twenty families left the United Hebrew Congregation and purchased a house on Clinton Street in Framingham. They planned to worship in the Conservative tradition and called themselves Temple Beth El. They continued to support the original Orthodox United Hebrew Congregation and used their new space to house the orthodox rabbi and hold religious school classes. Delivering a quality education for children continues to be a thriving and essential part of our community today.
The two groups realized that they needed to come together as one as the Framingham Jewish community continued to grow. Congregation Beth Sholom and Community Center, house of peace, was chosen in 1951 for their new name, when the two groups came together to unite into one single conservative house of worship. The merged congregation continued to grow, along with the need for larger facilities and a religious school. The name was chosen not only because it means house of peace, but because a temple is more than a place of worship, it is also a place for Jews to gather and feel a sense of community and participate in social as well as spiritual activities. Our members continue this tradition of embracing the social, as well as the spiritual, elements of Jewish life today.
The new sanctuary on Clinton Street for Congregation Beth Sholom and Community Center was dedicated in 1956, yet a few years later it became clear that the congregation would soon outgrow this new building. Land for a new building, on Pamela Road in Framingham, was donated in 1960 by Morris Shapiro in memory of his parents Louis and Mary. A fund-raising campaign began to build the current building where Beth Sholom remains today. The land was dedicated in 1963 and a year later in 1964 formal dedication of the building occurred. Our synagogue continues to thrive and although we are a temple that is affiliated with the conservative movement, we welcome all Jews from across Metro West to worship and feel a sense of community at our temple.