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100th Anniversary

Milestones at Congregation B’nai Israel


  • Founding of the Congregation
  • Sisterhood, known then as the Daughters of Israel, formed in the 1930’s and developed the first religious school in 1933.
  • Establishment of the Cemetery
  • In 1946, the Gainesville Jewish Cemetery had officially been incorporated into the supervision of Congregation B'nai Israel. Graves dating back into the 19th century.
  • Establishment of services in the homes of members
  • First Building purchased and in use in Downtown Gainesville
  • Gertrude Bobroff arrives in Gainesville and organizes Hebrew School 1949
  • Second Building constructed in NW Gainesville off of NW 16th Blvd. Land was purchased in 1959 and completed in 1967. At that time the building was used for religious school, while the building downtown remained used for services. It wasn’t until 1972 when all activities were moved to the first 16th Blvd location.
  • Rabbi Leon Horwitz hired as part-time rabbi 1970
  • Rabbi Alan Cohen hired as Rabbi 1972-1976
  • Rabbi Pincus Aloof hired as Rabbi 1976-1977
  • B’nai Israel Day School opens in 1973. Many of our members were instrumental in the development of the school.
  • Rabbi Naftalie Rubinger 1977-1979
  • Rabbi Alan Lehmann hired as Rabbi 1979-2000
  • Third (current) building constructed at NW 16th Blvd. In 1980 and dedicated June 11, 1982
  • Rabbi Amy Levin hired as Rabbi 2000-2003
  • In 2003, the day school expanded to include infants and toddlers…no controversy there!
  • In that same period the development of the education wing was built…again, no controversy there.
  • Rabbi David Kaiman hired as Rabbi 2003.
  • Today we have a thriving congregation, day school, religious school and programmatic calendar!
  • We have tallied over 2,500 volunteer hours last year with volunteer leaders, program leaders and participants.
  • Our volunteer leaders continue to be the best part about Congregation B’nai Israel. We have people who step up to lead committees, oversee services, serve on the board. Whatever it is, it is the volunteers that make us the thriving entity that we are.
  • Day School has over 100 students ranging from 3 months through first grade.
  • There are well over 40 children on the waiting list for the preschool program …and this is a consistent (good) problem to have.
  • Religious school has 50 students enrolled, thriving with a rich curriculum that is continually being evaluated for providing the robust Judaic education our children need.
  • We employ 45 full and part time staff that run the daily programs that happen at B’nai Israel.

Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784