The origin of our Congregation goes back to the turn of the 20th century, when Jewish immigrants from Roumania, a small minority in a developing Jewish com munity in Toronto, sought refuge from the strangeness of their new environment in the company of their landsleit (countrymen). Social gatherings led in the course of time to the desire to pray together on the Holy Days and to establish a congregation of their own. Indispensable to the fulfillment of their wish was the procurement of a Sefer Torah. Their success in achieving this goal by a sacrificial campaign of obtaining donations of nickels and dimes from the new immigrants encouraged the group to move from a room in a Synagogue to rented quarters above a Turkish bath, and then to a room over a grocery store. The year was 1903. A substantial increase in membership led to the formal election of the first president and secretary.The most important event of the year, however, was the acquisition of a cemetery far to the north of Toronto as it was at the time, on Roselawn Avenue.After a brief spell in other rented premises, the fledgling congregation finally bought two “cottages” on Centre Avenue which continued to serve as the congregational home until 1911. In that year the Congregation proudly completed and dedicated a new building on Bathurst near Dundas, the site where for thirty years, the First Roumanian Hebrew Congregation Adath Israel, as it was officially known, flourished. The popular name of the congregation was “The Roumainishe Shul.” During all these years the Synagogue functioned as the busy center of an active religious and social life where various important membership organizations were established. A warm feeling of friendship pervaded the membership fostered by bonds of family kinship and origin. Rabbi Abraham Kelman was the Synagogue’s first full-time Rabbi serving from 1939 until 1947. In September 1947, Rabbi Erwin Schild, freshly ordained by the Yeshivah Torath Chaim of Toronto, was engaged as the new Rabbi of the Congregation. The membership numbered about 150 families at the time.
Beth David Congregation amalgamated with B’nai Israel congregation in 1960 and in 1977 with Beth Am congregation, resulting in one of the most dynamic Equalitarian Conservative congregations in Toronto. Each of the three congregations that make up BDBIBA today began in a similar fashion: a desire to provide a place of worship, study and gathering a group of young people new to an area where none of this existed. Services began in private homes, in stores, and eventually in permanent homes and then synagogue edifices.
Welcome to Beth Tikvah, one of the most dynamic Conservative synagogues in Toronto. Our congregation is a true community, offering a wide range of ritual, social, cultural, recreational, educational, and youth activities that engage our members. Founded in 1964, Beth Tikvah has built a reputation for being a leader in social action, and for our award-winning music and programming. Through daily services, special events, lectures, holiday celebrations, youth activities, and much more, we serve the needs of a diverse, large and still-growing membership.
Beth Torah is proud to announce that our beautiful sanctuary and renovated social hall are available for weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and special events. Our facilities include a luxurious bridal suite; spacious aisle in the sanctuary; centre sanctuary configuration; towering ceilings in our social hall; large gallery and foyer; intimate chapel for smaller events. Levy’s Catering (C.O.R. certified) is our in