HomeDecember 2023Orange County's Jewish History- Shalom Temple of the Jewish Community Center of...

Orange County’s Jewish History- Shalom Temple of the Jewish Community Center of Orange County

Santa Ana Register, October 21, 1943

A little bit of history about Orange County’s varied attempts at a permanent home for its Jewish community: First there was Temple B’nai Brith in 1920, then the Santa Ana Jewish Community Center in 1924 (both very short-lived) and then, in 1943, the Shalom Temple of the Jewish Community Center of Orange County, also known as, wait for it, the Orange County Jewish Community Center and Temple Shalom. It wasn’t until 1945 that members decided a shorter name might be in order; they came up with Beth Sholom Temple, but that too was changed, to its current moniker, Temple Beth Sholom. Started in 1943 by 28 Jewish families, regular Shabbat services were held in a private home in Orange. In 1944 a hall was rented from the Ebell Society in Santa Ana, an ark was fashioned from a wooden crate, and the honor of delivering the sermon was passed amongst the members. In the spring of 1945 the Seventh Day Adventist Church building in Santa Ana at the corner of 8th and Bush Street was put up for sale; TBS purchased it for $7,500 and immediately set to work turning it into a synagogue. By Rosh Hashana of that same year, Rabbi Joseph Levine, the first full-time rabbi in Orange County, led the first services conducted at the first synagogue in Orange County. Amen!

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