The Story of Our Congregation
Congregation B’nai Israel was officially organized in Kalamazoo by a group of 20 Jewish families. These early Jewish settlers emigrated to the Kalamazoo area from Germany. The first recorded meeting was held on October 1, 1865, and the group’s first action was to acquire land for a burial ground on property adjoining Mountain Home Cemetery on West Main Street.
This land was consecrated on December 17, 1865 and is still in use today. The by-laws were signed on January 7, 1866, and Congregation B’nai Israel officially came into being. Services, conducted in German, were held in private homes by the congregation’s first rabbi, Simon Rosenberg.
Continue reading about Temple B'nai Israel's history through the timeline below.