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On September 2, 1911, nine Hungarian Jewish men organized a new synagogue to continue their European traditions. Though one short of the ten men required to hold services, they went forward and named the shul “Bait Eliyahu,” in honor of Elias Einzig, a highly respected member of the congregation. The congregation met in rented quarters and a small home, and its membership increased to seventy families. In 1917, the growing congregation decided to erect its first permanent home, at the corner of Garfield and Beaubien in Detroit. Short of funds, Mr. Einzig offered to sell the name of the congregation to the highest bidder. The sons of Moshe Gunsberg raised the most money, and renamed the shul “B’nai Moshe,” the Sons of Moshe.

In 1929, after 12 short years in our first home, we moved to a new building at Dexter and Lawrence, in northwest Detroit. We continued our growth by merging with the Detroit Hungarian Hebrew Congregation in 1934. By 1959, many of our members had moved to the suburbs, and so did B’nai Moshe, worshipping at a structure at Ten Mile and Kenosha in Oak Park. In July 1992, we moved into our current home in West Bloomfield, adding a school wing in 1997.

In 2011, the members of Congregation Beit Kodesh joined us.

The History of Congregation Beit Kodesh

 In 1958, when Livonia was a budding community, a group of visionaries new to the area began holding Shabbat services at the Clarenceville Central Elementary School. As word got out, more people became interested and services were held in individual's homes. High Holy Day services that year were held at the historic Botsford Inn in Farmington. The 200 people in attendance showed a strong need for a permanent congregation. In 1959 the Livonia Jewish Congregation was officially organized. In 1990 the congregation changed its name to Beit Kodesh to better reflect the scope of its membership. Beit Kodesh was the only Conservative synagogue in Western Wayne County.

Over the years, the congregation  held services in many locations including a farmhouse on Seven Mile Road, a tent on the grounds of the Botsford Inn, Carpenter's Hall in Redford, and a church on Six Mile Road. Finally, in 1971, they moved to the Molly and Samuel Cohn Building on West Seven Mile Road in Livonia.

From 1959 until 2011, the congregation has had three rabbis. Rabbi Steinberg served in the early 1960's. Rabbi Martin Gordon served for 22 years from 1967 to 1989. Rabbi Craig Allen led the congregation from late 1990 to 1998. In between and since Rabbi Allen’s tenure, lay members conducted services for the congregation.

Read The Jewish News article about the Last Shabbat at Beit Kodesh

Thu, September 20 2018 11 Tishrei 5779