Our History

Since its founding, Temple Israel has established for itself a significant niche in the Ottawa Jewish Community as the standard bearer of Liberal Judaism in the nation’s capital. The Congregation can look back with satisfaction on its growth from a marginal group, meeting for Friday evening worship services on the premises of the old Montefiore club, to an active and ital congregation of over 385 families with a building of its own and ambitious plans for the future.

Temple Quilt

This quilt was crafted completely by congregants for the 40th anniversary of Temple Israel which was in 2006. It took a year to produce, and is hand quilted by many hands!
The background is to look like an open Torah scroll, the colours are taken from the Wailing Wall in Israel (The Kotel) and the four sections represent the four main festivals in Judaism, from right to left:
* Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with the Torah scrolls
* Shabbat table – with the stained glass Mogen David window
* Simchat Torah, dancing with the torah – with the Ner Tamid (everlasting light)
* Pesach (Passover) – with the Temple Israel tree of life
* All around are squares done individually by the children of the religious school

Some Significant Dates In Our History

• Friday, December 2, 1966 – The Jewish Reform Congregation of Ottawa held its first religious service and Oneg Shabbat at the W.E. Gowling Public School. The membership numbered 17 families.
• March 12, 1967 – The constitution was ratified and the name, Temple Israel, chosen. The membership numbered 29 families.
• 1967 – Temple Israel Religious School was started; the choir was formed; and the first consecration service was held.
• September 1971 – The congregation moved into the James Street Synagogue.
• 1974 – Membership now numbered 80 families.
• April 27, 1975 – A ground breaking ceremony took place at 1301 Prince of Wales Drive, and construction began on the first permanent home for Temple Israel.
• 1980 – The construction of the Bimah and Ner Tamid was completed.
• 1988 – Membership reached 300 families.
• 1991 – Temple Israel celebrated 25 years.
• 2006 – Temple Israel celebrated 40 years.