Our History

Temple Israel has a rich history that began in 1966. Since its founding, Temple Israel has established for itself a significant niche in the Ottawa Jewish Community. We are the standard bearer of Liberal Judaism in the nation’s capital.

The Congregation can look back with satisfaction on its growth from a small group, meeting for Friday evening worship services on the premises of the old Montefiore club, to an active and vital congregation of over 385 families with a building of its own and ambitious plans for the future.

Visit our About Us section to learn more about Temple Israel and who we are.

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.

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

40th Anniversary 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