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Our Featured Member synagogue for March 2011 is Tifereth Israel Congregation, a Conservative synagogue in New Bedford. We are pleased to recognize the congregation in celebration of its 90th anniversary.

Tifereth Israel, an egalitarian congregation affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, is dedicated to cultivating and sustaining Judaism within a nurturing, supportive and responsive atmosphere. We provide a welcoming environment which values feelings of friendship, a sense of belonging, and spiritual enrichment. We strive to foster meaningful and relevant worship experiences and a sense of being connected to God and Torah. Through relevant religious, educational, cultural, service and social opportunities, we endeavor to meet the needs of our diverse community.

Our congregation seeks to encourage and stimulate higher levels of knowledge, practice and participation among our members, and to transmit these traditions to the next generation.

We are committed to lifelong learning, the performance of mitzvot, outreach to the unaffiliated, dialogue and understanding among Jews, as well as with the world around us.

From 1835, when the first sacred House of Worship in New Bedford was reverently named Bnei Israel, the Jewish community grew to include three congregations. The need for a synagogue with a modern outlook became apparent in 1921, when Tiferes Israel Synagogue was incorporated. The cornerstone for a new Byzantine Style building on Sixth Street, in the heart of New Bedford, was laid in 1923, and the official dedication took place in 1924. The name was later altered to Tifereth Israel Congregation to reflect even more modern [style].

The synagogue has always enjoyed a rich cultural and spiritual life within its walls, and a warm bond with the New Bedford community around them of all faiths. While opening its doors to Jewish, secular and interfaith activities of all kinds, the congregation was growing and prospering. With a look to the future of the community, a larger building was designed to accommodate the varied services and activities enjoyed by Tifereth Israel. The whole community celebrated with us when our new facility was dedicated in 1966.

Over the 90 years of Tifereth Israel Congregation, we have been guided spiritually by Rabbis Arnoff, Burnstein, Ziskind, Gluck, Glassman, Ulmer, and Kanter. They have been joined on the bimah by Cantors Alper, Freedland, Marcus, Shapiro, Axelrad, Buckner, Belfer, and Schudrich. In the 1950's, our first Bat Mitzvah ceremony marked the beginning of the move to fully egalitarian participation. The Bernard Ziskind School of Judaism, named for our longest serving rabbi, still trains the youngest members of the Tifereth Israel family to develop as active members of the Jewish world. More than 10 years ago, we inaugurated an innovative program that pairs B'nai Mitzvah students with members of the congregation for two years of guidance, nurturing and commraderie.

Today, our synagogue offers the only twice-daily minyans in southern Massachusetts. Our extensive Adult Education array includes adult B'Nai Mitzvah classes, davening and chanting training, topical issue discussions and The SouthCoast Jewish Film Festival. The warmth of our congregation is shared in daily breakfasts, and full Kiddush luncheons on Shabbat. Our Tikkun Olam, Ritual, and Programming Committees seek to meet the varied needs and interests of our diverse membership. Our religious school offers Jewish education for children from toddlers to teens; and our active USY chapter connects our members to the Jewish world beyond our congregation.

With new challenges facing the Jewish community locally and beyond, Tifereth Israel has adapted to welcome many organizations, services and constituencies. It is with pride and a sense of our place in history that we prepare to celebrate our 90th year of the Tifereth Israel family.

We welcome your interest and inquiries at all times. Please feel free to visit us online at http://www.tinewbedford.org/, call us at 508-997-3171, or drop us an e-mail [[email protected]].

145 Brownell Avenue
New Bedford, MA 02740
Clergy: Rabbi Rafael Kanter, Cantor Nathaniel Schudrich