Temple life flows like a river. It meanders on its course and our lives flow with it. We are there for great life milestones, births, b'nei mitzvah, weddings, and funerals. We gather to celebrate, we gather to mourn, we gather to pray, and we gather sometimes just for companionship. We are members for a year, five years, ten years, or a lifetime and through it all temple life flows, following the course of our lives. This is true today just as it was true in 1967.
Temple Adat Elohim today is a vibrant institution which offers a full schedule of Jewish activities; religious, social, and educational. It is an exciting center of Reform Judaism in the Conejo Valley. As temple members, we all come and go enjoying everything our temple has to offer, but do we ever stop to ask how this all got here? The sanctuary stands beautifully on Hillcrest Drive, yet clearly it did not spring out of the ground.
In 2007, Temple Adat Elohim celebrated its 40th Anniversary. Former Congregation President Ken Bock had the idea that it was time to talk to those that were there, compile a history of Temple Adat Elohim, and write it all down. I volunteered to head up the project and,with the help of Bob Grossmann and the many folks who took the time to put their thoughts and memories to paper, we now have a written history.
I am dedicating this historical project to those who came before us, who did what they did so that today we can do what we do. Histories are generally kept by listing the dates of major events. It would be so easy just to list key dates of the growth of Temple Adat Elohim and leave it at that. However, as we discovered, there is so much more to this story, because this is not just the story of the physical construction of a building. Rather, it is the story of an incredible group of determined people who would let nothing stop them in their quest to create and sustain a Reform Jewish congregation in the Conejo Valley.
There have been many perilous moments in this history. Yet, at each critical juncture individuals emerged and stepped up to do what needed to be done. This then is their stories of those temple members whose enormous dedication and personal sacrifice brought Temple Adat Elohim from a dream to a reality. In honor of our 40th Anniversary, here is the history of Temple Adat Elohim from its earliest days to the present, as told through the thoughts and words of those who were there.
I welcome all of you who read this history to stand beside me in awe as I recount the incredible human effort that went into the building of Temple Adat Elohim.
Robin E. Hirsch - Temple Adat Elohim Historian
Thank you to Robin Hirsch for weaving our many stories together, Jan Iscovich for editing, Audrey Benesch for keeping scrapbooks since 1967 and all those who contributed their personal stories.