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B'nai Torah Congregation

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B'nai Torah Congregation

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Basic Information

Location 6261 SW 18th Street, Boca Raton, FL
Phone number (561) 392.8566
Country United States
City Boca Raton, FL

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Website http://www.bnai-torah.org/
Geographical Coordinates 26.33402,-80.1419

Summary

Congregation B'nai Torah is a Conservative synagogue located in Sandy Springs, Georgia. It was founded in 1981 by young, unaffiliated Jews who had attended the Hillel High holiday services at Emory University since the 1970s. The 125 member families met in a closed grammar school until 1984, and then for two years in trailers, until they constructed a synagogue building.

The congregation was highly unusual, as it was founded as an Orthodox shul, but without a mechitza. Because of the challenge of being an independent synagogue, it gradually moved towards the Conservative movement, first identifying as "traditional" and then finally affiliating with the Conservative movement in November 2003.

B'nai Torah hired its first Conservative-ordained (and current) rabbi, Joshua Heller, in 2004. At the time, membership was approximately 420 families. As of June 2009, that had grown to 660. The synagogue has added a second rabbi, Eytan Kenter, and begun a transition to more egalitarian practice, with women now being called up to the Torah, but not fully integrated into all ritual roles.

The present location on 700 Mount Vernon Highway contains a large sanctuary, a mikvah, a gift shop, meat and dairy kosher kitchens, a religious school, and a preschool. The congregation also maintains an eruv around surrounding neighborhoods.

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