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Our Vision

Beth Sholom Temple is an inclusive community that supports each person's Jewish journey. We welcome those who were born to Jewish parents and those who have chosen Judaism;  interfaith families and single parents; and people of any age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, income level, ability, or cultural background. Beth Sholom is proud to be diverse and open to all who wish to learn about and practice Judaism. We are affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism but people from all backgrounds are a part of our family. 

Beth Sholom is the heartbeat of Jewish living in the Greater Fredericksburg area, guided by the principles of Torah and based on the covenant between God and the Children of Israel. We are dedicated to warm, spiritual worship, educating the young and young at heart, fostering open and responsive leadership, and caring for the wider community. We welcome all to share our vibrant Jewish experience. 

Our History

Established on May 26th, 1936, Beth Sholom Temple (BST) prides itself on a welcoming atmosphere that embraces a variety of Jewish traditions and expressions.  We are a diverse group with varied backgrounds and a range of traditions that include classical and contemporary Reform, more traditional Conservative and Orthodox Judaism.  We live in many different areas including the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George, Orange, Westmoreland, Caroline, Fauquier and Loudon and the cities of Fredericksburg, Culpeper, Manassas and Warrenton.

We fulfill our role in the Jewish community in four areas.  BST is a

  • Beit Knesset (a House of Gathering). Our members are engaged in such activities as the VYBS (Virginia Youth of Beth Sholom) youth group, Sisterhood, and Bagel Bar.  
  • Beit Tefillah (a House of Prayer). We celebrate Shabbat and the full Jewish calendar of festivals and holidays throughout the year.  
  • Beit Midrash (a House of Study). We offer full service Religious and Hebrew school programs, including Adult Education sessions and Torah Study, and host a lending library of Jewish books and materials.  We send our leaders and educators to forums to enhance their Jewish learning. 
  • Beit Am (a House of Community). Our Social Action volunteers and Temple community take part in causes of the greater Fredericksburg area  in the Jewish tradition of "tikkun olam" (repairing the world). These four areas provide our members with a variety of opportunities to satisfy their interests and encourage involvement.

BST welcomes you to join us.  Membership is open to individuals and households in which at least one adult is Jewish, and in special cases, to minors with the consent and membership of a guardian. Our membership includes both Jews by birth and Jews by choice.  Our congregation includes and welcomes families of interfaith marriages.

We pride ourselves in feeling that BST members form a large extended family.  We celebrate our uniqueness as a congregation in the Reform movement and exude a spirit, energy and vitality that you will feel once when you enter our doors.  We embody the Jewish values of tzedakah, mitzvah and tikkun olam.  Please call us at 540-373-4834 or email to arrange a time to stop by; we are ready to meet you and show you what we have to offer to make Judaism more rewarding in your life.

Historical Timeline

1600s:  Historical records indicate that Jewish tradesmen and explorers frequented the area.

1752-1771: The earliest records from the Fredericksburg Masonic Lodge (which included George Washington among its members) include a member named Hezekiah Levy.

1860: The first German Jews, just a few families, found their way to Fredericksburg.

Early 1900s:  A second group of Jewish immigrants came to the area, primarily from eastern Europe. Without a synagogue here, families had to travel to Richmond or Baltimore for High Holidays and religious education for their children.

By the 1930’s:  There were a number of Jewish families who wished to establish a congregation in Fredericksburg.

1934:  The first organizational meeting took place. 

May 26, 1936 - 1940: The congregation was founded and worship services were held in the Parish House of St. George's Episcopal Church.

1938:  First Rabbi, Rabbi Ulrich Steuer

1940:  Groundbreaking for Beth Sholom Temple began on the Charlotte Street land donated by G&H Manufacturing. Members of the original Jewish community included both more traditional and Reform Jews, and there has always been a spirit of cooperation among the members of our community. However, when the decision was made to build the Temple, it was agreed that it would be a Reform congregation. The original building at 515 Charlotte Street consisted of the sanctuary, the memorial hall, and the kitchen.

1954-1971:  Rabbi Isadore Franzblau served the congregation.

1978:  Growth necessitated the construction of the Jack M. Marlowe Education Center, which included classrooms, and also housed the Temple office and Rabbi's study. From the early days, we have been committed to rabbinic leadership at Beth Sholom, and have enjoyed a number of wonderful Rabbis. 

1991-1997:  Rabbi Stephen Weisman served the congregation.

1996: Celebrated our 60th Anniversary

1998: Began the good fortune of a series of student Rabbis on a part-time basis.

2001: Relocated to our new Temple home at 805 Lyons Boulevard in Stafford, Virginia in December 2001.

2004-2006: Rabbi Linda Steigman served the congregation.

2006-2012: Rabbi Devorah Lynn served the congregation.

2012-2013:  Student Rabbi Alexis Pinsky served the congregation on a part-time basis.

2013-2014:  Student Rabbi Allie Klein served the congregation on a part-time basis.

2014 -2015: Rabbi Jeremy Weisblatt served the congregation.

2015-2018: Rabbi Michael Weinstein and Cantor Laurie Weinstein served the congregation.

2018-2019: Rabbi Jennifer Weiner served the congregation.

2019-2020: Lay leaders served the congregation.

2020-2022: With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, all temple related activities, including services, torah study, religious school, passover seders, and other events, were done remotely via zoom video communications.  Cantor Wendy Shermet, Rabbi Bruce Aft, and a cadre of lay leaders served the congregation primarily on a remote basis.

2022-2023: With the pandemic waning, all activities resumed back at the temple itself.  Services are held in person and also with the use of zoom video communications. Student Rabbi Ora Jacobsen and Cantor Wendy Shermet on a part-time basis and lay leaders served the congregation.

2023-Present: Student Rabbi Ora Jacobsen on a part-time basis and lay leaders serve the congregation.

Mon, June 24 2024 18 Sivan 5784