Shaar History

“If you will it, it is not a dream.”

This pithy aphorism applied to Shaar Shalom means the realization not only of a dream cherished by a handful of members a few years ago, but the culmination of something for which these same members have sacrificed, striven and worked against great odds to achieve.  As we stand on the threshold of our New Year, it is with pride coupled with humility that we give thanks to the Almighty that we have been able to erect a House of Worship to keep alive our Judaism and to be a force for good in this Jewish Community of ours.

Members of Shaar Shalom recall the difficulties we experienced in obtaining the land, the sceptics who had to be convinced that such a building was needed; even our own members at times felt that the sights we had set for ourselves were far greater than we could hope to attain – and yet – little by little – month by month we have seen our little congregation grow in size and strength; enthusiasm grow by leaps and bounds; until today we can truly say “Shehecheyonu vkiymonu vhigiyonu lazman hazeh!”

- September 1955 NY Bulletin, Rosh Hashana 5716

High Holiday Bulletin 5780/2019

Read the Shaar Shalom Congregation's High Holiday Bulletin! Click: High Holiday Bulletin 5780

High Holiday Bulletin 5779/2018

Read the Shaar Shalom Congregation's High Holiday Bulletin! Click: High Holiday Bulletin 5779

June 2009

Rabbi Ari Isenberg and Jason Brown introduce the Cohen version of Lechah Dodi. Click: Listen here!

Lechah Dodi the Cohen Version

June 12, 2004

An adult B'not Mitzvot for women of the synagogue who did not have one when they were growing up. Each woman did a portion of a Shabbat Service from Shacharit to Musaf Service. The ceremony was an inspiration for the rest of the Congregation.  Pictured from left to right below: Heather Zitner, Joanna Mirsky-Wexler, Beverly Parsons, Elizabeth Pink, Florie Fineberg, Linda Law, Donna Assh, Michelle Byers, Wendy Katz, Molly Rechnitzer.

This occasion launched our Torah repair appeal. Click on the photograph or newspaper article below to see more:


The Shaar Shalom celebrated its golden anniversary filled with a year of celebrations.

June 3, 1962

Shaar Shalom Congregation celebrates its 9th birthday with a dinner banquet! To read more, click on the invitation below:

June 4, 1961

Shaar Shalom Congregation celebrates it's 8th birthday with a banquet! To read more, click on the invitation below:

December 31, 1959

Shaar Shalom Congregation welcome 1960 with a New Year's Eve dance! To read more, click on the invitation below:

October 31, 1955

A Corner Stone was laid by the Shaar Shalom President, Mr. Noa Heinish after Mr. Max Pascal had filled the time-capsule.  Inside  the time-capsule was a brochure printed just after the getting of the land, the first bulletin announcing services in the synagogue, the names of the 43 children in the first Hebrew class held, the addresses being given on that day, two coins of 1955 and a bag of Holy Earth from Mount Sinai brought over for that purpose.

"It is a day that the Lord Hath made."
 - Rabbi David Jacobs on the opening of Shaar Shalom Synagogue.

Read the entire dedication service brochure by clicking: Shaar Shalom Congregation Dedication Service October 31 1955

Tuesday, October 5, 1954

the-shaar-shalom-groundbreaking-ceremonyA Groundbreaking Ceremony was held.  The ceremony was carried out by Shaar Shalom president, Noa Heinish and Shaar Shalom Congregation’s first Rabbi, Rabbi David Jacobs.

Also taking part are Max Pascal and David Devlin to the right of Mr. Heinish.


lot-oxford-pepperell-halifax-1954The lot on the corner of Oxford St. and Pepperell St., Halifax, 1954

November 1953

A vision was created when in November 1953 a Building Fund Campaign is launched. The new congregation was to have a new home.  The Founding members of Shaar Shalom congregation worked hard and tirelessly to raise the needed funds to build their new synagogue.

June 10, 1953

At a General Meeting, the new congregation was named “Shaar Shalom Congregation”.

Of the original 105 families who were the Founding Members of Shaar Shalom Congregation we are privileged to have a few Founding Members among our congregation today. Many of the children of the Founding Members are members of Shaar Shalom today with children and grandchildren of their own.

Thursday, May 14, 1953

A meeting was called and 96 people assembled to determine the necessity of forming a Conservative congregation. To read more, click on the history of the Shaar Shalom written by Founding Member, Lawrence Ferguson, below:

A Short History of the Shaar Shalom by Lawrence B. Ferguson

A Short History of the Shaar Shalom by Lawrence B. Ferguson