175 Years as a Congregation

150 Years of Plum Street Temple

Learn More About the Journey

History of K.K. B'nai Yeshurun - Isaac M. Wise Temple

  • 1981

    Rabbi Alan D. Fuchs is elected Senior Rabbi.

  • 1983

    Friends of Plum Street Temple, an organization devoted to maintaining this historic place of worship, is inaugurated on March 25, 1983.

  • 1985

    Rabbi Lewis H. Kamrass is engaged as Assistant Rabbi.

  • 1989

    Rabbi Lewis H. Kamrass is elected Senior Rabbi.

  • 1991

    The congregation receives prestigious national recognition by the Reform Movement for leadership and innovation in social action programming, (WiseUP) with over a third of the congregational membership involved in various programs.

  • 1992

    A year of special events celebrates two milestones in the life of the Isaac M. Wise Temple: the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Congregation and the 125th anniversary of the Plum Street Temple. Also, during this year, the Wise Temple religious school becomes one of only 25 schools in the United States to receive accreditation from the National Association of Temple Educators (NATE).

  • 1993

    Wise Temple begins participation in the Interfaith Hospitality Network, a night shelter for homeless families in the classrooms of Wise Center. As the only synagogue to participate, this program involves dozens of Temple volunteer hosts, and complements the many soup kitchen programs in which Wise Temple participates.

    "The Wise Commitment: Tradition and Tomorrow Campaign" is inaugurated to provide for renovation, building and program needs for the 21st century. It is received with enthusiastic response by the Congregation and raises an unprecedented $5.8 million.

  • 1994

    Eitz Chayim, a comprehensive program of lifelong Jewish learning is initiated, including numerous courses and opportunities for Jewish study and enrichment for people of varying Jewish educational backgrounds. It will later receive a national award from the Reform movement for being an innovative, exemplary model of lifelong learning.‚Äč

    Plum Street Temple closes to complete a major $2 million restoration including extensive structural, electrical, and interior work, with the assistance of the Friends of the Plum Street Temple. The building reopens on July 21 with great fanfare and renewed vitality, as the Congregation also celebrates ten years of Rabbi Lewis H. Kamrass' leadership.

  • 1995

    Groundbreaking and construction begins July 22, 1995 on a significant expansion and renovation of Wise Center in Amberley Village. The project includes eight new classrooms, new program areas, expanded Library and pre-school areas, and the addition of a grand lobby and seating area. The $2.5 million expansion, including full access for the disabled and safety additions to the entire building, is a 50% increase in size for Wise Center, in order to accommodate the growing congregation and increased programming for the next century.

  • 1996

    Wise Temple families rededicate the Wise Center during a special Shabbat service on April 26, 1996.

    The Congregation accepts an invitation to participate in the Experiment in Congregational Education (E.C.E.), an opportunity to take a closer look and evaluate the learning opportunities at Wise Temple.

  • 1997

    The Temple engages a cantor, in partnership with Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. This is an historic move, representing the first professional cantor in a Reform Congregation in this city.

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