Founded in February 1950, Temple Emanuel was the first Reform congregation in Cherry Hill.
Our founders were motivated by a desire to practice Judaism in a liberal environment in southern New Jersey, an environment in which any Jew could feel comfortable. In the beginning, our members met in a variety of places: their own homes, schools, churches, a country club, even an abandoned police station. In 1959, our congregation moved to Cooper River Parkway. Rabbi Herbert M. Yarrish served as our spiritual leader starting in 1956. He was joined by Rabbi Jerome P. David as Assistant Rabbi in 1974.
In 1975, Edwin N. Soslow was appointed Senior Rabbi following the retirement of Rabbi Yarrish. Before long, a satellite religious school program was added for the convenience of members living in the Medford, Marlton, and Voorhees areas. A Young Couples Club and Chavurot were formed. Sadly, in 1987, the congregation mourned the death of Rabbi Soslow.
Rabbi David was named Senior Rabbi and was joined by Rabbi Randi Musnitsky as Associate Rabbi.
In 1986, Brian Baratz became president of the congregation, following in the footsteps of other illustrious members: Charles Rudd, Harold Wolff, Morton Goldstrom, Albert Kilberg, Norton Gold, Leopold Jaffe, Irving Cohen, Matthew Arnold, Arthur Pierce, Dr. Stanton Deitch, Shirley Chess, and Lee Hymerling.
Under Mr. Baratz’s leadership, our plans for a new Temple Emanuel began to evolve. The congregation voted to acquire a nine-acre parcel of land at the corner of Springdale and Kresson Roads on the rapidly expanding east side of Cherry Hill. In 1989 overwhelming congregational approval was granted to hire architects and a construction company to design and build our new home.
In 1991 Andrew Weiner was elected president. As our congregational leader, he was charged with overseeing the construction of our new facility.
Construction of our new home at Springdale and Kresson Roads completed in 1992.
With the continued commitment of other past presidents, Dr. Mark Sobel, Bess Soffer, Ken Korach, Joyce Hoff, Ken Huffman, Adrienne Hoffman Mintz, and Michael Schorr, Temple Emanuel has redoubled its commitment to provide a spiritual and cultural home where families join in celebration of life cycle events, children attend Pre-School, Kamp Kayeetz, Religious and Hebrew school, and adults participate in a wide variety of Jewish educational opportunities.
Now in 2018, we are proud to be a congregation that is continually growing. Under the leadership of Rabbi Jerry David, Rabbi Gidon Isaacs, and Cantor Neil Schnitzer, Temple Emanuel is close to 750 families strong.