In 1963, The Jewish Community Group of Acton consisted of 15 families led by lay people, meeting in the homes of its members. By 1967 the Acton group was sharing space with Congregation Rodoff Shalom in its Maynard Synagogue.
Congregation Beth Elohim was incorporated in 1969 and seven years later purchased land in Acton for its own building. Membership grew substantially through the 70's and, after much debate and planning, a building was constructed on that land. On May 4, 1980 Congregation Beth Elohim's 86 member families, along with community friends and officials, dedicated and consecrated our synagogue.
Once the building was a reality, the Congregation drew still more newcomers and, in just seven years, it was once again necessary to build to meet our growing needs. Plans for the expanded building more than doubled the existing space, providing a larger sanctuary, a social hall, new classrooms, a caterer friendly kitchen and a lounge for our youth.
Dedication ceremonies were held in the new sanctuary May 1, 1988. This time nearly 200 member families and community friends were in attendance. In less than 2 decades, the local Jewish community and Congregation Beth Elohim had come a long way.
With the procurement of adjacent land in 1997, a long range plan was established that recognized the congregation's continued growth and need for additional space to accommodate our ambitious programming plans. In 1999 a building committee was established where all aspects of our synagogue's facility needs were scrutinized.
At our annual meeting in May of 2000, the congregation voted to go forward with the building expansion. Designs called for a expansion that would triple the size of the building to 22,000 ft2 with significant on-site parking.
In 2001 we had our groundbreaking for what would be a challenging 14 month construction period. All programming including Congregation Beth Elohim's religious services and school programs were held off-site. We are especially grateful to the kindness and generosity of St. Matthew's Church, the Acton-Boxborough Regional High School and many others within the community for providing us with required facilities during this transition period.
Our beautiful new synagogue was completed just in time to accommodate the high holiday services in the fall of 2002. Today, the CBE congregation is around 300 families/members with an ever expanding range of religious, educational and social activities for children, teens, adults and seniors.
In addition, CBE has recently transitioned from hosting a JCC-staffed pre-school, to hosting our own CBE Early Learning Center, a Jewish oriented early education and care program for families within the surrounding communities.
We are proud of our past and look forward to Congregation Beth Elohim's continued future growth. We welcome you to join our congregation and share with us in all we have to offer.