In 2007, Congregation Beth Sholom and Congregation Beth Israel of Northern Valley began the formal process to create one community from the union of these two neighboring synagogues.
Congregation Beth Israel was first organized in 1927 by a handful of families who had settled in the area as the Bergenfield-Dumont Jewish Center. In 1948, Congregation Beth Israel built a commanding structure on North Washington Avenue in Bergenfield, which would be its home for nearly 60 years. The building was further expanded in 1955 to accommodate the rapid influx of Jewish families into the area.
In 1984 tragedy struck. A faulty furnace caused a fire which destroyed the entire building. The congregants were devastated. Services continued to be conducted in make-shift and borrowed premises.
Meanwhile the dedication of the members was not tempered. A new facility, completed in 1987, reflected the commitment of the membership and paid homage to the synagogue’s history, enabling the Congregation to grow and attract new families.
The congregants, young and old, always sensitive to the needs of the local Jewish population, formed steering committees to chart the course of the Congregation into the next millenium. It was recognized that young Jewish families moving into the surrounding Northern Valley towns, such as Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Haworth and Tenafly were interested in making our Congregation their home. As a result the Congregation was renamed Congregation Beth Israel of Northern Valley to reflect the wider area that we now serve.
Three rabbis proudly served at Congregation Beth Israel. After serving the Congregation for 50 years, Rabbi Jerome Blass retired in 1998 and became Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Beth Israel. Rabbi Lawrence Troster succeeded Rabbi Blass, and in September 2004, Rabbi David Bockman joined the congregation, serving through the merger process.