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The Congregation Beth Shalom Centennial: Bridge to Our Future


would foreshadow many threats to Jewish life around the world.  Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin were beginning their climb to power and influence.  There was, however, evidence of new beginnings and inspired optimism here in the United States.  Women had just achieved the right to vote, the stock market was booming, and in Washington D.C., the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated, inscribed with a slain president’s yearnings for freedom and equality.   

In New York, Jewish equality took center-bimah as Judith Kaplan, daughter of Rabbi  Mordechai Kaplan (the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism) became the first American Bat Mitzvah. It was a new, and we now know, bold vision of the future. Another giant step was taken in Wilmington, Delaware, by a small group that felt compelled to build a conservative synagogue.

The property was purchased at 18th and Washington Streets, not far from where our synagogue is now. The six founding families of Congregation Beth Shalom (CBS) were Finger, Cohen, Levitt, Laub, Faber, and Schagrin. Over the following months, you will learn more about this courageous group of friends.  During this Centennial year, we will learn about and admire their vision, the traditions they began, and the firm foundation they built. Our hope is that this Centennial year will inspire us to take future-minded actions, as we are the founding families of our synagogue’s next 100 years.  

The CBS Centennial celebration began during the 2021 High Holy Days and will last through the 2022 calendar year. Our leadership has declared all of 2022 as a year of celebration synagogue programs and activities that acknowledge the joy of the Centennial while honoring past and present members who endeavor on behalf of the congregation. There will be additional dedications, a commemorative book, and a Centennial Celebration party on September 8, 2022. (Save the Date)

Our Centennial theme is Gesher, the Hebrew word for bridge - a bridge that spans our history, connecting our storied past with a vision for the future. It is appropriate and well-timed to follow last year's theme of Kesher, the Hebrew word for connection.  It is through the connections we have made that we honor CBS’s history and build a strong bridge to what comes next.  

For the stories, the events, and programming tied to this year’s Centennial stay connected here


Centennial Logo - Created Hayim W - February 2020  

Honoring Our Members

During this Centennial Year, we recognize and honor active congregants who endeavor to keep our synagogue strong and thriving, allowing Congregation Beth Shalom to build bridges among ourselves and the community.

May all our congregants
go from strength to strength.

Click Here to See Upcoming Honorees

Photos from the CBS Centennial Celebration Are Available for Order 

Professional photos taken by Elisa Morris Photography during the CBS Centennial Celebration are now available for order.  
Click to view

Elisa Morris Photography maintains all rights to the images. Any and all reproductions must have written consent of the photographer. Images may not be resold or reproduced in any way for profit. Images may not be given to anyone for personal use. The photographs are available from the website above or contact the studio directly.   

Elisa Komins Photography 
(302) 654-7404 


Fri, April 12 2024 4 Nisan 5784