Temple Bat Yam’s 25th Anniversary — Celebration of its Building

Rina Thaler holding the 25th anniversary program featuring her original art work.

Over 30 years ago a small group of Jewish Ocean City area residents gathered together with the idea of creating a Reform temple on the Eastern Shore where their families could worship, and their children prepare for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. The idea took root.

It was a long journey of about 5 years during which a “traveling ark” with a torah inside traveled on Friday nights to homes, to businesses, and, yes, to a church to hold services.  Fundraising was a constant issue and finally through the largess of several donors the building was able to be constructed.  In the beginning (to borrow a phrase) the founding rabbi, Rabbi Richard Sternberger helped guide the religious aspects of the creation of Temple Bat Yam.

The building of Temple Bat Yam was dedicated on September 27, 1997, and with much pride in the accomplishments of a relatively small group of Jewish people with a single goal in mind, the doors were opened to the community.  

During the summer of 2022 several people noted that the 25th anniversary of the building was coming close.  It was quickly decided that we needed to celebrate this wonderful coming of age.  It didn’t take long before several great ideas came forward: we would have a fundraiser to refurbish the interior of the building, have the last stained-glass windows created and installed and, of course, a wonderful party complete with food, drink and auctions.  

An auction at the gala helped raised funds for the internal renovations.

Now to raise the funds for the renovations.  Our congregation donated a total of $100,000 with the most generous member donating a matching amount totaling $200,000.  Wow!  The renovations began: hard flooring, carpets, painting, window coverings, the creation of stained-glass windows and so forth.  We were ready for the High Holidays with a gorgeous and fresh interior of the temple. 

At the same time preparations were made for the celebration, which was held at The Blu Mezzanine on Saturday, October 8th, 2022.  The temple was buzzing with excitement and activity.  Donations for the auctions were collected, programs were created and printed, Delmarva Life interviewed us, a menu was selected, a DJ was selected and on and on making sure we made this a complete, delicious and wonderful event.  And it was a magical experience!

Temple Bat Yam strives to continue to make our interactions with our members, neighbors and friends an enriching experience.  Temple Bat Yam the GEM of the Eastern Shore.