Our History



Our Temple Speaks "I want you to know something about me. With the cooperation and devotion of many, I (Temple Beth Am) became the ultimate solution as a beautiful House of Worship. I am functionally designed to adequately serve the many requirements of a suburban community. I would like to extend my warmest personal thanks to all of the men and women who worked tirelessly building me to become one of Long Island’s finest houses of worship." The Reform Jewish Congregation of Merrick and Bellmore, “Temple Beth Am.”

Originally named the Reform Jewish Congregation of Merrick, its birth was planned to be more than a Temple. It was constructed not only to serve religious functions but also to accommodate educational and social activities.

Functional and multi-purpose ... these were two of the basic concepts the planners of our Temple strived for and we are proud that they remain today. These ideas were certainly kept in mind when our Temple was on the drawing board, and the results are now apparent.

On December 1, 1950, our Congregation held its first Friday evening service at the Empire Fire Hall. At that time, Rock Haven Nursery School served as educational quarters. The first Seder took place on April 22, 1951, at a congregant's home. Camp Avenue Fire Hall housed our first High Holy Day Services.

The year 1952 found us using Oakwood Hall as the “operations base” for most of our spiritual and educational activities. A variety of schools, halls and restaurants were used for other meetings and social events. In 1953, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services took place at the Community Presbyterian Church. Our children attended religious school at the Cerebral Palsy Center in Roosevelt and Oakwood Hall continued to be used for most of our other activities. For the better part of 1954 we continued our nomadic trek from school to hall to fire hall. In the twilight of that year, we achieved the ultimate – on December 17, 1954, our wandering over, we worshipped in our own Temple. A house for worship, a house for learning and a house for meeting for ourselves and for our children.

In 1974, our synagogue was expanded and named Temple Beth Am – The Reform Jewish Congregation of Merrick.

In 2011, Shaarei Shalom of Bellmore merged with Temple Beth Am and as a united congregation, we are now Temple Beth Am – The Reform Jewish Congregation of Merrick and Bellmore.