60th Anniversary History Nuggets


In advance of Congregation Beth David’s 60th Anniversary celebration,
we are publishing a timeline of our history.
1981 Highlights
  • The Robert E. Levinson Memorial Library was dedicated, a year after his death. Dr. Levinson was a lay cantor and bar/bat mitzvah tutor for 13 years.
  • Rabbi Daniel Pressman hired, following Rabbi Jerry Danzig.  Rabbi Pressman served for 33 years.Rabbi Pressman
1977-1890 Highlights
  • 1977 – Rama Strod became the religious school principal, and served for 21 years
  • 1979 – Ground breaking for new sanctuary
  • 1980 – Dedication of the new sanctuary and first services
1976 Highlights
  • First adult bar or bat mitzvah Rita Bauer
  • Hebrew High School starts
  • The synagogue celebrated its bar mitzvah year.
  • Congregants took part in completing a new Torah
1975 Highlights
  • Building was dedicated. New building opened.
1974 Highlights
  • The first Havurah was formed (Haskalah)
  • Ground broken for current structure.
1972 Highlights
  •  Women were granted equal rights and obligations within the congregation; B’nai Mitzvah serve as Ba-alei Kriah at High Holy Day Services.
  • Saratoga site was purchased from the Church of Ascension.
1965 & 1968 Highlights
  • 1965: First edition of the Beth David Star (edited by Len and Olga Farber)
  • 1965: First Building Fund ($10,000 from 13 families)
  • 1968: Hebrew School becomes a three-day per week program with Henrietta Oberndoerfer as the school administrator.
1963 & 1964 Highlights
  • January 1963:  First services were conducted by Herb Dreifuss and Nat Kallman–first sermon led by Jerry Daniel
  • February 1963: Hebrew Class was taught by Ruth Dreifuss at Harvey and Mildred Katz’s home
  • February 1963: First Sisterhood meeting was held in February 1963. Mildred Katz was President
  • September 18, 1963: First High Holy Day Services were held led by Rabbi Josef Zeitin
  • October 1963: First Sisterhood Newsletter was published in October 1963 called The Chai Line
  • October 3, 1964: First Bar Mitzvah – Jonathan Meltzer, the son of Henrietta and Harold Meltzer
  • August 1964: Congregation Beth David affiliated with the United Synagogue of America
Founding Members of Congregation Beth David November 1962
  • Esther (z”l) and Jerry Daniel
  • Ruth (z”l) and Herb (z”l) Dreifuss
  • Edie (z”l) and Nat (z”l) Kallman
  • Freddie and Monroe (z”l) Postman
Congregational Meeting Places
  • April 1963: Liberty and Main Streets, Santa Clara
  • May 1963: West Valley Presbyterian Church, San Jose
  • October 1963-March of 1964: 711 El Camino, Sunnyvale
  • March 1964: 168 McKinley, Sunnyvale
  • December 1965: 11100 Stelling Road, Cupertino
  • 1975- present: 19700 Prospect Road, Saratoga