Beth Shalom’s History

A black and white photo shows several of the founding members of Liberal Synagogue at the 1946 dedication ceremony

Several founders of Liberal Synagogue and guests at the congregation’s dedication ceremony in late 1946, under the tenure of Rabbi Arthur Brody. Photo courtesy of personal files of founding member Boris Bagalman.

In 1945, 19 families who envisioned a home for traditional Judaism in Baton Rouge established Liberal Synagogue. Our founding families hoped to establish a Bet Tefillah, a house of worship, where Jews of varied backgrounds could find a spiritual home. A quarter of a century later, shortly after moving into our current Jefferson Highway location, Liberal Synagogue adopted a Hebrew name and became Beth Shalom, House of Peace. Since our founding, Beth Shalom Synagogue has been committed to a substantive, learned and deeply spiritual vision of Reform Judaism. For more than half a century, Beth Shalom has been committed to perpetuating our founders’ vision of a “Reform Congregation that Honors Tradition.”

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