Fifty years ago, two significant Boston congregations, Temple Beth Hillel of Mattapan and Temple Beth Torah of West Roxbury, came together to form Temple Hillel B’nai Torah in West Roxbury.

It was a time of great transition in Boston’s Jewish community. Even as neighborhoods were undergoing change, the members of these congregations created a way to sustain their communities and grow together for the coming decades.

The Temple Hillel B’nai Torah they created became a welcoming, inclusive space for members of these congregations and others to create a special community.

Temple HBT is honored to have been founded in this way. As we mark 50 years of our congregation, we are excited to celebrate our rich history with the families of members of Temple Beth Hillel and Temple Beth Torah. This year will also mark the 25th anniversary of our beloved Rabbi Barbara Penzner’s spiritual leadership.

Over the course of the coming year, 5780, we will hold special programs and activities to mark this milestone. We would be deeply honored to welcome member families of these former congregations to join us.

We will launch the year with a special Shabbat service on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 10 a.m. A member of the former Temple Beth Hillel will mark the 75th anniversary of his bar mitzvah. We are thrilled to celebrate this moment with him and his family, which includes a current member of Temple Hillel B’nai Torah.

If you are a former member of either of these two congregations, please contact us! We want to keep you connected with old and new friends at Temple HBT and welcome you this year. And please share this notice with others whom you may know from our founding  congregations. Contact Benita Block, director of administration and communications, at 617-323-0486 or

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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