History

In 1962, four couples, Gerry and Esther Daniel, Herb and Ruth Dreifuss, Monroe and Freddie Postman and Nat and Edie Kallman began talking about the need for a Conservative synagogue in the South Bay. They were soon joined by another interested party, Paul Kernoff. Gerry and Paul put an ad in the November 1962 San Jose Jewish Community Bulletin announcing a meeting to explore forming a new Conservative congregation in the area.  The meeting was a success; over one hundred people attended, seventy-five of whom put their names on a list of potential members.  By the time of the second meeting, in December, Paul Kernoff had been named acting chairman and committees had been formed to organize a new congregation. Incorporation papers were filed January 21, 1963. Gerry Daniel became the first president of the congregation.

In April 1963, newly named Congregation Beth David began to hold services at the Meeting House in Santa Clara. The first High Holy Day services were held that fall; the pioneer Hebrew School classes right after. The congregation met at several locations before establishing its permanent home in Saratoga in 1975. From its peripatetic beginnings, Beth David has grown into a community of approximately 500 households, nationally recognized for its rich and varied programs. Through it all we have strived to retain the innovative spirit and communal warmth of our early days.