Temple B’nai Israel is one of the oldest congregations in Pinellas County dating back to 1949. Our history began after World War II when a surge of Jewish families began moving into Pinellas County.
In 60 years, Temple B'nai Israel had only four rabbis. In 1956, Rabbi Harry R. Richmond came out of retirement for a four year period until he retired again. He was an extraordinary person and, among other interesting facts, was the only Jewish chaplain to serve in both World War I and World War II.
Rabbi J. Marshall Taxay served as our Rabbi from 1960 until he retired in 1969.
Rabbi Arthur I. Baseman served as our Rabbi from 1969 until 2008. During this time, Arthur and Charlie Rutenberg gave the beautiful piece of land on South Belcher Road to the congregation, and the entire congregation from South Betty Lane worked together to build and grow our beautiful Temple in its new location.
Our new rabbi, Rabbi Daniel Treiser, joined our Temple family on July 1, 2008. Rabbi Treiser has been instrumental in overseeing TBI’s two separate trips to Israel. He brings to TBI a renewed spiritual experience.
Temple B'nai Israel has always been a congregation of people dedicated to the improvement of the lives of others as a means of honoring God. During the last 60 years, we have continued to grow and provide for the needs of the Jewish community of Clearwater and Pinellas County.
Ours is a vital, warm, committed and caring membership that creates a deep sense of community in all that we do. The members of TBI take pride in the fact that our programming and services remain vibrant and relevant after 60+ years of serving the Jewish community. New families in the community as well as existing families join together as an active part of this wonderful extended family.