The mission of Temple Beth Shalom of the West Valley is to fulfill and nurture the spiritual, social and educational needs of our diverse Jewish community.
Since 1968, Temple Beth Shalom of the West Valley has been a Reform congregation, committed to promoting Jewish values. We offer a flexible approach to nurturing the spiritual, educational, and social needs of a diverse community, and are committed to social justice, mitzvot and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).
Congregation Beth Shalom, predecessor to our Temple, started in 1968 with a handful of Sun City residents looking for a spiritual home. Dr. Aaron Papermaster, a dentist from North Dakota, led the effort. In 1969, the congregation began meeting at the Fairway Center in Sun City and moved to the Sun Dial Center in 1975.
The congregation began with a student rabbi, Bernard Beliak in 1970-71, and then Fred Greenspahn in 1971-72. In 1972, Rabbi Albert Michels became the first permanent rabbi of the congregation and was officially installed in 1972 with local church and religious dignitaries participating in the ceremony. The first Beth Shalom Bulletin appeared in 1971, followed by the Beth Shalom Newsletter in 1973.
Dr. Aaron Papermaster and his wife presented the first Torah to the congregation.
In 1976, land was purchased at the site of the present Temple and the ground breaking ceremony was held January, 1977.
As the congregation grew, there were additions to the Temple building. The Social Hall was added in 1983, the auditorium and adjacent rooms, the porte cochere, as well as the choir area were added in 1989, and the office addition was added in 1998.
A religious school was formed in 2009 and continues for students K-8, including bar/bat mitzvah training.
The rabbis who served Temple Beth Shalom following Rabbi Michels were Rabbi Bernard Kligfeld from 1982 to 1997 and Rabbi Arthur Abrams from 1997 to 2005. Rabbi Sheldon Moss served from 2005 to 2019.
Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan has served Temple Beth Shalom of the West Valley since 2019. Cantor Baruch Koritan has served at the Temple since 1992. Temple Beth Shalom is a member of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan