After 32 years in Royal Palm Beach, Temple Beth Zion has announced that it is merging with Temple Beth El in West Palm Beach.
President Iris Rosenberg said demographic and economic changes forced the decision for the Conservative congregation.
“It has been the heart and center of Royal Palm Beach,” Rosenberg said. “Over the past years, the demographics of Royal Palm Beach have changed. Most of our Jewish seniors are moving on to greener pastures. The ones who are aging are going into retirement homes, or moving back north to their children.”
Rosenberg noted that for younger Jewish families, Judaism’s Conservative movement has not been an influence in their life, and they are opting for either Reform or Chabad congregations.
“The sad part is once the child has had a bar or bat mitzvah, membership usually drops from the family,” she said, explaining that the family members seem to feel once their children reach that mark, there is no further need for a Judaic education. “Sadly, that’s only the beginning. There are life cycles, and it’s a wonderful part of life to learn from the beginning to the end.”
She said the temple can no longer hold a congregation large enough to support its continuation. It recently lost its preschool, and many members have been unable to pay dues due to economic difficulties. “This caused us to go into this situation faster than we would have liked,” Rosenberg said.
Temple Beth El is a vibrant congregation located at Flagler Drive and 28th Street in West Palm Beach. “They have welcomed us graciously,” she said.
The Temple Beth Zion property, located between Veterans Park and the village’s municipal complex on Royal Palm Beach Blvd., is for sale.
“The proceeds from the sale will be put into some kind of educational foundation to further Jewish education,” Rosenberg said.
The temple will hold a garage sale Sunday, March 3 and Wednesday, March 6 to sell congregation property, including computer and office equipment.
Meanwhile, Temple Beth Zion will hold its final Purim celebration this Sunday with costumes and a carnival. The public is invited.
The temple is located at 129 Sparrow Drive. For more information, call (561) 798-8888.
ABOVE: The temple building on Sparrow Drive is for sale.