It began with a letter from Isaac H. Grancell to Jewish families in the South Bay, inviting them to a meeting about organizing a congregation. On August 21, 1946, this meeting was held and created the South Bay Jewish Community Center. The center was organized to conduct religious education, promote the cultural and spiritual welfare of its members and advance the liberal interpretation of Jewish traditions. In September of 1946, with a nucleus of 17 children, the Religious School was formed. Sisterhood was formed in 1947 and the Youth Group followed in August of that year. The Congregation adopted the name of Temple Menorah in March of 1947.
The young Congregation made its first home on Catalina Avenue in 1951 in a building generously purchased by Isaac and Anna Grancell. From the ashes of the Holocaust, a rescued Torah Scroll, symbolic of the continuity of our people, also found a home.
In 1954, a three-acre building site was purchased in Torrance, but when it was found that the surrounding area would become a major shopping center, it was sold and the land we now occupy was purchased. Construction took place in 1961, and in 1969 the Sanctuary, dedicated to the Grancells, was added. Rabbi Henry Front (1957-1963) provided the first full-time spiritual leadership. Rabbi Jerome Unger (1963-1973) and Rabbi Leon Kahane (1973-1987) followed. We have been fortunate to be led by Rabbi Steven L. Silver since 1987.
The Temple has grown and flourished, not only in the number of Congregants, but also in the services we provide. May we continue to grow and may our Jewish community continue to flourish.
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