Valley Beth Israel began in 1948 as the Sun Valley Jewish Community Center. A handful of dedicated residents met at the Sun Valley Park Recreational Hall and conducted religious services and Sunday school in the local Salvation Army Hall. As the Jewish community grew, it became apparent that the community would need a synagogue to see to its needs. In 1952, ground was broken for our present location. High Holiday services were held that year in a partially completed structure. Members devoted their time and services in finishing many phases of the construction. The property itself was generously donated by the Ratner and Forsch families, pioneer Sun Valley residents, who were among the charter members. In an effort to bring the temple into harmony with its continuing spiritual mood and expanding membership, the name of the temple was changed in 1957 to Valley Beth Israel.For many years, VBI enjoyed great success as one of the East Valley's largest synagogues. Over the past few decades, however, the gradual migration of many Jewish families to the West Valley led to a decline in membership. In June 1999 new clergy arrived bringing new energy. Some services were modernized, musical accompaniment was added, new prayerbooks were purchased, and excitement filled the halls of VBI once again.
Growing With the Community
Today Valley Beth Israel is again a growing congregation. Although we remain true to our traditional orientation, we offer many programs which are in step with modern Conservative preferences. As it was in 1957, VBI is once again poised to become a vibrant center of Jewish life in the east valley.