Synagogues / Congregation B’nai Shalom
Congregation B’nai Shalom (Children of Peace) originated as a suburban school extension of Ahavas Achim-Lubavitz for families based in the suburbs. It later became the congregation’s new permanent home and the new name of the synagogue. Initially the building at 1641 North Forest Road, was erected to serve as a location for Kindergarten and Primary Departments on Sunday mornings and the Hebrew School on Sundays and two days per week. It had seven classrooms, offices for the rabbis and cantor, a general office, library and bridal suite, but no kitchen or sanctuary. The North Buffalo sanctuary and its school, kitchen, and social hall complex remained in use.
In 1987, the suburban North Forest site was extensively remodeled and expanded and by 1992, Congregation B’nai Shalom (Children of Peace) had a sanctuary and commercial kitchen. Although some members were attached to their former name, Ahavas Achim Lubavitz, many of the younger members felt that the name recalled the past, and Yiddish speaking, East Side origins that no longer reflected their current identity. To preserve the connection between its past, present and link to its future, the new congregation found ways to include its history by bringing the stained glass and memorial boards from its earlier forms into its new building.
The suburban synagogue retained its Orthodox traditions, defining itself as a Modern Orthodox congregation. In the 2000’s Rabbi Mordechai Friedfertig was appointed as rabbi. He left in 2007 to help found another congregation: Kehillat Ohr Tzion located at 879 Hopkins Rd in Williamsville, NY. In 2017, Congregation B’nai Shalom merged with Temple Beth Tzedek (then located at 621 Getzville Road), and the location of the former Shaarey Zedek. Temple Beth Tzedek was itself a merger of Temple Beth El and Temple Shaarey Zedek. Ground was broken at the B’nai Shalom site for the new expanded home of Temple Beth Tzedek that incorporated the B’nai Shalom building, added a new sanctuary, classrooms and offices, and that opened in 2018.
Contribute to this page
We are seeking photographs, documents, film, mementos and written recollections recalling the development of B’nai Shalom over time for digitization. If you have personal materials you’d like to make available for this purpose, please contact us.