Past Presidents

Bernard Samuels, 1952-54 (deceased)

Peter Cooper, 1954-56 (deceased)

Ellis Tumpson, 1956-58 (deceased)

Norman Gordon, 1958-60 (deceased)

Irving R. Isaacs, 1960-62 (deceased)

Dean J. Hirschfield, 1962-64 (deceased)

Jack C. London, 1964-68 (deceased)

Albert Stern, 1968-70 (deceased)

Robert Shapiro, 1970-72

Irving W. Levine, 1972-74 (deceased)

David Cohen, 1974-76 (deceased)

Irwin D. Rosenberg, 1976-78 (deceased)

Israel J. Rudoy, 1978-80 (deceased)

Shirley R. Bleiberg, 1980-82 (deceased)

Theodore Goldberg, 1982-84

Mark H. Silverman, 1984-88

Nancy R. Berkowitz, 1988-92

Martin J. Katz, 1992-94

Bonnie Cossrow, 1994-96

Alan Ross, 1996-2000

Betty Jo Hirschfield Louik, 2000-02

Melvin Vatz, 2002-04

David Cohen, 2004-2006

Joan Rothaus, 2006-2010

Lynn Richards, 2010-2012

Eric Bernstein, 2012-2014

Dan Rothschild, 2014-2016

David Weisberg, 2016-2020

May 1951

Congregation established by a group of Jewish families seeking to bring the beauty and spirit of Reform Judaism to Pittsburgh’s South Hills.


Congregants met in homes, schools, and churches


Purchased land along Bower Hill Road in Mt. Lebanon


  • Groundbreaking and original first floor constructed as part of first phase
  • Designed by renowned synagogue architect Percival Goodman


Additional land purchased for the synagogue


Groundbreaking and second floor constructed, including Sanctuary and Social Hall


Grew to about 600 member families. As our membership has grown, so too has our building.


Due to renovations, the building became fully accessible to persons with physical challenges.


  • 50 year anniversary of Temple Emanuel
  • Article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the groundbreaking ceremony for the next big renovation


$3.6 million expansion of religious, educational, and social spaces

  • Designed by architect, Temple member, and past president Dan Rothschild
  • Organized around two projecting wings: one wing contains classrooms and learning spaces; the other a chapel, library and community room. A courtyard is formed between the two wings.
  • Completed a new library, Community Room, Youth Lounge, Women of Reform Judaism room, and eight additional classrooms for the religious school.
  • Renovated and updated preschool classrooms.


Dedication of the focal point of the project, a second inspirational prayer space, the Beit HaT’fila, which is filled with Judaic symbols.


Temple Emanuel is one of the 36 congregations chosen for Pittsburgh Prayswhich highlights the most notable houses of prayer in our region

  • Temple Emanuel is the only one with a contemporary design; all the others are historic buildings
  • An excerpt adapted from the book talks about the “revolutionary round prayer space”

December 2015

Updated virtual door to synagogue with new website