Temple Emanu-El of Willingboro was born in January 1959, when five families met to discuss formation of the first Jewish Reform Congregation in Burlington County. We received our Charter from the State of New Jersey on July 16, 1959.
In January, 1960, the Temple acquired its first permanent home - a converted house on Pinafore Lane in Willingboro. Services were lead by student Rabbis.
In April 1962, plans were drawn for a structure on John F. Kennedy Way in Willingboro. The building was formally dedicated in October 1964, the same weekend that the congregation installed its first permanent Rabbi, Richard A. Levine. As the congregation grew, so did our building.
With changing demographics, a Future Planning Committee was formed in 1986. Over the next few years the committee met, discussed possibilities of relocation and investigated several possible building sites.
In 1992, after meeting with Barry Bannett, a local architect, the plans for a new home took on a viable shape. In December 1993, the congregation approved the purchase of property in Mount Laurel.
In preparation for the move, the congregation voted to change the name of their Temple to Adath Emanu-El (Community of Emanu-El), so the emphasis would be on the people, not on the building.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place on June 23, 1996. A steering committee was formed to oversee the realization of this endeavor. This was a "building by committee" as hundreds of congregants contributed ideas and recommendations for consideration by the Steering Committee.
On August 24, 1997, with Rabbi Levine leading the way, the three Torah scrolls were carried in relay by over 200 congregants from our old home in Willingboro to our new home in Mount Laurel. Upon arrival, the mezzuzot were blessed and placed upon our doors and over 400 people gathered in our sanctuary as the scrolls were placed in the ark. The building was officially dedicated at our Friday night service on September 19, 1997.
In September, 2002, Rabbi Andrew Israel Bossov was installed as our Associate Rabbi. On June 30, 2005, Rabbi Richard A. Levine retired and Rabbi Bossov became our Senior Rabbi. Rabbi Levine, our Rabbi Emeritus, was an active part of our congregational family.
From January 7, 2011 to June 30, 2012 Rabbi Stacy K. Offner joined Adath as our interim Rabbi. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, officiated at this event.
On July 1, 2012, Rabbi Benjamin P. David joined Adath as our new Rabbi. Rabbi David's leadership is a guiding light in this new chapter of our synagogue's life.
Rabbi Richard A. Levine "z'l" passed away in February of 2014 and leaves behind a rich legacy of Torah and Jewish thought, as well as a large and loving family.
In 2015 Rabbi Monica Kleinman joined Adath as a Rabbi Educator and Director of our Religious School.
Adath Emanu-El is complete with tradition, spirit and feeling of Kehilah - a family growing, learning, worshipping and working together.