Our History

MISSION STATEMENT

Congregation Beth Tikvah was founded in 1964 by a group of young families who were considered pioneers of Jewish life in the West Island. Today, Dollard des Ormeaux is home to North America’s fastest growing Jewish community. In 2007 we were honored to have been selected to merge with Congregation Ahavat Shalom Nusach Hoari, helping to ensure the continuity of their name and long term stability of our synagogue.

We are a family focused synagogue providing educational, spiritual and recreational opportunities for all ages.
While Orthodox in practice, we embrace every Jew and attempt to extend both a level of comfort and opportunities for growth for all.

AROUND THE BUILDING

Holocaust Torah

Our Holocaust Torah was destined to be part of a museum built by the Germans to portray the extinction of the Jewish People. What the Germans set out to do failed. Our Torah celebrates the endurance and tenacity of the Jewish People. Through the inquisitions, expulsions and exterminations, the Jewish People have survived.

The Torah, number 540 out of 1564, was secured from the Czech Memorial Scrolls at the Westminster Synagogue situated in London, England. This 18th Century Torah from Rokycany, Czechoslovakia arrived in England in 1964 after negotiations with the Czech Government, the same year that Congregation Beth Tikvah was founded. A member of the synagogue was approached by an art dealer who was a regular visitor to communist Czechoslovakia, to purchase or obtain 1564 scrolls which languished in the basement of an old and dilapidated synagogue in Prague. The member approached the Rabbi of the synagogue. The Rabbi encouraged him to get involved in this mini-adventure. This was fortuitous as traditionally, a damaged or unusable Torah scroll is buried. The community of the Westminster Synagogue realized that it was irrelevant whether they were kosher or not because they were symbols of communities which no longer existed but which were to be resurrected through new communities helping to develop new ideas and visions thus becoming symbols of renewal and hope.

The Torah, donated by Harriette and Jerry Schwartz is housed in a beautiful time capsule designed by Andre Ibghy, in the Congregation Beth Tikvah Ahavat Shalom Nusach Hoari lobby “We wanted Jewish children to have a symbol of the Holocaust to remember. This will add hope and inspiration to our community” stated our gracious donors. The time capsule symbolizes the past pointing to the future.

The Torah which serves as a powerful symbol for the survival and indestructibility of the Jewish people, gives a message of the need to be tolerant and caring. It silently speaks, tells us of our past and ensures the future of World Jewry. It perpetuates the memory of those lost Jews and destroyed communities as well as ensuring Jewish life in the future.

It serves as a powerful symbol for the survival and indestructibility of the Jewish people and gives a message of the need to be tolerant and caring.

An anecdote to its history – Mr. Brandt, a Sofer from Israel, was in London in 1964 looking for gainful employment. He rang the bell of the Westminster Synagogue. He asked if they had any Torahs to repair. He was only able to return to Israel in 1984, having repaired the majority of the Torahs. As our luck would have it, our Torah was not repaired. Once it arrived at CBTASNH, we decided not to repair it as we felt that it would lose its historical significance.