The recently closed Winands Road Synagogue in Randallstown merged with Pikesville’s Beth Tfiloh Congregation last week. Beth Tfiloh, one of the country’s largest modern Orthodox congregations with a membership of more than 1,200 families, plans to officially welcome the new members during its April 14 Shabbat services.
More than 15 months ago, the Winands Road Synagogue announced it would close its doors due to declining membership and lack of financial support.
“As the Jewish population in Randallstown moved away, it was not replaced by younger people,” Winands Road vice president and treasurer Morris A. Wise told the JT in December 2016. “At one point, we had a very thriving preschool, a very thriving Hebrew school, but those things have been gone for probably 30 years.”
Although early reports of the synagogue’s closure cited mid-2017 as the conclusion of services, the congregation, whose original charter dates back to 1895, didn’t hold its final Shabbat services until late last month.
“We are thrilled,” Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg said about the merger. “We had a union with Beth Jacob 10 years ago. That turned into such a wonderful arrangement. We’re thrilled to be able to do it again with another synagogue.”
According to Wohlberg, Beth Tfiloh plans not only to erect a display for the Winands Road Synagogue in its own temple, but will also display memorial plaques in the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School.
“These are nice, warm, balabotish Jews who are proud of their heritage,” said Wohlberg. “They add to the general feeling of everything we try to live by here at Beth Tfiloh.”