About Valley Temple
Valley Temple was founded in the early 1950s as the Cincinnati School for Judaism. Not long after, the school was functioning more as a Temple than only an education program, and the membership formally voted to become the Valley Temple.
The Temple was first housed in the Jewish Community Center, HUC, a church in Wyoming. and the Wyoming Masonic Building (now the Wyoming Center for the arts). The early days were blessed by the participation of popular HUC professor, Dr. Abraham Cronbach. Rabbi Herbert Stern became the first rabbi hired for the position, with Rabbi David Zielonka following Rabbi Stern. In 1968, Rabbi Solomon T. Greenberg left his position as assistant rabbi of I.M. Wise Temple to become Valley’s longest serving rabbi until his retirement in 2000.
Rabbi Greenberg helped Valley grow in many ways. When Rabbi Greenberg arrived, the Temple building was a residence in Wyoming Ohio. The growth in membership allowed the current synagogue building to be built in the early 1970s. Sol’s many gifts included terrific high holy day sermons, a love of positive expressions of Judaism, and a genuine warmth. Rabbi Greenberg, however, distinguished himself nationally in his vision of what would later be called “outreach.” Sol’s approach to wedding couples not only filled Valley with terrific members, but he promoted the Jewish future with a welcome that few other rabbis could accomplish.
Rabbi Sandford Kopnick’s arrival at Valley after Rabbi Greenberg’s retirement was like a homecoming. Rabbi Greenberg officiated at Rabbi Kopnick’s wedding to his wife, Nancy–whose family are long time Valley members. Plus, Rabbi Greenberg was a profound influence on Rabbi Kopnick during the times the two spent at summer camp when Sandford was as camper and staff member at GUCI. During the time Sandford has been our rabbi, he has introduced new middle school programming, helped with a major curriculum overhaul, introduced three levels of ongoing Adult Hebrew classes, and refined our Hebrew and b’nai mitzvah programs to be more appropriate for modern American Judaism. In addition, we have more adult education offerings, a dynamic synagogue band that helps with services each month, a crazy tot shabbat, a monthly family service, visual worship and occasional service streaming through the internet.
Since Rabbi Greenberg’s retirement, Rabbi Kopnick has worked with the entire staff and lay leaders to ensure that the warm and happy temple Sol developed continues to be a safe, joyful, and diverse synagogue with a commitment to Judaism’s future, and a sense of inclusion for singles and families who want to celebrate the joy of Judaism.