Our History

The Temple in Louisville is Kentucky’s oldest and largest Jewish congregation. Established in 1843 as K.K. Adas Israel, The Temple was a founding member of Reform Judaism’s Union of American Hebrew Congregations (now Union for Reform Judaism) and an early proponent of Reform in American Jewish life. When Reform Judaism began in 1873, The Temple in Louisville was the second largest congregation in the movement.

By the 1880’s Congregation Brith Sholom was formed for the next generation of Jews to settle here in Louisville who separated from Adath Israel, where services were held in English instead of their native German. Brith Sholom joined the Reform movement in 1920. The two congregations enjoyed cordial relations for nearly a century before reuniting in 1977 to become The Temple of today.

Throughout its long history, The Temple has stood as an active and vocal proponent for the cause of Reform which is now the largest branch of American Judaism with over 1.5 million members and 900 member congregations throughout the United States and Canada.

From its earliest beginnings in Louisville, The Temple has taken pride in its commitment to instill in each generation of our congregation, the essential values of our Jewish faith, the deeper understanding of our heritage and our future, and the involvement of our people toward the betterment of our community as a whole. For over 180 years, the clergy and lay leaders of The Temple have brought strength, vision, and insight into the lives of our members, the broader Jewish community and the city of Louisville at large.

Purpose and Vision

The Temple Adath Israel Brith Sholom was established in 1976 by the consolidation of congregations Adath Israel (Founded 1843) and Brith Sholom (Founded 1880) to be a center for Reform Judaism.

The purpose of The Temple is to enrich lives in our community

  • Providing spiritual guidance and strength

  • Engaging congregants at every stage of life

  • Creating opportunities to repair the world

  • Celebrating the joyous occasions in our lives

  • Supporting all in need as a caring community

  • Educating on Jewish teachings and traditions

  • Operating within our means; planning ahead

  • Sharing and perpetuating our proud heritage

  • Bringing people together in Reform Judaism