Congregation Beth Ora is a Modern Orthodox synagogue serving the Jewish community in Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada. It was founded in 1953 when a group of dedicated young men and women, brought together by William Weiss, formed "The Jewish Congregation of Saint Laurent". They worked tirelessly to plan and build a new synagogue and set up committees to find members and raise funds.

After an extensive search for property, the land committee approached Mr. Alexis Nihon, a prominent industrialist, to discuss purchasing land. Not only did he have the land required to build the synagogue (60,000 square feet), on December 8th, 1953, the last night of Hanukkah, he announced that he was donating 40,000 square feet of the land for the erection of a synagogue and community centre.

As 1953 came to a close, elections were held for the board of directors, and 253 members had been signed up. At the beginning of 1954, Arnold Shrier was selected as the architect to design and supervise the building of the new synagogue and Talmud Torah joined forces with an afternoon school based at Beth Ora.

The Jewish Congregation of Saint Laurent published its first constitution in 1956:

1. To maintain a House of Worship with services conducted according to the tenets of modern Judaism and according to the ritual of Minhag Ashkenaz
2. To maintain a school for instruction in Hebrew and Jewish religious studies
3. To maintain a community centre for the development of the moral, mental and physical welfare of its members, and for the cultivation of Jewish thought and action
4. To maintain a cemetery
5. To maintain registers of civil status
6. To render all such other services, spiritual and otherwise, as are generally rendered by synagogues

In September of 1956, a branch of the United Talmud Torahs was opened in the newly erected Beth Ora Synagogue.116 children were enrolled in the nursery school, kindergarten and afternoon classes.

On June 9th, 1957, in the presence of the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, the building was dedicated. Sculptor Adrien Vilandre was commissioned to design the menorah that has symbolized the name of the congregation to this day. Membership at this time was close to 700 families.

On April 9th, 1959 the congregation chose the name “Beth Ora – House of Light”.

The synagogue is a member of the Orthodox Union.


Rabbi Anthony Knopf – present
Rabbi Moshe Jablon – 1986-2016
Rabbi Jerome Wolicki – 1972-1986
Rabbi Morris Halpern – 1955-1972

Shaliach Tzibur:

Rabbi Heshy Benshimon – present


Cantor Arie L. Subar – 1984-2015
Cantor Pinchas Rabinovicz – 1979-1983
Cantor Paul Kowarsky – 1976-1978
Cantor Samuel B. Taube – 1963-1975

Chazzan Sheini:

Chazzan Sheini Amiel Bender – 1990-2014
Chazzan Sheini Alexander Munitz – 1981-1986
Chazzan Sheini Abraham Kenner – 1956-1981


Howard Yancovitch – 2017-2018

Howard Sholzberg – 2015-2017

Simon Bitton – 2013-2015

Glenn Caron – 2011-2013

Maury Rosenzweig – 2009-2011

Neil Stoopler – 2007-2009

Howard Michaels – 2005-2007

Ari Zlotnik – 2003-2005

Morty Mayberger – 2001-2003

Irwin Ludmer – 1999-2001

Les Satov – 1997-1999

Amir Anders – 1995-1997

Jack Dym – 1993-1995

Harvey Share – 1991-1993

Abe Green – 1989-1991

Abe Murad – 1987-1989

Louis Mandelcorn – 1985-1987

Manuel Dalfen – 1983-1985

Abe J. Steinberg – 1981-1983

Henry L. Garber – 1979-1981

Nat S. Bernstein – 1977-1979

Isaac Shustack – 1975-1977

Eddie Balter – 1973-1975

Ted Hurwitz – 1970-1973

Manny Finkelstein – 1969-1970

Herb Goodman – 1967-1969

Al Nadler – 1966-1967

Max M. Stein – 1965-1966

Harry Leitman – 1963-1965

Murray Fainer – 1961-1963

Moe Guttman – 1957-1959

Nathan Chad – 1955-1957

L. Arthur Simon – 1953-1955

(514) 748-6559

FAX: (514) 748-6635

2600 Rue Badeaux, Saint-Laurent, QC H4M 1M5, Canada

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©2018 by Congregation Beth Ora