“and thou shalt command the children of Israel. . .to cause the lamp to burn eternally.”
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History of Congregation Ner Tamid
Congregation Ner Tamid has served Carrollton, Lewisville, and surrounding northern suburbs of Dallas, Texas for 30 years. In 1984 Richard Becher posted an article in a local newspaper, and sent a letter out to several families in the area, asking for interest in forming a local Jewish congregation. Several responded. Soon after that we incorporated as the Metrocrest Jewish Community and chose the name Congregation Ner Tamid for our congregation. Services were first held in homes, and shared space was obtained in facilities of the First Christian Church of Carrollton later that year. The congregation became incorporated as the Metrocrest Jewish Community, and later adopted its name: Congregation Ner Tamid ("Eternal Light"). Since most families were familiar with Conservative Judaism, services for the first two years or so used a conservative prayer book. However, with growth of the congregation and interest from mixed-marriage couples, services adopted a more Reform liturgy, which allowed more flexibility. Congregation Ner Tamid formally became affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism (then known as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) in 1987.
Over the years the congregation has shared space with other organizations and businesses (churches, hospitals, day-care centers, and offices). In some years we have just met in homes. We often rented space for our large events such as High Holy Day services and Passover Seder, which have become very well attended by families in the area. However, with expansion of the membership base in 2011-2013, the time came to move into our own space, and this came to pass in March 2013 when the congregation moved into a large space in Lewisville. The location increases our service coverage to Denton and Flower Mound, and it is convenient for families living in Richardson and Plano, as well as North and West Dallas. Although this space is beautiful and answers are present needs, it is rental space in an office building. We look forward to owning our own synagogue in the future.
Congregation Ner Tamid prides itself as a small intimate congregation; many members consider the group as family. Although small, the congregation always has a stuffed calendar of many varied activities centered on worship, education, fellowship, and fun. We even have summer trips to Israel! At present we are privileged to have as our religious leader Cantor Patti Turner (view her résumé here)
. Virtually all significant Jewish holidays and festivals are observed. If you think you might like a small congregation with a lot of personal attention and opportunities to really make a difference in the Jewish community, please drop by to visit us!
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