Temple Israel located in Charlotte, North Carolina is a large, urban synagogue affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and located in the Shalom Park district of South Charlotte. As one of two major synagogues in the inner-city of Charlotte, NC, it serves more than 900 member families. The senior rabbi is Rabbi Murray Ezring.
With the great wave of immigration of Jews from eastern Europe occurring in the late 19th century, new settlers came to Charlotte. This group also was deeply religious and brought with them their own customs and attitudes. In September, 1895, these new citizens organized the first formal Jewish congregation of the city of Charlotte. This congregation was the forerunner of what is now Temple Israel. They called themselves Agudath Achim, Hebrew United Brotherhood. The group was headed by Mr. Harris Miller, Mr. Benjamin Silverstein and Mr. C. Lubin.
By 1915, now "Temple Israel" had constructed its first building and the number of families grew to more than 100. Two minyans existed at the Temple, one Orthodox and one Conservative. Eventually, the younger members persuaded the congregation to adopt a stance of worship leading more toward "conservatism." This gave way to mixed seating and more use of English in the service.
By 1949, Temple Israel had outgrown its building on Seventh Street and relocated to the Dilworth neighborhood of South Charlotte. and by 1955, Temple Israel boasted the largest membership of any Jewish congregation in the Carolinas with more than 350 member families. In 1985, the synagogue adopted an egalitarian policy for worship, granting women full rights at services to read from the Torah, lead song, and lead prayer.
In 1991, Temple Israel broke ground in Shalom Park of South Charlotte and began construction on its current building. 1992 marked the completion of the congregation's third new building, and in 1994 current Rabbi Murray Ezring became Temple Israel's 19th senior rabbi.
In serving the greater Charlotte metropolitan area, Congregation Emanuel (Statesville, North Carolina) and Beth Shalom of Lake Norman are affiliated with Temple Israel. As these congregations are without full-time clergy, Temple Israel provides rabbinic leadership, monetary support, and resources to help support these communities.
In 2006, Temple Israel received a gift of two Torah scrolls from Beth Sadeh Synagogue in Salisbury, NC. The Beth Sadeh Synagogue's occasional services are conducted by members of Temple Israel's staff.