History

Founding, 1970

In 1970 a group of 50 people formed a new Reform congregation in Columbia, MD that became Temple Isaiah. The congregation held services in the homes of members, with some Rabbinic services provided by Rabbi Richard Sternberger.

First full-time Rabbi (Stephen Fuchs), 1973

Rabbi Stephen Fuchs became the first full-time Rabbi of Temple Isaiah. Shortly after Rabbi Fuchs began, Temple Isaiah began holding services at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center (moving soon after to the Meeting House in Oakland Mills).

Rabbinic Transition, 1986

o   Rabbi Mark Panoff was hired as the second full-time Rabbi of Temple Isaiah, where he served for 26 years. His vision led to the construction of our building and the opening of our religious school and preschool.

Opening of the Temple Isaiah Religious School (now Kulanu), 1992

Temple Isaiah established its own religious school, with Hana Bor serving as the first Educational Director.

Establishment of the Temple Isaiah Preschool, 2004

Renée Panoff z”l was the founding director of the preschool, creating a strong foundation and vision of joyous and experiential learning that continues to this day. The preschool was renamed the Rabbi Mark and Morah Renée Preschool in 2012.

Dedication of Our Building, October 31, 2004

A many-year project culminated in a day of celebration as we formally dedicated our synagogue on still-rural Scaggsville Road.

Rabbi Axler is Hired, 2012

Rabbi Craig Axler is hired to be our congregation’s spiritual leader, becoming the third full-time Rabbi to lead our congregation. His warmth, humor, and skill on the bimah and in the kitchen have made him beloved within and beyond the Temple Isaiah community.

Expansion and Looking to the Future, 2023

With a recently completed expansion project and continued membership growth, we look to the future with hope and excitement. We can’t wait to see what comes next!