History of the temple
Temple Gates of Prayer is a Jewish temple that was established in 1901 and has since become the longest running religious Jewish institution in Flushing. Out of the serveral different branches of Judaism, the congregation of this temple is egalitarian conservative. This means that the congregation is of a moderate sect and avoids the extremes of orthodox and reformed Judaism. Men and women sit together in the Temple, the Bible has English, as well as Hebrew text, and women can hold important positions (such as the current president, Ms. Illy Brown does). By doing so, the congregation maintains the traditional aspects of Judaism, while also making moderations to go with the changing times. Such moderations include allowing people to drive to the temple on Shabbat, a day when those observing are not supposed to use many forms of technology.
Although the congregation of the Temple is small, it has been successful in staying open without having to worry about financial issues. This is due to the success the Temple has had with selling some of its property. In the past, as the Jewish community of Flushing became smaller and smaller, the membership of the Temple declined. The Temple no longer used some of its property, and could afford to sell it and still continue running. For example, the Temple used to run a Jewish school for children on its property, but was forced to close it down because of its low membership. Since selling some of this property, the Temple has been able to live off the interest from this sale, and therefore keep from shutting down. Therefore, although the Temple does not have many members, there is no need to ask members for an immense amount of dues.
Temple Gates of Prayer has definitely decreased in membership from the days when Flushing was a predominately Jewish neighborhood. Despite this decrease in membership, the Temple continues to thrive and serve its Jewish community. As we continue our exploration of the Temple, we will see just how the Temple has weathered change and managed to stay relevant in the lives of its congregation of about 200 member families.