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The TBE Blog

Charlotte and Albert Sagansky – founding members of Temple Beth Elohim

Our mother, Charlotte Sagansky, had one child and one on the way when she determined that she wanted to live in Wellesley for the school system. In 1954 Wellesley had few Jewish residents and the realtors were very discouraging. But Charlotte persevered. It was a trait that she brought to every facet of her life. When a house on Hunnewell Street finally dropped out of escrow, she and Al bought it. They immediately joined the Jewish Community Group of Wellesley and in 1955 participated in the first High Holy Day services at the Unitarian Church.

In fact, our parents were instrumental in forming the Hebrew School and buying the land on Bethel Road. Al was elected the first President of Temple Beth Elohim in 1957 and for the next two years he and Charlotte led the search for TBE’s first Rabbi, Jacob Lantz, and the fundraising efforts to construct the Temple building, which opened its doors in 1960.

Treasuring family and Jewish community

Our mother’s life revolved around her family and community. She would help organize the annual TBE picnic and would happily volunteer to lead various Sisterhood activities. She believed that raising a strong Jewish family required a vibrant Jewish community and temple. She never was too busy to help. Even after Al died in 2001 and Charlotte moved to Brookline, she returned to TBE every week to participate in and organize senior activities and to attend Shabbat services.

Establishing an endowed fund for dues abatement

Charlotte believed that the TBE should be accessible to all, regardless of ability to pay. To celebrate her legacy, we have set up a fund to help families fully participate in TBE.  We are honored to help those who couldn’t otherwise afford to be part of our sacred community.