The Temple is decorated on its corners with frieze panels that depict Latter-day Saint beliefs about the gathering of Israel from the four corners of the earth as prophesied by Isaiah in the Old Testament of the Bible. A.B. Wright crafted the…

In almost every major city in the United States there is a Jewish Community Center. It serves as a general recreational, social, and fraternal organization for the local Jewish community. The JCC promotes Jewish culture and heritage through different…

Beth El Congregation was formed because members of Temple Beth Israel were having a disagreement. The members of the congregation could not decide on the hiring of a Shochet (Kosher butcher) and the hiring of a Reform or Conservative rabbi. The…

From 1860 to 1920, Jewish settlers were finding opportunities in mining, farming, banking, and politics in the Phoenix area. At this time synagogues, trained rabbis and Kosher foods were hard to find in Arizona. For many Jewish families this meant a…

The Arizona Jewish Historical Society occupies the original building of the first permanent Jewish congregation in Phoenix. On April 8, 1920, 38 Jewish residents came together to form Congregation Beth Israel. The architecture of the synagogue…

The first visitors’ center for the Mesa Temple consisted of a small table and literature racks set up at the temple’s west entrance in the late 1940s. This set-up was soon found to be inadequate and a permanent structure, the Bureau of…

The Phoenix Suns played their inaugural NBA season in 1968-1969. Prior to the start of the season, the Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers played a series of exhibition games around the state to generate publicity for the team. On October 1, 1968 the…

The Vance Auditorium was built in 1904 by John Thomas Vance. People all around Mesa came to the dances. At the time of its construction, it was the biggest auditorium in the southwest. In 1919, Vance sold the building to the Maricopa Stake of The…

Prior to the construction of the Mesa Arizona Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), church members wishing to marry in a temple were required to make the grueling journey on the “Honeymoon Trail.” The trail was…

The folks at the First Congregational Church boast that "our faith is 2000 years old but our thinking is not". They've so far paved the way for spiritual and individual acceptance in the city of Tempe. Their beginnings were humble. At the age of…