Shul History

Beth Lida has its roots in the town of Lida - part of the Russian Empire prior to World War One, part of Poland from 1920-1939, and now claimed by Belarus. Our shul was founded in 1912 by a number of families who had fled the anti-Semitism of Europe to seek a peaceful life. They settled in Toronto, where they established a Shul on Terauley Street (now Bay Street). They named it Shearith Israel Anshe Lida Synagogue (“Remnants of Israel People of Lida”).

As congregants gradually moved north, they struck a committee to find a new home. They chose a frame cottage on Augusta Avenue as their new Shul, under the spiritual guidance of Rabbi Isaac Aronoff. As membership steadily increased, the Shul purchased a cemetery on Roselawn Avenue and set up a Chevra Kadisha, a Bikur Cholim committee, and a Chevra Mishnayos for religious study. By the 1950s, they added a Young Men’s Club and a Sisterhood, held community fundraisers and hosted holiday parties.

We moved into our current home, a former church, in the early 1950s, and our name became Beth Lida Forest Hill Synagogue. Yes, the Aron Kodesh (Holy Ark) faces West, not East, but long ago we received Orthodox rabbinic approval from Rabbi Gedaliah Felder z’l. Let’s face it, it gives us character!

Recent Presidents of Beth Lida

Current                    Eshai Hirschberg
2013-2014              Stephen Granovsky
2012-2013              Simone Sherman
2007-2011              Aaron Cooperberg
2004-2007              Sam Stochinsky
1995-2004              Ron Poizner
1988-1995              Victor Pamensky
198x-1988              Sam Black