Marlborough – The delicious smell of potatoes frying in oil and the sounds of a cappella harmonies filled the air Dec. 16 as Temple Emanuel of Marlborough celebrated its 67th anniversary on the last day of Hanukkah. The event featured platters full of congregant Stan Berman's “famous potato latkes,” a concert of Jewish songs from the Kol Levi Quartet, a prize wheel modeled after the classic spinning Dreidel game plus stories about the temple's history from senior member Dave Stoll.
Started by 20 local Jewish families around 1936, Temple Emanuel was officially recognized by the commonwealth of Massachusetts Dec. 14, 1945. Joseph Greenglass, a Marlborough resident and owner of Outlet Furniture Company, was the temple's president at that time. Greenglass led the purchase of the Queen Anne style McCarthy house at 111 Newton St., where the city's first synagogue was established.
In1967, as Jewish families were settling in the area, the congregation built its present building at 150 Berlin Road. At that time, all of the members along with local dignitaries walked in a procession down the streets of Marlborough carrying the sacred Torahs to their new home.
At the celebration, as temple members, their guests and the rabbi and cantor ate crispy latkes with sour cream or apple sauce, Stoll shared his memories of the early days, along with black-and-white photos, yellowed newspaper clippings and other temple memorabilia. As he pointed to an old picture with a sign reading “Future home of Temple Emanuel,” Stoll spoke of the value of having an active Jewish presence in the area back then and still doing good work in the community today.