Congregation Beth Tefillah dates back to 1984 when Rabbi Yossi New first arrived in Atlanta and set about the task of attracting families interested in davening in an Orthodox setting. Our early days were somewhat inauspicious - membership consisted of a handful of committed stalwarts, and services were held in a store on Roswell Road above a local sports bar. A minyan was often accomplished by prevailing upon passers-by and clientele of the neighboring hairdressing shop and grocery store!
In 1988, the shul moved to its current location on Highpoint Road. With Rabbi New and his family living in the house at the time, davening was held in the basement, and Shabbat morning Kiddush took place upstairs in the News' living room. Early members recall the warmth of those gatherings.
Gradually, expansion became a necessity. The Rabbi had by now relocated to another residence and plans were set in motion to build a new sanctuary/social hall, kitchen and mikvah. In 1989 the first Rosh Hashanah services were held in the new sanctuary. Since then, growth has been steady, and the shul continues to attract a diverse group of people representing various backgrounds and degrees of religious observance. Even as we have grown, we have managed to retain the same welcome atmosphere of our early years.
As the congregation continued to grow, the need for expanded facilities also grew. In 1996, the facilities were expanded again, this time adding a new sanctuary, bride's room, coat room and second kitchen. The ballroom was completed in 1998, and in 1999 the old sanctuary/social hall was remodeled to create administrative offices, library and small chapel.