In 1853, the first pioneer Jews in Washington came to settle in the Olympia, Tacoma area. Edward Salomon, a German Jew, was one of the early Governors of the Washington Territory. Twenty years later, the first Jewish organization in Washington was formed, the Hebrew Benevolent Society, and land was purchased to establish a cemetery, the oldest Jewish cemetery in Washington state (and currently still in use).
Jewish families continued to move to the area, and in 1937, a small group of Jewish families joined to incorporate Temple Beth Hatfiloh, and a synagogue building was constructed the following year at the corner of 8th and Jefferson. This synagogue has served the Olympia Jewish community continuously through the years, and the later generations of these familiesóthe Beans, the Goldbergs, the Hollandersócontinue to play a significant role in the life of the congregation.
Through successive decades, services were led by local rabbis and lay leaders. Children were educated at Temple Beth El in Tacoma . As the community began to grow, however, TBH was able to welcome its first full-time rabbi, Marna Sapsowitz, in 1990, and soon expanded its programming, including its own school program. In 2003, the congregation welcomed its new rabbi, Seth Goldstein. Having outgrown its original building, TBH purchased the former First Church of Christ Scientist and in 2004, dedicated our new home.