In 1998, some brave and enthusiastic families in the North Fulton Metro Atlanta area joined together with a mission in mind; a mission to fill a void in this northern suburb community for a conservative synagogue, actually at the time, for any kind of synagogue. After several community meetings to confirm interest and to organize, the North Fulton Jewish Center was born.
For a year, we held services in neighborhood club houses, but it soon became time to find a place we could call home. So in 1999, a small ranch house in Alpharetta was purchased so we would have a physical place to meet, to share, to educate and to grow. The house had a detached garage where we held services and later when the garage was expanded and turned into the preschool, we held services in what was the kitchen and living room. The bedrooms served as offices and classrooms for our quickly growing preschool and religious school. During this time, the congregation voted to adopt a new name. Mainly because of the names of the many roads in the area and the link we wanted to build with our Jewish religion and culture, Congregation Gesher L’Torah, Bridge to Torah, was a perfect name. More affectionately, you will often hear us called GLT.
As the word spread of a conservative synagogue in North Fulton, we grew rapidly over the next few years. But, with growth, obviously came more families with more children. We had to expand the preschool, the religious school and our prayer space. The GLT campus began to take shape as a purpose-built modular education building was constructed. In March of 2003, we celebrated a double Bat Mitzvah only an hour after receiving our certificate of occupancy. The space requirements didn’t end there. The religious school continued to expand. So thanks to the Fulton County Public School system, a second modular educational facility was put in place and served as our social hall and religious school classrooms.
In 2008, 10 years after we started with a 12 families, we were now over 100 families and it was time for the biggest project in Gesher L’Torah’s history. After searching the area, it was decided that the best place to build the new permanent home of Gesher L’Torah was right where we were, 4320 Kimball Bridge Road.
Moving our offices and preschool into a nearby shopping center storefront, and the religious school to a weekend-rented local middle school, we embarked on a year-long building project. In January of 2009, Phase I of the Gesher L’Torah building plan was complete. We moved in and dedicated our beautiful building with new offices, preschool and religious school facilities, and a sanctuary. As we look towards the future of continued membership growth, we look forward to continuing our facilities growth as well.