Congregation Bamidbar Shel Ma’alah was incorporated in 1978.
Five years later we joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. At first, we used the chapel at George AFB for services and religious school. We functioned mostly with lay leaders, but we also had a retired rabbi in our community for about 2 years.
In 1985, we bought our first building, on El Rio in Victorville. With some structural changes, we were able to use it for prayer and religious school. It was a bustling little house on Friday nights and Sunday mornings. We continued to use the base chapel for High Holy Days and special occasions.
In 1987, our first student rabbi, Geoff Hunting, arrived to take over the pulpit.
In 1993, faced with closure of the air base, we built and dedicated the new sanctuary at El Rio. Shortly thereafter, Dr. and Mrs. Abram Hodes donated the Sixth Street building to us. After extensive renovations, it was dedicated in 1994.
We have had 2 torahs, our beloved holocaust survivor and our new one, which we purchased 4 years ago.
We have had many student rabbis since 1987. They have been a dedicated group, each bringing a unique perspective on worship and learning. What a blessing for us!
After 35 years, we still provide an unusually wide range of programs for a small congregation. Bamidbar Shel Ma’alah functions as an organization due to the untiring efforts of its devoted members.