About Us

Arlington’s Conservative Synagogue since 1940

Congregation Etz Hayim (CEH) has deep roots in Arlington. Organized as Ohev Shalom Congregation in 1940 for High Holy Day services, CEH met in the Jones Building on Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon. In June of 1947 ground was broken on a single-floor structure located on Arlington Boulevard, our present location. In 1952, we became the Arlington-Fairfax Jewish Center, and expanded our physical structure between 1954–1955 to accommodate our growing membership.

Rabbi Noah Golinkin z’’l, serving from 1950 to 1965, led our congregation. Rabbi Marvin Bash succeeded him and served as spiritual leader until August of 2001, when Rabbi Lia Bass took the helm. We adopted our current name, Congregation Etz Hayim, in the spring of 2002. We were the only synagogue in Arlington County until 2000, and today remain the only Conservative synagogue in Arlington.

Throughout our history, our members have been key leaders in Northern Virginia and Washington area synagogue life, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia , Gesher Jewish Day SchoolIsrael Bonds, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the George Mason University HillelWomen’s League for Conservative Judaism, the Federation of Jewish Men’s ClubsB’nai B’rith, and Hadassah.

CEH is proud to be involved in the life, strength, and history of Arlington. Read more about our history in this Washington Jewish Week article celebrating our 75th year.

Congregation Etz Hayim, May 1957