The concept of an exclusively Jewish Funeral Home in Orlando, Florida was born of the idea by W.E. Manny Adams, in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s after having spent some time working at Riverside Memorial Chapels in the metro Miami area.
Orlando had a very close knit and active Jewish Community, with three large and very active Temples with longstanding history. There were two Conservative Temples and one Reform Temple. After interviewing the Rabbis, Jewish Family Services, and the Greater Orlando Federation, the need for the Funeral Home was evident. Not willing to let a great concept fall by the wayside, Mr. Adams took the next year developing the business plan, finding property, enlisting a financier, and securing a public relations expert.
The launch of the project came in June of 1984 with W.E. Manny Adams at the helm as the Licensed Funeral Director, Samuel P. Goldstein, as the Public Relations Director and Morris Robinson, the Financier. The Funeral Home was opened December 1984 with the first call coming three days after Opening. The response to the newly opened funeral home was swift and very well received.
The funeral home was opened on 115 West Gore Street, Orlando, Florida, a home that was always owned by a promnient jewish family with a three generation history in Orlando. The home, however, was small and the need to expand came quckly, with a $200,000 renovation in 1990.
Mr. Robinson,wishing to retire was bought out by Mr. Adams and his partner in Hawthorne Funeral Home, James R. Cardinal in 1994. A change in location and building size was greatly needed. The partners purchased the building at 640 Lee Road, Orlando and did a modern renovation of the facility. The move was received extremely well by the community and the heritage of Beth Shalom Memorial Chapel was born.
The move to Lee Road in April 1997 was met with great pride. Acceptance by the community was immediate and overwhelming. We had become an integral part of the Jewish community and an important part of the life cycle function. On June 26, 2009 we celebrated our 25th year of faithful and committed service to over 2900 families in our Jewish community.