1948 was, by today's standards, ridiculously affordable: The cost of a new house was $7,700. A gallon of gas ran you 16 cents, a loaf of bread was 14 cents, and a ticket to the movies was 60 cents. It was a good year for local organizations marking their diamond jubilee with equal meager and humble beginnings.

Temple Beth El was founded two years after the end of World War II and a year before the founding of the state of Israel. Thirty-five local families gathered at the old American Legion Hall downtown with ambitions of creating Bakersfield’s first Reform synagogue. Temple Beth El grew out of the older synagogue, B’nai Jacob. There was a thirst for a more intellectual understanding of the teachings of Judaism. B’nai Jacob, with an aging and dwindling membership, sold its Mill Creek Park building and has moved to Temple Beth El on Loma Linda Drive. Temple Beth El recently marked its anniversary with a jubilee celebration.

Lisa Kimble is an Emmy Award-winning former broadcast journalist who began her career in radio. The opinions expressed here are her own.