The Jewish community of Grand Forks began forming in the late 1880s and by 1891 the city's Jewish population included approximately 60 families. This first generation created a tightly knit social and religious community in Grand Forks. Articles of Incorporation adopted on August 26, 1891 organized the community into the Congregation of the Children of Israel. Soon after incorporating, the congregation set about erecting a synagogue. The first services were officiated in 1892 by Rabbi Benjamin Papermaster, who remained until his death in 1934.
The following rabbis succeeded Papermaster: J.W. Shapiro, 1934-1938; Shalom H. Barenholtz; Louis Berkal, 1940-1954; M. Levison; Morris Shapiro, 1957-1960; Soloman Tratner, 1962-1965; Abraham Garmaize; M. Benjamin Silman, 1970; Jeffrey Bearman, 1975-1976; Robert Kravitz, 1984-1987; Deborah Bronstein, 1988-1989; and student rabbis: Stephen Mills, 1989-1991; Burt Schuman, 1991-1993; Jay Moses, 1993-1994; Ken Carr, 1994-1995.
By 1915 congregants had also formed an Ahavath Zion Society of 96 members, including 22 women, a Hebrew Literary Society for children ranging in age from 8 to 15, and a chapter of B'nai B'rith. The Congregation placed supreme value on educating their children about the beliefs and practices of Judaism.
The Sisterhood was founded in 1891 as the "Ladies Aid Society" and later reorganized adopting the name of "Sisterhood" during a meeting on November 12, 1933. During that meeting, twenty-nine women voted to become members and signed pledge cards to that effect. Those present also voted to charge fifty cents in yearly dues. Five days later, twenty-two women assembled as the Sisterhood. The Sisterhood's frequent fundraisers in the 1930s and 1940s provided an opportunity for residents of all faiths to gather for social teas and picnics, or to play cards for an evening in secular halls and clubs. Funds initially went directly into a trust fund to erect a new shule but ceased after the construction of the temple of B'nai Israel. In the late 1970s, Sisterhood members began to focus more on their role as women active in the Jewish faith.
Additional materials were donated by Meg Kossover, Thompson, North Dakota on August 18, 1998 (98-2232), September 10, 2001 (2002-2573), February 17, 2004 (2004-2680) and January 2011 (2011-3082).
Additions were also received from Ben Berkal, Winnipeg, Manitoba, in October 2012 (2013-3234).