In 1922, Wynnefield, PA was one of the younger Jewish communities in the Philadelphia area. At that time, the local families, who regularly walked many blocks to the closest synagogue at 40th and Girard Ave. on Holy Days, began discussing the creation of their own synagogue. Soon after, some of the men began practicing the old European custom of "Rimpling," i.e. visiting from house to house after services, making Kiddush in every home, and at the same time gathering pledges for a fund to build a new synagogue.
In 1923, Harry Cohen, who would later become the congregation's first President, brought together 100 families in the neighborhood to charter Har Zion Temple. Harry and Phillip Publicker donated the grounds for the synagogue, at 54th and Wynnefield Avenue. Construction was completed in August of 1924.
Over the years, the congregation grew and flourished, becoming a center for the religious, social and cultural activities of its members. However, the facilities were eventually outgrown. In 1962, Har Zion purchased property for a day camp in suburban Radnor, PA. In response to demand from members of the local Radnor Jewish community, a synagogue was soon established to serve that community. Parallel programs of education and full religious services were maintained in Wynnefield and Radnor until 1976 when both groups were consolidated in the present Penn Valley synagogue.
Today, Har Zion is a congregation of almost 1,000 member-families.