The Tree of Life is symbolized throughout the Kehilath Israel campus. The congregation's members will celebrate the roots of its Tree of Life and continues to strengthen its branches. The roots of the congregation can be traced back to 1910 when Melech and Ida Brown held services in their home and founded Tifereth Sforad along with Bennett and Rebecca Tranin. Both the Brown and Tranin families still maintain ties with K.I.
The congregation became known as Kehilath Israel in 1945. By that time five different Orthodox congregations had come together in one way or another, including Tifereth Sforad.
The other congregations that joined to make up Kehilath Israel were established by 1920. Their names and locations were:
- She'erith Israel d'Lubavitz, 924 Olive Street, Kansas City
- Tifereth Israel, Admiral Boulevard and Tracy Street, Kansas City
- Kerem Israel, 39th and Montgall Streets, Kansas City
- Beth Jacob, 2704 E. Linwood Boulevard, Kansas City
Rabbi Maurice D. Solomon joined the congregation in 1934. Sam Gould, a former K.I. president who has been affiliated with the congregation for 86 years, said he believes Tifereth Sforad "was the only Orthodox congregation that had its own rabbi" at the time.