Louis Taratoot, 82, passed away surrounded by family on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Clara “Bunnie” Taratoot; his sons, Barry and Jeffrey, and Jeffrey’s wife, Esther; and his grandchildren, Seth and Aaron. He is also survived by his sister, Sheila Taratoot. He was predeceased by his parents, Ben and Bessie Taratoot, and his younger brother, Bernard Taratoot.

After putting himself through college and graduating from Georgia State University, Taratoot began his real estate career at the B.M. Grant Co. Shortly after, he started his own company, Taratoot & Associates, which is still active today. He co-owned and solely managed over 500 apartment units in Atlanta, along with a strip shopping center in Decatur and other land developments.

Taratoot was a visionary and a true leader in the Atlanta Jewish community. He served a two-year term as president at Congregation Beth Jacob, serving with honor under Rabbi Emanuel Feldman. When he and his family moved to Dunwoody in 1990, he had a dream to build the first Orthodox synagogue in Dunwoody. Taratoot put together a group including Lester Czuper, Sam Eden, Terry Tenenbaum and Murray Siegel, and, with the help of the Atlanta Scholars Kollel, Congregation Ariel was founded and opened its doors for Shabbat on Aug. 7, 1993, at its first home on Sandell Drive. That location held approximately 30 people. The synagogue later hired Rabbi Binyomin Friedman, along with his wife, Dena, in 1994, and they grew the community. By spring 2005, it became apparent that a larger location was needed. Taratoot, Rabbi Friedman and his core group purchased land on Tilly Mill Road, where the current building is located.

Taratoot had two main goals in life. The first was family, where he assisted in supporting his grandchildren through Jewish day schools and becoming a part of their daily lives. The other was growing in observance and helping spread this throughout Dunwoody.

Sign the online guestbook at www.edressler.com. Donations can be made to Congregation Ariel, 5227 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338, www.congariel.org. Graveside services were held Tuesday, Sept. 26, at Crest Lawn Memorial Park with Rabbi Friedman officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.