Touro Synagogue, Newport, Rhode Island (founded c. 1658, built 1759–63)
Touro Synagogue, Newport, Rhode Island (founded c. 1658, built 1759–63)
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue, Charleston, South Carolina (founded 1749, built 1840–41)
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue, Charleston, South Carolina (founded 1749, built 1840–41)
Congregation Shearith Israel, New York, New York (founded 1654, built 1896–97)
Congregation Shearith Israel, New York, New York (founded 1654, built 1896–97)

Synagogues may be considered "oldest" based on different criteria such as oldest surviving building or oldest congregation. Some older synagogue buildings have been in continuous use as synagogues, while others have been converted to other purposes, and a few, such as the Touro Synagogue, were shuttered for many decades. Some early established congregations have been the in continuous existence, while other early congregations have ceased to exist.

Oldest congregations

Sephardi congregations

All of the oldest congregations in the new world were founded by Sephardi Jews and followed the Sephardic liturgy.

Congregation Mickve Israel, Savannah, Georgia (founded 1733, built 1876–78)
Congregation Mickve Israel, Savannah, Georgia (founded 1733, built 1876–78)

Ashkenazi congregations

Until 1795, all documented congregations in the United States followed the Sephardic minhag. However, many included Ashkenazi members as well.

Oldest existing buildings

This list includes only buildings originally built as synagogues that are still standing. Some continue in use as Jewish houses of worship; others have been adaptively reused. Fewer than 100 purpose-built synagogues constructed prior to 1900 remain standing.[4] A portion of these are highlighted below.

Plum Street Temple, Cincinnati, Ohio (1865–66)
Plum Street Temple, Cincinnati, Ohio (1865–66)

By state

Adas Israel, Washington, D.C. (1876)
Adas Israel, Washington, D.C. (1876)

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Temple Beth-El, Pensacola, Florida (1933)
Temple Beth-El, Pensacola, Florida (1933)

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kentucky

Kansas

Louisiana

Shaare Tefilah, New Orleans, Louisiana (1860–65)
Shaare Tefilah, New Orleans, Louisiana (1860–65)

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Temple Israel, Boston (1884–85)
Temple Israel, Boston (1884–85)

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Temple Emanu-El, Helena, Montana (1890–91)
Temple Emanu-El, Helena, Montana (1890–91)

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

B'nai Israel, Galveston, Texas (1870)
B'nai Israel, Galveston, Texas (1870)

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Gates of Heaven, Madison, Wisconsin (1863)
Gates of Heaven, Madison, Wisconsin (1863)

Wyoming

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Sarna, Jonathan. American Judaism. Yale University Press, 2004. p. 19.
  2. ^ a b c "Our History". Touro Synagogue.
  3. ^ Sarna, Jonathan. American Judaism. Yale University Press, 2004. pp. 18ff, 56ff.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Gordon, Mark W., Rediscovering Jewish Infrastructure: Update on United States Nineteenth Century Synagogues. American Jewish History, 84.1, 1996, p. 11–27. 2019 article update.
  5. ^ a b Stolzman, Henry; Stolzman, Daniel Synagogue Architecture in America: Faith, Spirit & Identity. The Images Publishing Group Pty Ltd. 2004.
  6. ^ "Shaarai Shomayim (Gates of Heaven)". Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
  7. ^ "About Us". Congregation Beth Sholom. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011.
  8. ^ "Stone Avenue Temple: Tucson AZ Archived 2008-09-07 at the Wayback Machine". Jewish Postcards. National Museum of American Jewish History.
  9. ^ Adler, Cyrus; Currick, M. C. "Arkansas". Jewish Encyclopedia. 1906.
  10. ^ 'Arkansas Jewish History". Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
  11. ^ Sarna, Jonathan. American Judaism. Yale University Press, 2004. p. 73
  12. ^ Panneton, Judie. "History – How Beautiful is Our Heritage: 160 years and Still Going Strong". Congregation B'nai Israel. Archived from the original on September 2, 2012.
  13. ^ Grant, Kim (2020-12-10). "Trinidad's Temple Aaron Looks to the Past to Secure Its Future". History Colorado. Retrieved 2021-08-26.
  14. ^ Temple Emanuel Pueblo. "Our History". templeemanuelpueblo.net. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  15. ^ Waller, Allyson (15 October 2020). "White Supremacist Pleads Guilty to Plotting to Bomb Colorado Synagogue". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  16. ^ Olitzky, Kerry M.; Raphael, Marc Lee. The American Synagogue: A Historical Dictionary and Sourcebook, Greenwood Press. June 30, 1996. pp. 76–80.
  17. ^ "Ohabe Shalom – Lovers of Peace". Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
  18. ^ a b "Illustrated History of 1876 Synagogue". Lillian and Albert Small Jewish Museum. Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.
  19. ^ "Yes, That Was D.C.'s Oldest Synagogue Moving Down The Street (Again)". WAMU. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  20. ^ "Pensacola, Florida". Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
  21. ^ "A History of Jews in Hawaii & the Kalakaua Torah". Temple Emanu-El.
  22. ^ "Home". Congregation Anshai Emeth. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  23. ^ "[1]".
  24. ^ "Oldest Synagogue in Indiana Celebrates 100th Anniversary; Special Sermons Scheduled". Jewish News Archives. February 27, 1948. Archived from the original on April 19, 2013.
  25. ^ Baker, Deirdre Cox. "Temple Emanuel celebrates 150 years". The Quad City Times. April 14, 2011.
  26. ^ "B'nai Israel Congregation – First Permanent Jewish House of Worship in Iowa". Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
  27. ^ "Temple B'Nai Jeshurun". Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
  28. ^ "Shangarai Chasset: Gates of Mercy Synagogue: First permanent Jewish House of Worship in the State of Louisiana". Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
  29. ^ Wilson, Samuel and Bernard Lemann. New Orleans Architecture, Volume 1: The Lower Garden District. (New Orleans: Pelican Publishing, 1990): 129.
  30. ^ Ponchartrain, Blake. "New Orleans Know-It-All: Where is the Oldest Synagogue in New Orleans?" Gambit. February 8, 2010.
  31. ^ Bangor, Maine: Congregation Beth Israel 1897". Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
  32. ^ "B'Nai Israel to Unveil Historical Marker". The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi). April 28, 2006. Archived from the original on May 8, 2012.
  33. ^ "Temple B'Nai Israel: Natchez, Mississippi". Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
  34. ^ "Site of Mississippi's First Synagogue Dedicated". Goldring-Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life. 2006. Archived from the original on May 8, 2012.
  35. ^ "Temple Beth Israel – Jackson, Mississippi". Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-20. Retrieved 2014-02-13.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ "American Jewish History, markers, articles". www.jewish-american-society-for-historic-preservation.org. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  38. ^ "American Jewish History, markers, articles". www.jewish-american-society-for-historic-preservation.org. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  39. ^ "American Jewish History, markers, articles". www.jewish-american-society-for-historic-preservation.org. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  40. ^ "Who We Are | Barnert Temple - Franklin Lakes". barnerttemple.org. Archived from the original on 2014-09-14.
  41. ^ Schwartz, C., 2007, An American Odyssey: American Religious Freedom and The Nathan Barnert Memorial Temple. Jersey City: KTAV Publishing House.
  42. ^ TBJ website http://tbj.org/about-us/temple-history/ accessdate=2011-05-17
  43. ^ "HOME". Congregation Albert. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  44. ^ "ABQjournal: Congregation Albert City's Oldest". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  45. ^ "American Jewish History, markers, articles". www.jewish-american-society-for-historic-preservation.org. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  46. ^ Miller, Tom (Jul 1, 2011). "Daytonian in Manhattan: The Quiet Little Synagogue at 53 Charles Street". Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  47. ^ "Home". Greenwich Village Synagogue. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  48. ^ "Congregation Orach Chaim". orachchaim.org. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  49. ^ Stolzman, Henry; Stolzman, Daniel (2004). Synagogue Architecture in America: Faith, Spirit & Identity. ISBN 9781864700749.
  50. ^ a b c "Ardmore, Oklahoma - Temple Emeth Records". www.americanjewisharchives.org. Archived from the original on 2009-02-20.
  51. ^ Jewish Synagogues in Oklahoma City
  52. ^ "Temple Israel – Temple Israel". Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  53. ^ "The Temple". The Temple. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  54. ^ "American Jewish History, markers, articles". www.jewish-american-society-for-historic-preservation.org. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  55. ^ "American Jewish History, markers, articles". www.jewish-american-society-for-historic-preservation.org. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  56. ^ "HISTORY". THOI. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  57. ^ WSJHS (2006), The Jewish Experience in Washington State: A Chronology 1845–2005, Washington State Jewish Historical Society (WSJHS), p. 14–15.
  58. ^ "American Jewish History, markers, articles". www.jewish-american-society-for-historic-preservation.org. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  59. ^ "American Jewish History, markers, articles". www.jewish-american-society-for-historic-preservation.org. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  60. ^ "Gates of Heaven Synagogue | Jewish Federation of Madison". www.jewishmadison.org. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  61. ^ "Find a Park – Madison Parks – City of Madison, Wisconsin". www.cityofmadison.com. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  62. ^ "History | Congregation Emanu-El B'ne Jeshurun". Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.
  63. ^ "American Jewish History, markers, articles". www.jewish-american-society-for-historic-preservation.org. Retrieved Jan 1, 2021.