B'er Chayim Temple
B'er Chayim Temple
B'er Chayim Temple, May 2008
|Location||Union and South Centre Streets, Cumberland, Maryland, United States|
|Area||Less than one acre|
|Built by||John B. Walton|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||79001106|
|Added to NRHP||November 15, 1979|
It was built in 1866 for the local Jewish congregation. Originally an Orthodox congregation, it is now a Reform congregation. It is one of the oldest congregations in Maryland and its 1865 building is one of the oldest synagogue buildings in the United States.
The first Jewish resident recorded in Cumberland dates to 1816. Twelve Jewish families were living in Cumberland, which then had a population of 6,150, in 1853 when congregation B'ere Chayim was incorporated by the state legislature. The congregation was Orthodox when the temple was built, although it is now a Reform congregation.
Between 1865 and 1867, the congregation built a two-story, Greek Revival synagogue building on the corner of South Centre and Union Streets. The facade is ornamented with four pilasters, a handsome pediment, and four very un-Greek Rundbogenstil, or round-arched, windows. The building was constructed by local builder John B. Walton.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- (registration required) Gordon, Mark (1996). "Rediscovering Jewish Infrastructure: Update on United States Nineteenth Century Synagogues". American Jewish History. 84.1. pp. 11–27.
- Staff (undated). "B'er Chayim Temple". National Park Service. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- Staff (undated). "B'er Chayim Temple". National Register of Historic Places: Properties in Allegany County. Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- berchayim.org, the official webiste of the B'er Chayim Congregation
- B'er Chayin Temple, Allegany County, including 1979 photo, at Maryland Historical Trust