Congregation Achduth Vesholom

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Congregation Achduth Vesholom
Basic information
Location 5200 Old Mill Road,
Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.
Geographic coordinates 41°02′09″N 85°09′06″W / 41.035942°N 85.151559°W / 41.035942; -85.151559Coordinates: 41°02′09″N 85°09′06″W / 41.035942°N 85.151559°W / 41.035942; -85.151559
Affiliation Reform Judaism
Status Active
Leadership Rabbi Javier E. Cattapan
Rabbi Emeritus Richard B. Safran
President Jaki Schreier
Architectural description
Completed 1961

Congregation Achduth Vesholom is a Reform synagogue, located at 5200 Old Mill Road in Fort Wayne, Indiana.[1][2]

It is the oldest synagogue in Indiana, having been formed initially as a German Orthodox congregation on October 26, 1848.[1][3][4][5] Originally, its name was "The Society for Visiting the Sick and Burying the Dead".[1][6] At the outset, the congregation worshiped in private homes.[7][8]

In 1857, the synagogue purchased a building on Harrison Street for $1,200 ($30,400 today), which was dedicated as a synagogue.[4][8] The first rabbi was Joseph Solomon, who served until 1859.[8] In 1861, the congregation adopted its current name, which means "Unity and Peace".[1][4][9] As refugees from Europe, the congregants felt that it was important that they unite and stand by each other.[6]

The congregation built a Gothic-style temple with seating for 800 people in 1874 at the cost of $25,000 ($521,000 today).[4][8] Samuel Hirshberg was rabbi from 1891–95.[10]

The congregation moved to 5200 Old Mill Road in 1961.[4] In 1995, the synagogue hired a new rabbi, Rabbi Sandford Kopnick.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d Isaac Landman (1941). The Universal Jewish encyclopedia ...: an authoritative and popular presentation of Jews and Judaism since the earliest times. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  2. ^ David Wemhoff (2011). Just Be Catholic. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  3. ^ Isidore Singer, Cyrus Adler (1912). The Jewish encyclopedia: a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Kerry M. Olitzky, Marc Lee Raphael (1996). The American synagogue: a historical dictionary and sourcebook. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Our Story". Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Jacob Rader Marcus (1989). United States Jewry, 1776–1985. Wayne State University Press. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  7. ^ Ralph Violette (1999). Fort Wayne, Indiana. Arcadia Publishing,. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d Valley of the upper Maumee River; with historical account of Allen County and the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Brant & Fuller,. 1889. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  9. ^ Jonathan D. Sarna (2005). American Judaism: a history. Yale University Press. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  10. ^ American Jewish Committee, Jewish Publication Society of America (1903). American Jewish year book. American Jewish Committee. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Achduth Vesholom Celebrates its Dedication, New Rabbi". Fort Wayne News Sentinel. November 1, 1995. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 

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