B'nai Abraham Synagogue, Brenham

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Synagogue B'nai Abraham
Bnai abraham brenham 2008.jpg
Synagogue B'nai Abraham in 2008
Location 302 N. Park
Brenham, Texas
Architectural style Gothic Revival
MPS Brenham MPS
NRHP reference # 90000464
RTHL # 8293
Significant dates
Added to NRHP March 29, 1990
Designated RTHL 1965

The B'nai Abraham congregation in Brenham, Texas, was organized in 1885.


Early Jewish settlers in the Washington County, Texas, arrived during the 1860s. B. Levinson, an original founder, arrived in 1861. Alex Simon arrived in 1866. These individuals became active in the business community of Brenham, and as other Jewish settlers arrived, the need for a synagogue grew. The present building was constructed in 1893, after the first caught fire in 1892.[1] L. Fink served as first president, F. Susnitsky as vice president, L. Z. Harrison as treasurer, and J. Lewis and Abe Fink as secretaries. The twenty charter members were led by Rabbi Israel. In the 1990s the synagogue was believed to be the oldest Orthodox Jewish synagogue to have been in continuous use in Texas.[2] Leon Toubin, a Jewish Texan community and business leader, is the caretaker of this place of worship.[3]


In early 2015, the building was cut into three sections and moved 90 miles west to the Dell Jewish Community Center in the Northwest Hills neighborhood of Austin, Texas. The building was pieced back together and upgraded with new insulation, restrooms, air-conditioning and electrical wiring. The synagogue became the home of the Congregation Tiferet Israel. The move will cause the loss of historic status for the structure.[4]


The structure, located on 302 North Park Street, remains a staunchly Orthodox Shul. The projecting structure on the near side is the Mikveh. The white clapboard structure with its pointed arched windows closely resembles the small country churches in the region. Inside the building the Aron Kodesh can be seen on the eastern wall and in the center the Bimah where the Sefer Torah was read.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "B'nai Abraham Synagogue". Texas Escapes. 
  2. ^ James L. Hailey: B'nai Abraham Synagogue from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved December 23, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Robert P. Davis, Architect (June 20, 1996). "B'nai Abraham, Brenham, Texas". WebCite. Archived from the original on October 25, 2009. 
  4. ^ MacLaggan, Corrie (14 December 2014). "Brenham Synagogue Moving to Austin, and a New Life". The Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 

Coordinates: 30°10′08″N 96°23′54″W / 30.1689°N 96.3984°W / 30.1689; -96.3984