Beth Israel Synagogue (New Haven, Connecticut)

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Beth Israel Synagogue
Beth Israel Synagogue in New Haven, October 20, 2008.jpg
Beth Israel Synagogue (New Haven, Connecticut) is located in Connecticut
Beth Israel Synagogue (New Haven, Connecticut)
Beth Israel Synagogue (New Haven, Connecticut) is located in the US
Beth Israel Synagogue (New Haven, Connecticut)
Location 232 Orchard St., New Haven, Connecticut
Coordinates 41°17′54″N 72°56′25″W / 41.29833°N 72.94028°W / 41.29833; -72.94028Coordinates: 41°17′54″N 72°56′25″W / 41.29833°N 72.94028°W / 41.29833; -72.94028
Area less than one acre
Built 1925
Architect Weinstein, Jacob
Architectural style Colonial Revival
MPS Historic Synagogues of Connecticut MPS
NRHP Reference # 95000578[1]
Added to NRHP May 11, 1995

Congregation Beth Israel, also known as the Orchard Street Shul, is a traditional synagogue at 232 Orchard Street in New Haven, Connecticut. The synagogue building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The congregation was founded in 1913 by an orthodox congregation that was formed by Jewish families who had prospered sufficiently to move beyond the neighborhood of first immigrant settlement around Oak and Lafayette Streets to the area of upper Oak Street (renamed Legion Avenue in 1928) and Winthrop Avenue. First meeting in leased space, in 1915 the congregation moved into a remodeled house at 147 Orchard Street. In 1923 they purchased a lot at 232 Orchard Street for $12,000 (today $169,000) and built the present Colonial revival style building in 1925. The architect was Louis Abramowitz and the builder was C. Abbadessa.[2][3]

By the late twentieth century, the membership was elderly, the Jewish population of the city had moved elsewhere, and the future of the synagogue was in doubt.[4]

Efforts to preserve the synagogue were organized by the Cultural Heritage Artists Project [5][6] and the synagogue returned to regular weekly use during 2011 under the leadership of Rabbi Mendy Hecht, whose grandfather Rabbi Maurice I. Hecht had been rabbi at the shul for 45 years, and whose father Rabbi Sheya Hecht had also served in the pulpit.

The synagogue was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.[1][7]

The synagogue website [3] describes the historic restoration of the Orchard Street Shul that has taken place during 2012 and that there are traditional Shabbat services held every Saturday morning at 9:30 AM as well as on all Jewish holidays, with no tickets or membership required to attend High Holiday services.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  3. ^ David F. Ransom, "One Hundred Years of Jewish Congregations in Connecticut: An Architectural Survey," Connecticut Jewish History, Vol 2: 1 (Fall 1991).
  4. ^ Andi Rierden (February 14, 1999). "Keeping an Old Synagogue Alive". New York Times. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ New Haven, CT, Dec-Jan 2009: Orchard Street Shul Arts Project, Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, ZEEK; A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture, [2]
  7. ^ David F. Ransom (August 26, 1994). "National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Listing, Historic Synagogues of Connecticut: Beth Israel" (PDF). National Park Service.  (pages 72-85) and Accompanying four photos, exterior and interior

External links[edit]