Congregation Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue
|Location||90 Hasell St., Charleston, South Carolina|
|Built||Founded in the 1740s; built in 1840|
|Architect||Cyrus L. Warner; David L. Lopez|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||78002499|
|Added to NRHP||April 4, 1978|
|Designated NHL||June 19, 1980|
Congregation Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (also known as Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue, Congregation K. K. Beth Elohim, or more simply K. K. Beth Elohim), founded in 1749, is one of the oldest Jewish congregations in the United States. The congregation is nationally significant as the place where Reform Judaism originated. It meets in an architecturally significant 1840 Greek Revival synagogue located at 90 Hasell (pronounced as if it were spelled Hazel) Street in Charleston, South Carolina. It was designed by Cyrus L. Warner.
In the 1830s, Beth Elohim adopted a reformed ritual, after reabsorbing a splinter group originally led by Isaac Harby. In 1824 he founded the Reformed Society of the Israelites, authoring the first Reform prayer-book in America. The congregation is sometimes considered to be the originator of Reform Judaism in the United States, though it was mainly established by immigrants from Germany later on. Most of the founding members of the congregation were Sephardi Jews of Spanish and Portuguese descent, but some were German Jews.
The present Greek Revival building is the second oldest synagogue building in continuous use in the United States. It is a single story brick building, set on a raised granite foundation. The brick is stuccoed and painted white, and is marked in manner to resemble stone blocks. The front has a full Greek temple front, with fluted Doric columns supporting a gabled pediment. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 4, 1978, as Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue and was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 19, 1980. The Coming Street Cemetery, owned by the Congregation, is listed separately on the National Register of Historic Places.
- List of National Historic Landmarks in South Carolina
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Charleston, South Carolina
- Oldest synagogues in the United States
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue.|
- Staff (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
- Jonathan Sarna. American Judaism: A History, Yale University Press, 2004, p. 19.
- "Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue, Charleston County (90 Hasell St., Charleston)". National Register Properties in South Carolina listing. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
- Polly Ann Matherly (April 1980). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim; Congregation Beth Elohim; Beth Elohim Synagogue" (pdf). National Park Service. and PDF (32 KB)
- Congregation Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim website
- Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina website
- Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue, Charleston County (90 Hasell St., Charleston), at South Carolina Department of Archives and History
- Historic Charleston's Religious and Community Buildings, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary