Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue

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Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue
Shaarei Tfiloh Baltimore.JPG
Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue, March 2012
Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue is located in Baltimore
Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue
Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue is located in Maryland
Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue
Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue is located in the United States
Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue
Location2001 Liberty Heights Ave., Baltimore, Maryland
Coordinates39°19′11″N 76°39′4″W / 39.31972°N 76.65111°W / 39.31972; -76.65111Coordinates: 39°19′11″N 76°39′4″W / 39.31972°N 76.65111°W / 39.31972; -76.65111
Arealess than one acre
Built1921 (1921)
ArchitectStanislaus Russell[2]
Architectural styleClassical Revival
NRHP reference #96001085[1]
Added to NRHPOctober 10, 1996

Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue is a historic synagogue located on Druid Hill Park at Baltimore, Maryland, United States. The synagogue is significant due to its association with the immigration of Russian and Eastern European Jews to Baltimore. It is a rock-faced stone structure with large arched stained glass windows and a pedimented roofline surmounted by a central copper-clad dome. Its name means Gates of Prayer in Hebrew.


The synagogue was designed by architect Stanislaus Russell[2] and built on a budget on $250,000.[3] The cornerstone of the Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue was laid on July 10, 1921.[3] Constructed from 1921 and 1927 for $285,000, it is one of the oldest functioning synagogue buildings in Maryland. It holds 700 men and 300 women.[4] The synagogue has a turquoise dome, stained glass windows, and a sanctuary with a balcony for women's seating.[2]

At the time the synagogue was built, the surrounding "Park Circle" area was a thriving Jewish community. However, the Jewish community moved away from the neighborhood during the 1960s, primarily to Upper Park Heights, Randallstown, Pikesville, and Owings Mills. Eventually the synagogue ceased regular Sabbath (Saturday) services and only conducted services on the Jewish High Holy Days.

Religious services[edit]

Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue, 2010

Beginning in the mid-2000s, the synagogue started conducting one "weekday" service a week, on Sunday mornings, in an effort to re-invigorate it, although Sabbath services are still not conducted. The synagogue is also occasionally used for special events (such as weddings) and as a location for "period" photography.

As has been the case since its founding, the synagogue conforms to Orthodox teachings and practices, but welcomes all as worshipers and members, regardless of personal affiliation.


The Shaarei Tfiloh Congregation Cemetery is located on 5800 Windsor Mill Road.[5]

Historic designation[edit]

Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.[1] It appeared in the 1999 movie Liberty Heights. As of 2011 Howard Perlow and David Cordish are co-presidents and David E. Herman is the rabbi.


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b c Feiler, Alan H. "'It's Part Of Our Heritage': Shaarei Tfiloh's listing on a landmarks registry may attract new members, and dollars, to an old shul". Baltimore Jewish Times. January 10, 1997. p. 28.
  3. ^ a b "Will Lay Cornerstone: Ceremony At Shaarei Thloh Synagogue Site Tomorrow". The Baltimore Sun. July 9, 1921. p. 5.
  4. ^ Fred B. Shoken (March 1994). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Shaarei Tfiloh Synagogue" (PDF). Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  5. ^ Shaarei Tfiloh Congregation Cemetery Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]