Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of Montreal
|Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of Montreal|
former Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Stanley Street in Montreal in use 1890–1947
|Location||St. Kevin Street in Snowdon, Canada|
|Rite||Spanish and Portuguese|
|Leadership||Rabbi Shachar Orenstein|
|Architect(s)||Charles T. Ballard|
The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of Montreal, also known as Shearith Israel, is a Montreal synagogue, located on St. Kevin Street in Snowdon, which is the oldest Jewish congregation in Canada. The Congregation traces its history back to 1760 and was formally established in 1768. It is affiliated with the Orthodox Union.
The current senior rabbi is Rabbi Shachar Orenstein. Rabbi Howard Joseph, who has served the community since 1970, is Rabbi Emeritus.
The first synagogue building, and the first non-Catholic house of worship built in the province of Quebec, was built in the Old City on Chenneville Street in 1838. The Judeo-Egyptian style temple-like building had a front of cut stone, adorned with a portico with two columns. This was the only formal place for Jewish worship in Montréal until 1846. Charles T. Ballard, architect, designed a new and larger synagogue for the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation on Stanley Street in the Egyptian Revival style of architecture in 1887–1890.
The congregation has been housed in its fourth premises in the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce area of Montreal since 1947.
In the sanctuary, Torah is read to the congregation from the bimah and the Torah scrolls are stored in the aron kodesh on the east wall. The congregation face towards the east, and Jerusalem, in praying. The ornamentation features symbols such as Stars of David, signs of the zodiac and natural forms.
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