Temple Beth-El (Corsicana, Texas)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other synagogues called Beth El, see Temple Beth-El (disambiguation).
Temple Beth-El
Temple beth el corsicana 2010.jpg
Temple Beth-El in 2010.
Temple Beth-El (Corsicana, Texas) is located in Texas
Temple Beth-El (Corsicana, Texas)
Temple Beth-El (Corsicana, Texas) is located in the US
Temple Beth-El (Corsicana, Texas)
Location Corsicana, Texas
Coordinates 32°5′22″N 96°28′6″W / 32.08944°N 96.46833°W / 32.08944; -96.46833Coordinates: 32°5′22″N 96°28′6″W / 32.08944°N 96.46833°W / 32.08944; -96.46833
Built 1898
Architect Unknown
Architectural style Exotic Revival, Other
NRHP Reference #


RTHL # 11642
TSAL # 741
Significant dates
Added to NRHP February 3, 1987
Designated RTHL 1981
Designated TSAL 8/18/2000

Temple Beth-El is an historic Moorish Revival synagogue located at 208 South 15th Street in Corsicana, Texas.

Landmark status[edit]

Temple Beth-El became a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark in 1981. On February 3, 1987, Temple Beth-El was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Temple Beth-El is one of three State Archeological Landmarks in Navarro County, Texas.[2]


The Jewish community of Corsicana established a congregation in 1871.[3][4] The congregation worshiped at each other's homes until it could raise the funding to build a synagogue.[5]

Julius Magil served as rabbi in the early days of its new building. He was born December 29, 1870, at Mitau, Courland, which was then in the Russian Empire but is now part of Latvia. He received a secular education at Realgymnasium and University of Zürich, Switzerland. Rabbi Magil's religious training took place at the Talmudical College of Grobin, Courland. Rabbi Magil then studied medicine at Fort Wayne Medical College, and he received a Ph.D. from Rogers College in 1898.[6]

The synagogue was built by a Reform Jewish congregation in 1898. It is a wood-frame building, with clapboard siding, keyhole windows in the front doors, and a pair of octagonal towers topped by onion domes.

Rabbi Ernest Joseph served as the spiritual leader of Temple Beth-El from 1968 to 1980.[7]

In 1980, Temple Beth-El closed as a congregation, although a local rabbi still leads a Jewish service on a monthly basis.[8] The property was donated to the City of Corsicana around 1990.[8] The City uses it as a community center.[9]

In 2010, the synagogue's stained glass windows were renovated.[5] The synagogue's facade and domes were restored in 2013.[8]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Another historical marker stolen". Corsicana Daily Sun (Corsicana, Texas). December 13, 2008.
  3. ^ "Temple Beth-El, History". The USGenWeb Project. 2009.
  4. ^ "Temple Beth-El, Historical Marker, Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas". The USGenWeb Project. 2009.
  5. ^ a b Jacob, Janet. "History restored: Temple gets its colors back with renovations". Corsicana Daily Sun (Corsicana, Texas). June 1, 2010.
  6. ^ Machol-Medvidovsky (23 May 2012). "Biographical Sketches of Rabbis and Cantors in the U.S. 1903". Retrieved 2 September 2013. Rabbi (since 1900) of Temple Beth El, Corsicana, Texas. Born December 29, 1870, at Mitau, Courland, Russia. Son of Mendel Magil. Educated at Realgymnasium and University of Zürich, Switzerland; and Talmudical College of Grobin, Courland (Rabbi). Studied medicine at Fort Wayne Medical College. Ph. D., Rogers College, 1898. Rabbi at Allentown, Pa., 1892-1894; Reading, Pa., 1894-1896; and Ligonier, Ind., 1896-1900. Editor of the Jewish Home Journal, 1896-1900. Publications: "From Pulpit and Platform;" "Biblical History;" "Medicine in Bible, Talmud, and Ancient History;" " Führer der Rathlosen." Address: Corsicana, Texas. 
  7. ^ "Corsicana Rabbi Ernest Joseph dies at 69". The Dallas Morning News. November 12, 1999. p. 45A.
  8. ^ a b c Jacobs, Janet. "Temple Beth-El ready for some facade work". Corsicana Daily Sun (Corsicana, Texas). May 15, 2013.
  9. ^ MacLaggan, Corrie. "Keeping the Lights Aglow". Austin American-Statesman. December 4, 2007.

External links[edit]