- List of the oldest synagogues in the United States
The designation of the oldest synagogue in the United States requires careful use of definitions, and must be divided into two parts, the oldest in the sense of oldest surviving building, and the oldest in the sense of oldest congregation. Even here, there is the distinction between old synagogue buildings that have been in continuous use as synagogues, and those that have been converted to other purposes, between buildings that have been in continuous use as synagogues and those, such as the Touro, that were shuttered for many decades, and between early established congregations that have been in continuous existence and early congregations that ceased to exist.
All of the oldest congregations in the new world were founded by Sephardi Jews and followed the Sephardic liturgy.
- Congregation Shearith Israel, 1655, in New York City, is the oldest congregation in the United States, its present building dates from 1897.
- Congregation Jeshuat Israel, ca. 1658, in Newport, Rhode Island is dated to sometime after the arrival of Jews in 1658 and prior to the 1677 purchase of a communal cemetery, now known as Touro Cemetery. Prayers were conducted in private homes until Congregation Jeshuat Israel, the Touro Synagogue, was established in the 1750s. In much of the nineteenth century no Jews lived in Newport and the ownership of the building and synagogue were entrusted to Congregation Shearith Israel. The building was reopened for the use of Ashkenazi Jews in 1883.
- Congregation Mickve Israel of Savannah, Georgia was organized in 1733.
- Congregation Mikveh Israel of Philadelphia was organized in the 1740s.
- Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue, Charleston, South Carolina, was founded in the 1740s.
- Kahal Kadosh Beth Shalom, Richmond, Virginia, was founded in 1789. In 1898, it merged with Congregation Beth Ahabah, which was founded in 1841.
- The St. Thomas Synagogue in the United States Virgin Islands was founded in 1796.
Until 1795, all congregations in the United States were Sephardic, although many or even most of the members of these congregations were descended from Eastern European Jews.
- Congregation Rodeph Shalom (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), founded in 1795 is the oldest Ashkenazi congregation in the United States.
- K.K. Bene Israel in Cincinnati, Ohio, now known as the Rockdale Temple (1824) is the oldest congregation west of the Alleghany Mountains and the second oldest Ashkenazi congregation in the United States.
- B'nai Jeshurun in New York City, founded 1825, is the third oldest Ashkenazi congregation in the United States.
Oldest existing buildings
This list includes only buildings that are still standing. Some are still in use as synagogues, others have been repurposed.
- The Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, is the oldest Jewish house of worship in North America that is still standing. (1759)
- Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue, Charleston, South Carolina, (1840)
- Lloyd Street Synagogue, Baltimore, (1845)
- Angel Orensanz Center, New York City, (1849) (oldest Ashkenazi building)
- Congregation Rodeph Sholom (Manhattan, New York), now Congregation Chasam Sopher (1852)
- Congregation Beth Israel (Honesdale, Pennsylvania) (1856)
- Sherith Israel Temple (Cincinnati, Ohio) (1860)
- Shaarei Shamayim (Madison,Wisconsin) (1863)
- Congregation Talmud Torah Adereth El, Manhattan, (1863) (near-total renovation; some of the original building apparently remains)
- Plum Street Temple, Cincinnati, (1866)
- B'er Chayim Temple (Cumberland, Maryland), (1865)
- Temple Israel (Lafayette, Indiana), (1867)
- B'nai Sholom Temple, Quincy, Illinois, (1870)
- Congregation B'nai Israel (Galveston, Texas), (1870)
- Congregation Berith Sholom, Troy, New York, (1870)
- Central Synagogue, New York, New York, (1872)
- The Donaldsonville, Louisiana synagogue was built in 1872 by Congregation Bikur Cholim, which disbanded in the 1940s. The wooden building is now an Ace Hardware store.
- Congregation Mickve Israel, Savannah, Georgia (1874–78)
- Congregation Beth Israel (West Hartford, Connecticut) (1876)
- Temple of Israel (Wilmington, North Carolina) (1876)
- B'nai Israel Synagogue (Baltimore, Maryland) 1876
- Union Temple (Brooklyn, New York), the (1876) building known as the Keap Street Temple
- Adas Israel Congregation (Washington, D.C.) (1876)
- Temple Adath Israel (Owensboro, Kentucky) (1877)
- Congregation Adas Emuno Hoboken, New Jersey (1883)
- Prince Street Synagogue Newark, New Jersey (1884)
- Ohavi Zedek, (Burlington, Vermont) (1885)
- Congregation Beth Emeth, Albany, New York, (1887)
- Temple Aaron, Trinidad, Colorado, 1888
- Congregation Beth Israel (San Diego, California) (1889)
- Moses Montefiore Congregation, Bloomington, Illinois (1889)
- Ahavas Sholem Ligonier, Indiana, (1889)
- Tifereth Israel, Alliance Colony, New Jersey, 1889, disused 
- B'nai Abraham Synagogue, Brenham (Brenham, Texas) (1893)
- Ahavath Beth Israel (Boise, Idaho) (1896)
- Rosenhayn synagogue, Rosenhayn, New Jersey (1898)
- Temple Beth El (Alpena, Michigan), 1899 
- Congregation Sha'arai Shomayim, the oldest congregation in Alabama, was formally organized on January 25, 1844. Their first synagogue was Emanuel Street Synagogue, dedicated on December 27, 1846. The current Springhill Avenue Temple is their fifth location.
- Congregation Beth Sholom was first organized on September 5, 1958 in Anchorage.
- B'nai Israel was founded in Little Rock in 1866.
- Emanu-El dedicated the first synagogue in the Arizona Territory on October 3, 1910 in Tucson. The congregation stopped holding services there in 1949. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and currently houses the Jewish Heritage Center of the Southwest.
- Temple Israel (Stockton, California), founded 1851. Congregation has been in continuous existence, housed in four different locations over time.
- The two next oldest congregations in California are Emanu-El and Sherith Israel, in San Francisco. Both were founded in 1851. The two synagogues were founded simultaneously because the city's Jews could not agree on whether to follow the prayer customs of the Polish or German Jews. Emanu-El was therefore, founded as the congregation of the German Jews and Sherith Israel as the congregation of the Polish Jews.
- Congregation B'nai Israel (Sacramento, California) is the oldest congregation in Sacramento, California tracing its history back to September 2, 1852  making it the first congregationally owned synagogue west of the Mississippi River.
- Congregation Beth Israel (San Diego, California)'s 1889 building may be the oldest in California.
- Temple Aaron, Trinidad, Colorado, 1888 building.
- Congregation Beth Israel (West Hartford, Connecticut) and Congregation Mishkan Israel in New Haven, were both founded in 1843, the year the Connecticut legislature first permitted public worship by Jews in the state.
- Beth Israel's 1876 building is the oldest in the state.
- Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth in Wilmington, Delaware is the oldest congregation in the state. It was formed from the merger in 1957 of the Orthodox Adas Kodesch Congregation, which was established in 1885, and the Chesed Shel Emeth Congregation. It is usually referred to simply as Adas Kodesch and is billed as "The First Synagogue in the First State".
- Ahavath Chesed in Jacksonville, and Temple Beth-El in Pensacola each has claims to being the oldest Jewish congregation in Florida. The Jacksonville congregation was meeting for prayer by 1867, but appears to have incorporated later than Pensacola which dedicated its first building in 1876, well before Jacksonville's 1882 building.
- The United Hebrews of Ocala building built in 1888 may be the oldest Florida synagogue building still standing.
- Congregation Mickve Israel of Savannah, Georgia was organized in 1733.
- Temple Emanu-El dates back to 1938 when 35 Jewish families on Oahu formed the Honolulu Jewish Community. In 1939, in cooperation with the Jewish Welfare Board, a small chapel on Young Street was leased and converted into a Jewish Community Center (JCC), which also served as Honolulu's first permanent synagogue.
- Ahavath Beth Israel, Boise, Idaho (1896). The synagogue was built for Beth Israel (founded 1895). In the 1980s, the congregation was formed as a merger of Congregation Beth Israel and Ahavath Israel (founded 1912).
- KAM Isaiah Israel merged several older congregations in Chicago, the oldest of which - Kehillat Anshe Maarav - was founded in 1847.
- Temple Emanuel of Davenport was formed as B’Nai Israel Congregation on October 21, 1861.
- Congregation Adath Israel Brith Sholom founded 1842 is the oldest congregation in Kentucky
- Temple Adath Israel's 1877 building in Owensboro, Kentucky is the oldest in the state.
- The 1872 building of Congregation Bikur Cholim in Donaldsonville, Louisiana is the oldest in the state.
- Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, incorporated 1830, is the oldest congregation in Maryland.
- Lloyd Street Synagogue is the oldest synagogue building.
- Ohabei Shalom, founded in 1843, is the oldest congregation.
- Temple Israel, (Boston, Massachusetts), the 1885 building, now a church, is the oldest synagogue still standing in Massachusetts.
- Mount Zion Temple, organized in 1856 in St. Paul.
- B'nai Israel was organized in Natchez in 1843, making it the oldest congregation in Mississippi.
- An historic marker on the corner of South Street and South Main Street in Jackson marks the site of the first synagogue built in the state, Beth Israel, built in 1867. The building was destroyed by fire on July 10, 1874.
- United Hebrew Congregation, 1837, is the oldest congregation in Missouri and west of the Mississippi River.
- Congregation Adas Emuno (New Jersey)'s 1883 building is the oldest surviving synagogue building in New Jersey.
- Congregation B'nai Jeshurun was founded in 1848. Originally located in Newark, it is currently located in Short Hills, NJ 
- Congregation Shearith Israel, 1654, is the oldest congregation in New York and the United States.
- Angel Orensanz Center, 1849, is the oldest synagogue building still standing in New York State.
- Temple Society of Concord, 1839, located in Syracuse.
- The Temple of Israel in Wilmington was organized in 1872. It is the oldest congregation in North Carolina and one of the earliest Reform synagogues (built 1876) in the South.
- The Rockdale Temple (1824), originally known as K.K. Bene Israel in Cincinnati, is not only the oldest congregation in Ohio, it is the oldest congregation west of the Allegheny Mountains and the second oldest Ashkenazi congregation in the United States.
- Sherith Israel Temple, also in Cincinnati (1860) is the oldest synagogue structure west of the Alleghenies.
- Temple Emeth, in Ardmore was the oldest known Jewish congregation in Oklahoma. Founded prior to statehood, they acquired their first building in 1912. The congregation disbanded in 2004.
- Temple B'nai Israel was formed in May 1903 in Oklahoma City, making it the oldest active congregation in Oklahoma.
- The Touro Synagogue in Newport, founded in 1658, is the oldest Jewish house of worship in North America that is still standing. (1759)
- Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue in Charleston was started in 1740.
- The 1882 building of Temple Adas Israel, Brownsville, is thought to be the oldest synagogue building in Tennessee.
- The 1870 building of Congregation B'nai Israel (Galveston, Texas), is the oldest synagogue building.
- Temple Beth Israel (Houston, Texas), founded in 1854, is the oldest congregation in the state.
- Ohavi Zedek, (Burlington, Vermont), The first synagogue built in Burlington, started by 18 people in 1885; the name means "Lovers of Justice." The congregation, affectionately known as "OZ,", now some 400 families, has a somewhat more modern (1958) facility a few blocks away. This building is now occupied by the Ahavath Garem congregation.
- Congregation Beth Ahabah, Richmond, 1789 is the oldest congregation.
- Congregation Beth Israel (Charlottesville, Virginia) 1882 building is the oldest in the state.
- The state's first synagogue was Temple Emamu-El (Spokane, September 12, 1892, demolished). The congregation later merged with Keneseth Israel to form the present-day Temple Beth Shalom.
- The 1863 Gates of Heaven Synagogue in Madison is the oldest in the state and the eighth-oldest in the country.
- ^ a b c Jonathan Sarna, American Judaism, Yale University Press, 2004, p. 19.
- ^ Jonathan Sarna, American Judaism, Yale University Press, 2004, pp. 18ff, 56ff.
- ^ http://www.smallsynagogues.com/donaldsonville.htm
- ^ Rediscovering Jewish Infrastructure: Update on United States Nineteenth Century Synagogues, Mark W. Gordon, American Jewish History 84.1 (1996) 11-27 
- ^ a b  Rediscovering Jewish Infrastructure: Update on United States Nineteenth Century Synagogues, Mark Gordon, American Jewish History 84.1 (1996) 20-27
- ^ a b Synagogue architecture in America: faith, spirit & identity By Henry Stolzman, Daniel Stolzman 
- ^ http://www.frozenchosen.org/cbs/aboutus/history/ Congregation Beth Sholom
- ^ Jewish Encyclopedia - Arkansas
- ^ http://www.nmajh.org/exhibitions/postcards/cards/04.htm Jewish Postcards
- ^ Sarna, Jonathatn, American Judaism, Yale University Press, 2004, p. 73
- ^ 
- ^ Olitzky, Kerry M.; Raphael, Marc Lee. The American Synagogue: A Historical Dictionary and Sourcebook, Greenwood Press, June 30, 1996, pp. 76–80.
- ^ Temple Emanu-El - History
- ^ Oldest Synagogue in Indiana Celebrates 100th Anniversary; Special Sermons Scheduled 
- ^ Temple Emanuel celebrates 150 years 
- ^ B'Nai Israel to Unveil Historical Marker
- ^ http://www.isjl.org/media/article_dedication.htm
- ^ TBJ website http://tbj.org/about-us/temple-history/ accessdate=2011-05-17
- ^ a b c http://www.americanjewisharchives.org/aja/FindingAids/TempleEmeth.html
- ^ Jewish Synagogues in Oklahoma City
- ^ WSJHS (2006), The Jewish Experience in Washington State: A Chronology 1845–2005, Washington State Jewish Historical Society (WSJHS), p. 14–15.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
List of the oldest buildings in the United States — This article attempts to list the oldest extant freestanding buildings constructed in the United States of America by Europeans (English, Spanish, Dutch, French, Swedish, Germans), Africans, Native Americans and other immigrants and native born… … Wikipedia
List of the oldest churches in the United States — Old Ship Church (1681), the oldest surviving Puritan meeting house in Massachusetts The designation of the oldest church in the United States requires careful use of definitions, and must be divided into two parts, the oldest in the sense of… … Wikipedia
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA — UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, country in N. America. This article is arranged according to the following outline: introduction Colonial Era, 1654–1776 Early National Period, 1776–1820 German Jewish Period, 1820–1880 East European Jewish Period,… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
United States — a republic in the N Western Hemisphere comprising 48 conterminous states, the District of Columbia, and Alaska in North America, and Hawaii in the N Pacific. 267,954,767; conterminous United States, 3,022,387 sq. mi. (7,827,982 sq. km); with… … Universalium
List of the oldest mosques in the world — Mosque of Uqba, founded in 670 in Tunisia The designation of the oldest mosque in the world requires careful use of definitions, and must be divided into two parts, the oldest in the sense of oldest surviving building, and the oldest in the sense … Wikipedia
List of the oldest buildings in the world — This article attempts to list the oldest extant freestanding buildings constructed in the world, including on each of the continents and within each country. This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. Building Image Country Continent… … Wikipedia
List of buildings and structures — This is a list of buildings and nonbuilding structures.TOCright By type *List of abbeys and priories *List of amphitheatres (contemporary) *List of amphitheatres (Roman) *List of ancient pyramids *List of ancient Roman triumphal arches *List of… … Wikipedia
Oldest buildings — Wikipedia has several lists of oldest buildings: Oldest buildings in Britain Oldest buildings in Canada by province or territory List of oldest buildings and structures in Toronto List of oldest buildings and structures in Macau Oldest buildings… … Wikipedia
History of the Jews in Philadelphia — The Jews of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania can trace their history back to Colonial America. Jews have lived there since the arrival of William Penn in 1682.Early historyJewish traders were operating in southeastern Pennsylvania long before Penn. The … Wikipedia
History of the Jews in Latin America — The history of the Jews in the Americas dates back to Christopher Columbus and his first cross Atlantic voyage on August 3, 1492, when he left Spain and eventually discovered the New World. His date of departure was also the day on which the… … Wikipedia