Washington Hebrew Congregation


Washington Hebrew Congregation

Infobox religious building
building_name=Washington Hebrew Congregation



caption=Site of Washington Hebrew Congregation's
building from 1898-1952,
built on the site of the first building.
Today home of the Greater New Hope Baptist Church.
location=Flagicon|USA Washington, D.C., United States
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religious_affiliation=Judaism
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status=Converted Synagogue
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website=http://www.whctemple.org/
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The Washington Hebrew Congregation is a Jewish congregation formed on April 25, 1852 in Washington, D.C. by twenty-one members.

Solomon Pribram was elected the first president. By 1854, there were forty-two members. On December 13, 1855, at the thirty-fourth session of the United States Congress, a special act was passed, which provided that

The congregation grew steadily in membership and in influence; and in 1863 it moved to the site of a former Methodist church, which had been used by the government for hospital purposes during the Civil War.

The cornerstone of the 1897 building was laid by President William McKinley. In 1952 President Harry S. Truman laid the cornerstone of a new building, which was dedicated on May 6, 1955, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

By 1905, the First Washington Hebrew Congregation was the only Reform Judaism congregation in the District of Columbia, with a membership of 350, and a religious school attended by 200 children.

One prominent leader was Uriah P. Levy.

Adas Israel congregation (Washington, D.C.), with Isaac Stampel as Hazzan, was founded in 1869 by 69 members of the Washington Hebrew Congregation who objected to the Reform tendencies of the old congregation.

The Washington Hebrew Congregation is currently a member of the Union for Reform Judaism.

References

* [http://www.whctemple.org/ Washington Hebrew Congregation website]
* [http://www.whctemple.org/about_us.htm Washington Hebrew Congregation History]
* [http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=48&letter=W&search=Washington%20Hebrew%20Congregation Jewish Encyclopedia article on Washington D.C. congregations]
*Raphael, Marc Lee. "Towards a "national shrine": a centennial history of Washington Hebrew Congregation 1855-1955" (Williamsburg, Va.: Dept. of Religious Studies, College of William and Mary, 2005); no ISBN.


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