Sunday, April 6, 2008

Temple Beth El, built in 1900


I couldn't find an old photo of this synagogue, but I did find a little bit of history:

…From Rootsweb.ancestry.com … Navarro County page: "The earliest Jewish settlers in Corsicana arrived in 1871, the year rail lines were built to the area. In 1898 a group of reformed Jews established Temple Beth-El. Two years later they built this house of worship, which features two distinctive octagonal towers with onion-shaped domes. Corsicana's Jewish residents have made many significant contributions to the city's growth and development, and the temple now serves as a reminder of their rich heritage."
Recorded Texas Historical Landmark - 1981

…from www.rabbifrankjoseph.net : "Temple Beth El was dedicated by the Jewish community in 1900, when the congregation was made up of 60 families. The congregation finally dwindled to the point where it disbanded in 1981.

The building, with its distinctive architecture, octagonal towers and two onion domes, was in a state of disrepair and scheduled for demolition. A group of concerned citizens formed "Save the Temple," and held dinners, styles shows and musical reviews, and with the help of private donations and state and local grants, were able to raise more than $100,00 to restore the building. It was deeded to the City of Corsicana, rededicated in 1987, and is now used for activities and club meetings."

I also learned that in 2005, permission was granted by the city for the Jewish community to hold once-a-month services on Friday evenings.

2 comments:

Rambling Round said...

What a wonderful old building!

Dina said...

Actually, it looks like a Russian Orthodox church we have on the Mt. of Olives. Thanks for its history.
Shalom