B'nal Israel Synagogue


Erected in 1924, the former B'nal Israel Synagogue at 900 9th. St. was sold in the
1970's when Huntington's two Jewish congregations merged.


HUNTINGTON -- In 1872, Samuel Gideon and his wife Dora moved to Huntington from Cincinnati,
becoming the first recorded members of the Jewish faith to settle in the young town.
As other Jewish families settled in Huntington they formed a religious/social
 organization called the Almonia Social Club.

In 1887, a group of 20 families organized the Ohev Sholom congregation,
which followed the reformed ritual. They first built a temple at 5th
Avenue and 10th Street and then, when they outgrew that
 building, erected an impressive domed temple at
10th Avenue and 10th Street.

As early as 1883 a small group of Huntington Jews attempted to organize an orthodox congregation,
 but their effort did not take definite shape until 1910 when the B'nai Israel congregation
was established. The little congregation held its first services in Mickel's Hall on
3rd Avenue. Later they worshipped at the Odd Fellows Hall and still later
in rooms over the Fountain Drug and the Union Bank and Trust Co.

Determined to have a permanent house of worship, the congregation purchased
a corner lot at 900 9th St. and there, in 1924, built a handsome synagogue,
designed by prominent Huntington architect Levi Dean.

For generations the children of Jewish families grew up in the two congregations and
many went on to build their lives and careers here. But in the 1960s and 1970s,
 many of their young friends chose to leave Huntington. As a result, both
 congregations dwindled in size. In the early 1970s, neither had
 a permanent rabbi. The two began discussing a merger.
 The result was the 1974 formation of a merged
 congregation with a new name, B'nai Sholom.

For several years after the merger, services alternated between the two facilities.
 But ultimately all activities were consolidated at the temple on 10th Avenue
and the synagogue on 9th Street was sold. Today, the former synagogue
is home to Bethel Temple Assembly of God.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on May. 9, 2017.


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