Historical Marker: Congregation of Israel - 1884
Near the location of this historical marker was the first permanent Jewish synagogue in Nebraska. Built in 1884 and known as Temple Israel, this small synagogue served a growing Jewish community that started to form in the mid-19th century. In 1908, the congregation moved to a new location at Park Avenue and Jackson Street and built a new temple with large dome. The community worshiped at that location for several decades before selling their sanctuary to St. John's Greek Orthodox Church in 1951. Temple Israel is currently located at 7023 Cass Street.
Backstory and Context
During the early years, tension between those who hoped to follow conservative Orthodox practices and those who supported the Reform view of Judaism that allows for individual interpretation of beliefs and practices threatened to divide the fledgling congregation. However, being the only members of the Jewish faith in an era of anti-Semitism united members who looked to find compromises on matters of ritual. One of the successes of this era was the establishment of a Sunday School that was free to all- including the children of many non-members.
"Our History." Temple Israel. Accessed December 5, 2015. http://www.templeisraelomaha.com/about-us/our-history.