Clio Logo

Congregation Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth is Delaware's oldest Jewish congregation. Its first location, a Lutheran church building purchased in 1898, was the state's first synagogue. The congregation was originally founded as a traditional community called Adas Kodesch in 1885. The congregation still espouses traditional Judaism—somewhere in between Orthodox and Reform Judaism—and takes an active role in supporting its members. It also offers youth and adult classes, Hebrew language classes, a Hebrew school, and other programs.


  • Congregation Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth is Delaware's oldest congregation, founded in 1885.

By 1885, many Jews had already been living in Delaware, but they were mostly Reform Jews and those who comprised Adas Kodesch preferred Orthodox Judaism. Over the years a few other synagogues formed away from Adas Kodesch, including a Reform synagogue and a synagogue whose members preferred Sephardic ritual. This latter congregation was called Chesed Shel Emeth. Eventually, Adas Kodesch and Chesed Shel Emeth merged to form the current Congregation Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth. The congregation built the current synagogue in 1963. 

"Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth: Over 125 Years of Family and Tradition." Congregation Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth. Accessed February 7, 2017. http://akse.org/history.