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Constructed in 1883, Temple Beth El is the oldest synagogue still used west of the Mississippi River and the 14th oldest in the country. It is a simple one-story structure located in the heart of downtown Jefferson City. It is a Reform congregation and as such belongs to the Union of Reform Judaism. According to official records, Jews had been living in the city since at least 1865. In 1879, a few of the men formed the Jefferson City Hebrew Cemetery Association to create a place for burial and also established the congregation that year. In 1882, some women of the Hebrew Ladies Sewing Society donated money to buy a plot of land with the purpose of building the temple. These women are honored in a plaque that is on display in the temple.


  • Temple Beth El was built in 1883 and is the oldest temple still in use west of the Mississippi River.
  • The plaque honoring the women from the sewing society.
"History." Temple Beth El. Accessed February 20, 2017. http://www.templebethel-jc.org/index.php/history. 

Photos: Wikipedia Commons