Founded in 1861, Temple Emanu-El is San Jose's oldest Jewish Congregation. It was originally called Bickur Cholim (visiting the sick in Hebrew) and located on 3rd Street between Fernando and San Carlos Streets. It is one of the oldest Reform congregations on the West Coast and remains a vibrant community today.
The congregation worshipped at the first temple on 3rd Street from 1870, when it was built, to 1940, when a fire destroyed it. Fortunately, the Torah, Ner Tamid (eternal lamp), and stained glass windows were saved and are now located at the current temple.