B'nai Israel Synagogue (New Hope Missionary Baptist Church)
This Craftsman-style building was originally built in 1911 as a synagogue for Congregation B'nai Israel (CBI), a community of German Jews. The former Orthodox congregation organized during the 1850s, making it one of the oldest in Connecticut. For over 50 years, the congregation did not have a permanent, designated synagogue, however, and members worshiped in homes and workplaces. The 1911 construction of this Park Avenue synagogue provided a stable religious and community space.
The Park Avenue temple once belonged to Congregation B'nai Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in Bridgeport.
Backstory and Context
By the 1940s, CBI had outgrown this synagogue and moved to a second one, also on Park Avenue. Today, the original Park Avenue temple serves as a Baptist church, and CBI is a Reform Jewish synagogue that maintains an active community with hundreds of families in its new, larger location.
"B’nai Israel Synagogue (1911)." Historic Buildings of Connecticut. Accessed January 11, 2019. http://historicbuildingsct.com/bnai-israel-synagogue-1911/.