The True Church Of God Of The Apostolic Faith (B'nai Israel Synagogue)
The B'nai Israel Synagogues congregation was founded in 1866 and met in various buildings until 1888 when the cornerstone was laid on their first official synagogue. The congregation met at that building until 1913 when they moved to this structure then known as the B'nai Israel Synagogue. Today, the building is home to The True Church Of God Of The Apostolic Faith. The B'nai congregation saw rapid growth for the 1930s to the 1950s resulting in the congregation building a new synagogue in West Toledo. The building found its next use in 1966 when The True Church Of God Of The Apostolic Faith purchased the building under its founder Eli Williams.
Backstory and Context
The B’nai Israel Synagogue’s congregation was founded in 1866. However, there is evidence of a Jewish population in Toledo in 1837. This congregation occupied various buildings after being founded, including buildings and homes on Madison, Lynn, Union, State and Allen Streets in downtown Toledo. The cornerstone for the first official synagogue was laid in 1888, it was identified as the “Beny Synagogue.” During this time period, the synagogue didn’t employ a full-time rabbi, rather local Jewish businessmen who worked other jobs while giving sermons.
The congregation grew steadily, and in 1913 the congregation, anticipating more growth, decided to construct a more permanent structure. When the synagogue was built, there were six active Jewish congregations in Toledo. The cornerstone for the synagogue was laid on December 14th, 1913 being completed by the summer of 1914. The building was designed by local architect Sidney Aftel, who was a member of the congregation. The congregation continued to grow, and in 1915 they hired a full-time rabbi.
The congregation’s population rose steadily throughout the decades by the 1930s it was the largest congregation in Toledo. By the 1950s, the size of the congregation nearly 1000 members in 1955 due to this increase in size, the congregation moved out of the building, to a newly constructed synagogue in West Toledo. The building sat vacant until 1966 when a new religious organization purchased the building. The building was now home to The True Church of God of the Apostolic Faith, under its founder Eli Williams. The True Church of God of the Apostolic Faith still occupies the building today.
Welcome to Congregation B'nai Israel, https://www.cbitoledo.org/. Accessed December 10th 2019. https://www.cbitoledo.org/.
Ligibel, Ted. B'nai Israel Synagogue . National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. Published August 24th 2005. National Register of Historic Places.