Historic Minneapolis Synagogue Tour

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Historic Minneapolis Synagogue Tour

Beth El Synagogue
Minneapolis, Minnesota, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Tour Created by: Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest

Minneapolis, Minnesota Hennepin County, Minnesota


Historic Minneapolis Synagogue Tour
(44.9799654° N, 93.2638361° WLatitude: 44°58′47.875″N
Longitude: 93°15′49.81″W

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Excerpted from JHSUM's North Side Memories Upper Midwest Jewish History Journal

As its name suggests, this neighborhood formed on the northwestern edge of downtown in the vicinity of the present-day Farmers Market. Its central commercial streets were Sixth Avenue North (today Olson Highway) and Lyndale Avenue (now East Lyndale). Here were butcher shops, fishmongers, delicatessens, and all the other commercial establishments, offices, and clubs that gave the area its Jewish flavor. Also near this intersection were the first North Side synagogues: Kenesseth Israel, Mikro Kodesh, Sharei Zedeck, Gemilus Chesed, and Tifereth B'nai Jacob. Close by as well were the Talmud Torah's initial locations-the first building, on Bassett Place; and the second, at Eighth Avenue North and Fremont. On Elwood Avenue stood the Emanuel Cohen Center, a social and recreational facility. Across the street from it was the Oak Park Children's Home, a short-term-care center. The Labor Lyceum, owned by the Jewish Socialist movement's Workmen's Circle, and the Farband House, home to the Labor Zionists, were located a few blocks away. Tenements were to be found in this neighborhood, as were the remnants of a fine middle-class neighborhood that predated the burgeoning Jewish-immigrant community. Near North Siders utilized their backyards to store scrap metal for resale and as places to slaughter chickens. They taught Talmud in their dining rooms and cultured sour cream in their basements.

Reva Rosenbloom remembered that during the early 1940s she would walk with her grandfather from her home at 1601 Oliver (in the second-generation neighborhood) to Kenesseth Israel synagogue on Olson Highway and Sixth Avenue North more than a mile as the crow flies.

The near North Side flourished until the early 1920s. The locus of the second-generation North Side, which flourished from about 1930 through the 1950s, was Plymouth Avenue (particularly west of Knox Avenue). Along Plymouth could be found the relocated delicatessens, kosher butcher shops, fish markets, barbershops, and grocery stores, the Homewood Theater, and the pool room-all of which made the street a magnet for young and old alike. As Jews moved to the newer area so, too, did a few synagogues- Mikro Kodesh, for one, as early as 1926. Generally, the Orthodox synagogues relocated at a more leisurely pace. Kenesseth Israel did not move until 1948, Gemilus Chesed not until 1954, Beth El, the North Side's only Conservative congregation, was based in this newer neighborhood. The congregation had its roots in the Talmud Torah. There in 1923, alumni who were dissatisfied with religious services at Orthodox synagogues and wanted to practice a modern yet traditionally oriented form of Judaism organized the "Young People's Synagogue." They met at the Talmud Torah until the following year, when Rabbi David Aronson was hired to lead the congregation, and a house at the corner of Fourteenth and Penn Avenue North was purchased as a temporary site for worship. The synagogue was built on that site and dedicated in 1926.

# Street
B'nai Emet (Abraham) Synagogue, 3115 Ottawa Avenue South, Saint Louis Park, Minnesota 31153,115 Ottawa Avenue S
Beth El Synagogue, 5224 West 26th Street, Saint Louis Park, Minnesota 52245,224 26th Street W
Kenesseth Israel, 519 Fourth Street North, Minneapolis, Minnesota 519519 Forth Street N
Mikro Kodesh Synagogue, 1000 Oliver Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1926-Present) 10001,000 Oliver Avenue N
Sharei Zedeck 11191,119 Morgan Avenue N
Temple Israel, 2324 Emerson Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 23242,324 Emerson Avenue S

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