History of the original Adas Israel building

John DeFerrari's picture

From the Streets of Washington blog:

The original Adas Israel synagogue building, a fairly modest brick structure, is the oldest surviving synagogue building in the District and certainly the most well-traveled. Initially constructed at 6th and G Streets NW in 1876, it was moved once to 3rd and G, and then moved again—today—to 3rd and F. Steeped in the city's history, the building will form the core of the new Capital Jewish Museum, set to open in 2021. It's a lasting memorial as much to patience and perseverance as it is to the rich culture of Judaism in Washington.

Awaiting a new life, January 9, 2019 (photo by the author).

Very few Jews lived in Washington in the early part of the 19th century, not enough to form a congregation, until the Washington Hebrew Congregation was founded in 1852. As in many American cities, Washington's Jews were predominantly immigrants from Germany and Eastern Europe. Many came to Washington to make a living running small businesses, and after the Civil War they often made their homes near the Seventh Street commercial corridor, in what is now called Penn Quarter and Mount Vernon Triangle.

Full article with illustrations is at: 


- John DeFerrari