Ahavas Sholem Synagogue

The Ahavas Sholem Synagogue, once known colloquially as The White Street Shul and now as the Thomas Hill Chapel, is a historic religious building at 30 White Street in New Haven, Connecticut. Built in 1928 for an Orthodox congregation founded in 1912, it is a distinctive example of a neighborhood synagogue with elaborate Neoclassical styling.

Ahavas Sholem Synagogue
RiteNusach Ashkenaz
Ecclesiastical or organisational status
OwnershipThomas Hill Chapel Church of Christ
  • Closed (as a synagogue);
  • Repurposed (as a chapel)
Location30 White Street, New Haven, Connecticut
CountryUnited States
Ahavas Sholem Synagogue is located in Connecticut
Ahavas Sholem Synagogue
Location of the former synagogue, now chapel,
in Connecticut
Geographic coordinates41°17′54″N 72°56′25″W / 41.29833°N 72.94028°W / 41.29833; -72.94028
Date established1912 (as a congregation)
Completed1928 (1928)
MaterialsMasonry; limestone
Ahavas Sholem Synagogue
Ahavas Sholem Synagogue, detail of façade. Inscription reads:
"Congregation Ahavas Sholem
Ashkenazi tradition
Founded in 5672 (1911–12).
One of the founders and treasurer was Joseph Lurie"
Arealess than one acre
MPSHistoric Synagogues of Connecticut MPS
NRHP reference No.95000559
Added to NRHPMay 11, 1995

The synagogue was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 as part of a multiple property listing of fifteen historic synagogues in Connecticut. The building is now home to Thomas Chapel, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ.[2]

Description and history


The former Ahavas Sholem Synagogue stands on the west side of White Street, a short residential street in New Haven's The Hill neighborhood, southwest of downtown. It is a two-story masonry structure, built out of gold-colored brick with limestone trim. It has a particularly handsome Neoclassical façade, with limestone on the first level, which is continued on the second level around that floor's arched windows. A panel above the main entrance identifies the congregation and the year of the building's construction in the Hebrew calendar. Some of its original windows are incised with the Star of David, which is repeated in a rounded pediment at the roof level.[2]

An Orthodox congregation was organized in this neighborhood in 1912. According to Orthodox practice, it was necessary to walk to Sabbath services, resulting in the founding of relatively small congregations such as this one. The building was erected in 1928, and was used by the congregation until most of its members moved away in the 1960s. The building is now occupied by a Christian congregation, the Thomas Hill Chapel Church of Christ.[2]

The building was one of fifteen Connecticut synagogues added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995[1] and 1996 in response to an unprecedented multiple submission, nominating nineteen synagogues.[3][4]

See also



  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Ransom, David F. (August 26, 1994). "National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Listing, Historic Synagogues of Connecticut: Ahavas Sholem Synagogue / Thomas Chapel of the Church of Christ". National Park Service. (pages 86-92 omitting page 89) and Accompanying two photos (apparently from 1994?)
  3. ^ Charles, Eleanor (April 7, 1996). "In the Region/Connecticut;15 Synagogues Gain National Landmark Status". New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  4. ^ Ransom, David F. (March 29, 1995). "NRHP Registration Form Multiple Property Listing: Historic Synagogues of Connecticut". National Park Service. Retrieved July 31, 2010.