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List of synagogues in Oklahoma

  (Redirected from B'nai Emunah)

In 1890, the Jewish population of Oklahoma Territory was estimated to be about 100 people. By statehood in 1907, that number grew to about 1,000. The peak of Oklahoma Jewish population occurred in the 1920s with a total population of about 7,500.[1] In 2003, 2,300 Jews resided in Oklahoma City and 2,600 in Tulsa. Reform, Conservative, and Chabad congregations serve both of these communities. In 1916 there were seven small-town congregations including Enid, Hartshorne, and Chickasha. This number has dwindled to three Reform congregations located in Muskogee, Ponca City, and Seminole, with congregational membership between fourteen and twenty-two people.[1]

Notable Oklahoma Jews have included Oklahoma Secretary of Health and state senator Tom Adelson; historian Daniel J. Boorstin; Oklahoma State Treasurer Robert Butkin; Oklahoma City School Board and Chamber of Commerce president Seymor C. Heyman; businessman and philanthropist George Kaiser; financier Henry Kravis; actor and filmmaker Tim Blake Nelson; actor Tony Randall; and Alexander Sondheimer, Oklahoma's first court reporter. The philanthropy of Charles and Lynn Schusterman has helped to establish Tulsa's Jewish Community Center, the Judaic Studies program at the University of Oklahoma,[2] the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas,[3] and the Israel studies program at Brandeis University[4]

This is a list of Oklahoma synagogues.

Name Location Movement Status Notes
The Synagogue | Congregation B'nai Emunah 1719 S Owasso Ave, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74120 Conservative A progressive congregation committed to social activism, inclusivity, and Jewish renewal.[5] Founded in 1916, as an Orthodox congregation.[1] It originated from a minyan of Latvian immigrants in 1903.[2]
Beth Torah Synagogue, Chabad House 6622 S Utica Ave, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136 Chabad Lubavitch
Chabad Community Center for Jewish Life and Learning 3000 W Hefner Road, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120 Chabad Lubavitch
Emanuel Synagogue 900 NW 47th St, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118 Conservative Founded in 1904.
Hillel Jewish Student Center at OU 494 Elm Ave, Norman, Oklahoma 73069 Pluralist
Temple B'nai Israel 4901 N Pennsylvania Ave, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112 Reform Formed in May 1903, Temple B'nai Israel is the oldest active Jewish congregation in Oklahoma. In the beginning, the congregation was run by student rabbis from Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati. Arthur Lewinsohn was elected as rabbi in 1904.[6] Rabbi Joseph Blatt ran the congregation from 1906 to 1946, and consulted in the formation of Enid, Shawnee, Ardmore and Tulsa's congregations.[7] From 1906 to 1916 Joseph Blatt was the only full-time rabbi in Oklahoma.[8] Rabbi Joseph Levenson (1946–1976), Rabbi A. David Packman (1976–2004), and Rabbi Barry Cohen (2004-2012). Rabbi Vered Harris became the congregation's spiritual leader in July, 2012.[9]
Temple Bethahaba 206 S 7th St, Muskogee, Oklahoma 74401 Reform Inactive The congregation was founded in 1905 [2][10] until when the temple closed in 2011.[11]
Temple Emanuel Highland & Poplar, Ponca City Oklahoma 74601 Reform
Seminole Hebrew Center 402 W Seminole Ave Seminole, OK 74868 Reform
Temple Israel 2004 E 22nd Pl, Tulsa Oklahoma 74114 Reform Founded in 1914; located since 1955 in a building designed by architect Percival Goodman.
Temple Emeth Ardmore, Oklahoma Reform Inactive Ardmore had the first Jewish community in Oklahoma to organize formally, in 1890.[1] Temple Emeth was organized as a Reform congregation in 1907, and closed in 2004[2][12]
Congregation Emanuel North Independence and East Maple, Enid, Oklahoma Reform Inactive In 5680, the congregation had 12 members of a Jewish population of 50 in Enid.[13] The congregation was formed between 1909 and 1910.[14] The Temple Emanuel Congregation of Enid was officially chartered in May 1911. Its founding trustees were Albert Hirsch, Harry B. Wolf, Robert Aronberg, Charles Lowenstein, Marinus Godschalk, and Herbert L. Kaufman.[15] It was affiliated with the Union of American Hebrew Congregations from 1910-1919.[16] Rabbi Joseph Blatt of Oklahoma City was their rabbi.[14] It held services in English during festivals, and had Sabbath school. Local men's furnishings salesman, Harry B. Woolf, served as president.[13] The congregation met at the Loewen Hotel,[14] once located at the corner of North Independence and East Maple.[17] The Loewen Hotel, founded by Jewish resident Al Loewen, was purchased by Milton C. Garber in 1917 and renamed the Oxford, which burned down in the 1970s.[17] Enid also had a 20 member B'nai B'rith lodge, with Sol Newman as president.[18]
B'nai Abraham 407 Chickasha Avenue, Chickasha, Oklahoma Inactive Formed in 1915, the congregation held services in Hebrew for a Jewish population of 125.[13]
B'nai Israel Penna Avenue, Hartshorne, Oklahoma Inactive The congregation formed in 1916, held services in Hebrew. It served a Jewish population of 18.[13]
Breslov Bayit of Oklahoma Valliant, Oklahoma Breslov The house-shul has a total of 8 members, of a steadily growing Jewish population.[citation needed]

Other Jewish Organizations in Oklahoma

Name Location
Jewish Federation of Tulsa Zarrow Campus, 2021 E. 71st St, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City 710 West Wilshire, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73116
Charles Schusterman Jewish Community Center Zarrow Campus, 2021 E. 71st St, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art Zarrow Campus, 2021 E. 71st St, Tulsa, Oklahoma

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Shevitz, Amy Hill, "Jews", Oklahoma Encyclopedia of History and Culture.
  2. ^ a b c d Oklahoma
  3. ^ About the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies
  4. ^ Mission | Schusterman Center for Israel Studies | Brandeis University
  5. ^ "About". The Synagogue. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  6. ^ Olitzky, Kerry M. and Raphael, Marc Lee, "Oklahoma," The American synagogue: a historical dictionary and sourcebook, page 296
  7. ^ Tobias, Henry J., Jews in Oklahoma, page 34
  8. ^ The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Volume 8, 1942, page 292
  9. ^ Wauhob, Shane, "Jewish Synagogues in Oklahoma", 24 April 2009,
  10. ^ Sue Fishkoff, "Rural Shuls Make Do Without Rabbis", Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, September 8, 2005.
  11. ^ "Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities - Muskogee, Oklahoma", ISJL
  12. ^ Ardmore, Oklahoma - Temple Emeth Records
  13. ^ a b c d Adler, Cyrus and Szold, Henrietta, "Oklahoma" The American Jewish Year Book, Volume 21, American Jewish Committee, pgs 535-536, 1919.
  14. ^ a b c Friedenwald, Herbert, "Oklahoma", The American Jewish Year Book, Volume 12, American Jewish Committee, p. 273
  15. ^ "Charters", The Daily Oklahoman, May 30, 1911
  16. ^ The American Jewish Yearbook, Vols 12-21, American Jewish Committee.
  17. ^ a b Buchanan, James Shannon, Chronicles of Oklahoma: Volume 83, Oklahoma Historical Society, 2005, p. 133.
  18. ^ The National Jewish monthly: Volumes 52-54, B'nai Brith, 1938, p 284