Congregation B'nai Shalom (Easton, Pennsylvania)

Congregation B'nai Shalom is a Reform Jewish synagogue located at 1545 Bushkill Street, in Easton, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The congregation was formed on August 1, 2020, following the merger of two former congregations.

Congregation B'nai Shalom
AffiliationReform Judaism
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusSynagogue
Location1545 Bushkill Street, Easton, Pennsylvania 18042
CountryUnited States
Congregation B'nai Shalom (Easton, Pennsylvania) is located in Pennsylvania
Congregation B'nai Shalom (Easton, Pennsylvania)
Location in Pennsylvania
Geographic coordinates40°41′36″N 75°14′02″W / 40.6933°N 75.2340°W / 40.6933; -75.2340
Date established2020 (merged congregation)
  • 1839 (Brit Shalom)
  • 1889 (Bnai Abraham)
  • 1842 (BS: S. Sixth St.)
  • 1907 (BAS: Bushkill St.)
  • 1959 (BS: ??)

Founded in 1839 as Brit Shalom, later known as the Temple Covenant of Peace, it is one of the oldest Jewish congregations in the United States. In 2018 the congregation began discussions to merge with the B'nai Abraham Synagogue,[1] founded in 1889.



Congregation Brit Shalom was founded on August 26, 1839.[2] In 1842, the congregation built a synagogue building at 38 South Sixth Street. In 1959, the congregation, renamed as Temple Covenant of Peace, moved to a new building.[3] By the late twentieth century, the former S. Sixth St building was used as the Second Baptist Church of Easton. In 1996, Mark W. Gordon identified this building as the third oldest synagogue building in the country.[4] However, the old synagogue, subsequent church, was destroyed by arson on June 21, 2003.[5]

Congregation B'nai Abraham, also B'nai Abraham Synagogue (transliterated from Hebrew as "Children of Abraham"), was founded in 1889 by immigrant Jews were from eastern and central Europe, Russia, and the Baltic countries, who practiced in the Orthodox Ashkenazi rite.[6]

After several years of discussions,[7] in August 2020 the two congregations merged as Congregation B'nai Shalom. At the time of the merger, B'nai Abraham was aligned with the Conservative movement; however, the new merged congregation embraced the Reform movement. The congregation adopted the former B'nai Abraham Synagogue Bushkill Street building as their new place of worship.[8] The former Temple Covenant of Peace synagogue building was sold.


  1. ^ Merlin, Michelle (March 9, 2018). "As membership wanes, two Easton synagogues choose merger". The Morning Call. Archived from the original on August 4, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2022.
  2. ^ Markens, Isaac (1888). The Hebrews in America: A Series of Historical and Biographical Sketches. Isaac Markens. p. 83.
  3. ^ "History". Temple Covenant of Peace. February 10, 2008. Archived from the original on February 10, 2008. Retrieved July 31, 2022.
  4. ^ Gordon, Mark W. (March 1996), Rediscovering Jewish Infrastructure: Update on United States Nineteenth Century Synagogues, vol. 84, American Jewish History, pp. 20–27, archived from the original on March 4, 2016, retrieved July 31, 2022. 2019 article update Archived March 8, 2022, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Novack, Steve (June 18, 2023). "When arson destroyed a landmark Easton church, it was a loss to two faiths: Lehigh Valley historical headlines". Leigh Valley Live. Retrieved December 25, 2023.
  6. ^ Capwell Fox, Martha (n.d.). "The Easton Experience". Jewish Heritage in the D&L Corridor. National Canal Museum. Retrieved December 24, 2023.
  7. ^ Sosnow, Susan (April 25, 2019). "Easton synagogue merger official". Jewish Federation of Lehigh Valley. Retrieved December 24, 2023.
  8. ^ Goodling, Stephanie (August 3, 2020). "Bnai Shalom merger paves way for Easton Jewish community". Jewish Federation of Lehigh Valley. Retrieved December 24, 2023.