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Congregation Shearith Israel (Wharton, Texas)

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Congregation Shearith Israel was a Jewish Texan community in Wharton, Texas. This rural Texan community held Jewish services for over 100 years (1899-2002).

Congregation Shearith Israel
Religion
AffiliationJudaism
StatusInactive
Location
LocationWharton, Texas, United States
Location within Texas
Location within Texas
Shown within Texas
Geographic coordinates29°19′09″N 96°05′36″W / 29.319179°N 96.0932696°W / 29.319179; -96.0932696Coordinates: 29°19′09″N 96°05′36″W / 29.319179°N 96.0932696°W / 29.319179; -96.0932696
Architecture
TypeSynagogue
Date established1899[1]
Completed1956[1]
DestroyedSeptember 26, 2010[2]

Community historyEdit

Jewish immigrants, arriving as early as the 1850s, established additional businesses and began the Congregation Shearith Israel, the only synagogue in a three-county area.[3] A first synagogue building was erected on S. Rusk Street in 1921.[1] Although centered in the town of Wharton, the community has members in two counties adjacent to Wharton County and the towns of Bay City, El Campo, Edna, East Bernard, Palacios and Boling.[4] The community has over a century of Jewish history and held for many years, the Shearith Israel annual barbecue. This event would be attended by many from the three county area.[5] The present synagogue, holder of an historic landmark, was built in 1956 on Old Lane City Road. A Jewish cemetery was established on N. Alabama Rd. in 1937. The synagogue received a historical marker in 1988.[1]

The synagogue held its last service, led by Rabbi Jerome Cohen, in 2002.[6] Worship services began in about 1899.[1]

The Shearith Israel synagogue building (built in 1956) was destroyed by a fire intentionally set by two local teenagers, on Sunday, September 26, 2010 (the third day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Booths).[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Historical Marker
  2. ^ a b Halvorson, Barry (2010-10-02). "Two juveniles arrested in synagogue arson case". Wharton Journal Spectator. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  3. ^ Wharton, Texas
  4. ^ Jewish Cemetery Information
  5. ^ Wharton Jewish Community
  6. ^ New York Times Article on Wharton Jewish Community

External linksEdit