Keneseth Israel (Louisville, Kentucky)

Keneseth Israel is a Conservative synagogue located at 2531 Taylorsville Road, Louisville, Kentucky, in the United States. The congregation's original synagogue building was constructed in Louisville in 1928. It was designed by Joseph & Joseph and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1][2][3] The original synagogue building suffered extensive damage in a fire in 2021 and after a structural assessment, was demolished.[4]

Keneseth Israel
Keneseth Israel synagogue
AffiliationConservative Judaism
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusSynagogue
LeadershipRabbi Ben Freed
Location2531 Taylorsville Road, Louisville, Kentucky
Keneseth Israel (Louisville, Kentucky) is located in Kentucky
Keneseth Israel (Louisville, Kentucky)
Location in Kentucky
AdministrationUnited Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Geographic coordinates38°13′26.6″N 85°40′29.5″W / 38.224056°N 85.674861°W / 38.224056; -85.674861
Architect(s)Joseph & Joseph (1928)
Date established1882 (as a congregation)
  • 1901 (E. Jefferson Street)
  • 1928 (East Jacob Street)
  • 1964 (Taylorsville Road)



The congregation was founded in 1882 as an Orthodox congregation, B'nai Jacob, and merged with another Orthodox congregation, Beth HaMedrash HaGadol in 1927 to create congregation Keneseth Israel.[1] In 1928 the congregation had a synagogue built at 232–236 East Jacob Street in Louisville. The congregation moved to its current home in 1964.[5]: 157 

The earliest building was a former church. In 1901, the congregation, then B'nai Israel, dedicated a new building on the site of the former church building at 432 E. Jefferson Street. The building has twin towers with pyramid-form roofs and was striped in red-and-white in the Moorish Revival style then fashionable for synagogues.[5]: 72 

For most of its history, Keneseth Israel was an Orthodox synagogue affiliated with the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. In 1994, its members voted to affiliate with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.[5]: 18 



The congregation is led by Rabbi Ben Freed and Cantor Sharon Hordes.

See also



  1. ^ a b Kleber, John E. (2001). The Encyclopedia of Louisville. University of Kentucky Press. p. 458. ISBN 0813121000.
  2. ^ National Register of Historic Places nomination form
  3. ^ "University of Louisville Libraries Digital Collections". University of Louisville Libraries. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Demolition of Old Keneseth Israel". Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  5. ^ a b c Weisbach, Lee Shai (1995). Synagogues of Kentucky: History and Architecture. University Press of Kentucky.