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Congregation Shaare Tikvah

Congregation Shaare Tikvah resulted from the combination of several Conservative congregations formed in the 1940s around Capitol Hill and Anacostia to serve Jewish soldiers and government workers flocking to wartime Washington.

Outside the main path of Jewish settlement, these small congregations merged, at first remaining in Southeast. Washington Highlands Jewish Center, founded in 1946, built a synagogue at 141 Xenia Street, SW, in 1949 at the far end of South Capitol Street. In 1965, it joined with the combined B’nai Jacob-Beth Israel congregation, a merger of congregations dating to the 1940s.

The new 175-member congregation, renamed Shaare Tikvah, prayed temporarily at the Washington Highlands building. In 1967, the congregation dedicated a new synagogue in Temple Hills, Prince George’s County, Maryland. Nearby churches offered space when vandalism seriously damaged the building.

Since 2002, Shaare Tikvah has shared space with Nevey Shalom, a Conservative congregation in Bowie, Maryland.

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2504 Naylor Road, S.E.

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1. 2504 Naylor Road, SE

B’nai Jacob, founded in 1942, held services in the basement of a converted store at 2504 Naylor Road, S.E.

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3408 C Street, S.E.

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2. 3408 C Street, SE

Beth Israel, founded in 1944, worshiped in this building on C Street, S.E.

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3408 C Street, S.E.

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3. 3408 C Street, SE

The former home of B’nai Jacob-Beth Israel now houses the Edgewood Baptist Church. The building was designed by Silver Spring architect Sanford Collins

Photograph by Jeremy Goldberg
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Washington Highlands Jewish Center, now the Righteous Branch Commandment Church

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4. Washington Highlands Jewish Center, now the Righteous Branch Commandment Church

The plaque with the Hebrew word Chai (life), seen here, harks back to this building’s original use as Washington Highlands Jewish Center. It is in the heart of a neighborhood revitalization project sponsored by local black entrepreneurs and Yachad, a Jewish nonprofit group that works with synagogues, churches and other community groups to support commercial and housing redevelopment.

Photograph by Jeremy Goldberg
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Washington Highlands Jewish Center, now the Righteous Branch Commandment Church

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5. Washington Highlands Jewish Center, now the Righteous Branch Commandment Church

The plaque with the Hebrew word Chai (life), seen here, harks back to this building’s original use as Washington Highlands Jewish Center. It is in the heart of a neighborhood revitalization project sponsored by local black entrepreneurs and Yachad, a Jewish nonprofit group that works with synagogues, churches and other community groups to support commercial and housing redevelopment.

Photograph by Jeremy Goldberg
Shaare Tikvah Synagogue, 5404 Temple Hills Road, Maryland

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6. Shaare Tikvah Synagogue, 5404 Temple Hills Road, Maryland

Dedicated on September 30, 1967, this synagogue at 5404 Temple Hills Road was designed by Horowitz, Seigel & Associates. The sanctuary seats 500.

Congregation Shaare Tikvah
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