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.
After sharing space with Nevey Shalom, a Conservative congregation in Bowie, Maryland, from 2002 to 2008, Shaare Tikvah moved to a new home in Waldorf, Maryland.