Ezras Israel Congregation of Rockville

Founded in 1907, Ezras Israel was the first Orthodox synagogue to serve Jewish shopkeepers settling around H Street, NE.

After meeting in several locations, members refitted a church at 800 I Street, NE. The congregation remained in this location for fifty years.

In 1959, Ezras Israel moved to the Takoma neighborhood of Washington. It purchased a building at 7th and Dahlia Streets, NW, from Mishkan Torah Congregation, which had converted the former residence into a synagogue the previous year.

The congregation moved to Silver Spring in 1978 and met in a number of locations until purchasing their own building at 803 Montrose Road. The acquisition and renovation of their new synagogue was financed in part by the sale of the 800 I Street building to the Solid Rock Full Gospel Baptist Church. Today it is home to Crusaders Baptist Church.

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Ezras Israel, 800 I Street, NE, ca. 1920

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1. Ezras Israel, 800 I Street, NE, ca. 1920

This synagogue was less than two miles from Southeast Hebrew, another Orthodox congregation. Both synagogues served the community of newly arrived shopkeepers and merchants. The building behind the synagogue served as a cheder (school).

JHSGW Collection
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800 I Street, N.E., 2005

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2. 800 I Street, NE, 2005

Later owners of this building changed the façade and altered the shape of the windows.

© Patricia Fisher 2005. JHSGW Collection
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Chanukah party in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Meyer Burka at 800 I Street, NE

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3. Chanukah party in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Meyer Burka at 800 I Street, NE, 1937

Mr. and Mrs. Burka stand at the center of the bimah. Members of the Kogod and Burka families are seated on the left side of the photograph. The 800 I Street, NE synagogue featured a raised central bimah and a women’s balcony.

JHSGW Collections. Gift of Kitty Futrovsky Strauss
Seventh and Dahlia Streets, NW

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4. 7th and Dahlia Streets, NW

Ezras Israel purchased this building, originally a frame residence, at 7th and Dahlia Streets, NW, from Mishkan Torah Congregation. Ezras Israel worshipped here from 1959 to 1978.

© Washington Post; Reprinted by permission of the D.C. Public Library
Word of God Church, 7th and Dahlia Streets, NW

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5. Word of God Church, 7th and Dahlia Streets, NW

After Ezras Israel left this building in 1978, it was renovated for use as a church. It is currently the home of the Word of God Church.

Photograph by Jeremy Goldberg
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