Chevrah Tifereth Israel was formed around 1914 by a small group of Eastern European immigrants who lived and worked near what is now Adams Morgan.
Members first met in Louis Mensh’s home at Ontario and Kalorama Roads, NW. In the early 1920s, the congregation bought a large house at 14th and Euclid Streets, NW, and converted it into an Orthodox shul.
By the late 1930s, the growing congregation began planning for a larger home. World War II intervened. Meanwhile, Jewish families had begun moving north along the Georgia Avenue and 16th Street corridors into neighborhoods such as Brightwood and Shepherd Park.
In 1948, Tifereth Israel joined with Agudath Achim and Ohev Sholom congregations in planning for a new, large synagogue, to be known as TAOS, on land owned by Agudath Achim at 13th and Tuckerman Streets, NW. The congregations parted ways over issues of leadership and Tifereth Israel’s tradition of mixed seating.
Tifereth Israel dedicated its 550-seat synagogue in Shepherd Park on upper 16th Street, NW, in 1957. In 1960, the congregation affiliated with the Conservative movement. In the decades that followed, the congregation developed a distinctive blend of tradition and innovation in lay-led Jewish worship, study, and social action.
By the late 1960s, many members had moved into the Maryland suburbs. After much discussion, the congregation chose to remain in its District location. Thirty-five years later, the 300-family congregation remains committed to modern, Jewish life in the city.