A New Home for an Old Synagogue
In the city’s first synagogue building, today’s Washingtonians celebrate and learn.
“This restoration is important to the culture of our people, because we have always considered the synagogue as the backbone of Jewish life. This first synagogue is a keepsake for all the people of Washington …”
Albert Small, Interview, 1974
1974: Community contributions and a gift from Lillian and Albert Small, seen here at the rededication ceremony with Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, helped to restore the synagogue. Albert Small grew up two blocks away on 5th Street, NW. His father, Isadore, worshipped in the building.
2009: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington maintains the historic synagogue as the Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum. The sanctuary is now used for educational programs and life cycle events, like this 2009 wedding of Jeff Kaplan and Hitomi Komatsu.
2003: At a Jewish Historical Society school program, first graders from Kehila Chadasha Congregation in Maryland created these tzedakah boxes modeled after the historic synagogue.