Back to the City

A growing number of Jewish Washingtonians are returning to live and work in the city, participants in the revival of historic neighborhoods.

D.C. JCC building

1997: District residents formed a new downtown Jewish Community Center in the late 1970s, nearly a decade after the original had relocated to Rockville. They met in rented sites until purchasing the original JCC building at 16th and Q Streets, NW. After a major restoration, the Washington DC JCC officially opened in 1997.

JHSGW Collections.

Photo of Hillel International

2002: Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life moved its international headquarters into a new building on the corner of 8th and H Streets, NW. Located in the heart of one of Washington’s historic Jewish neighborhoods, Hillel stands adjacent to the former Washington Hebrew building.

Courtesy of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life

photo of front of JPDS

2002: The Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital found a new home in the former building of the Hebrew Academy at 16th and Fort Stevens Drive, NW, returning Jewish learning to the site after more than twenty-five years.

Courtesy of The Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital.

Photo of sanctuary Sixth and I

2004: Built by Adas Israel Congregation in 1908, this building was the home of Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church from 1951 until 2002. When the church moved to Hyattsville, three Jewish developers – Abe Pollin, Douglas Jemal, and Shelton Zuckerman – purchased the building and oversaw its restoration. Hundreds who had worshipped here for nearly a century – Jews and Christians alike – returned for the dedication of the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue.

Courtesy of Sixth and I Historic Synagogue.

JBG building

2004: Local developers are building hundreds of residences in revitalized downtown neighborhoods. JBG Companies, headed by Benjamin Jacobs, Donald Brown, and Joseph Gildenhorn, built Sovereign Square apartment building at 5th and Massachusetts Avenue, NW, in 2004.

Courtesy of The JBG Companies.

7th Street

2000: New shops and restaurants have opened in these late 19th-century buildings along Seventh Street, NW, across from the Verizon Center. Rudolph Behrend, who would become a Jewish civic leader and businessman, was born at 706 Seventh Street, NW, in 1877. The building is now home to Legal Sea Foods.

Courtesy of GTM Architects. Copyright Kenneth M. Wyner Photography.

D.C. JCC building
Photo of Hillel International
photo of front of JPDS
Photo of sanctuary Sixth and I
JBG building
7th Street