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Temple Beth El

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1886, J. G. Holliday. 311 S. Park St.
  • (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)

The distinction of being the oldest Michigan synagogue building in continuous use for Jewish worship belongs to Beth El of Traverse City. It was founded in 1882 as an Orthodox congregation by Polish and Lithuanian immigrant peddlers, who became prosperous merchants in Traverse City. Four years later they erected a two-story clapboard and shingle building, on land donated by a leading lumber merchant. The simple gable-end building with spindlework and a Star of David at the gable peak was remodeled in 1971, when the upper story, once the women's section, was converted into an apartment for visiting rabbinical students.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Temple Beth El", [Traverse City, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 422-422.

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