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First Hebrew Congregation

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1928. 249 Broadway St.
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

With a small permanent Jewish population, South Haven's synagogue was most crowded on summer Sabbaths, when Chicago Jews flocked to the Michigan shore for vacations in the 1920s and 1930s. Before the Great Depression, the First Hebrew Congregation built this eclectic little brick synagogue, marked by a prominent decorative gable end reminiscent of Flemish or the then-fashionable Mission-style gables, and also marked by a similarly fashioned entrance and a large round Star of David window above an arched triple window. This building strikes an exotic foreign note in an otherwise unremarkable streetscape.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "First Hebrew Congregation", [South Haven, 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, 237-238.

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