Des Moines’ Only Orthodox Synagogue To Sell Building by the Forward

Des Moines’ Only Orthodox Synagogue To Sell Building

(JTA) — The only Orthodox synagogue in Des Moines is selling its building, which will leave the Iowa city without an Orthodox synagogue for the first time since the 1880s.

Beth El Jacob has a potential buyer for its nearly 60-year-old building, the Des Moines Register reported. The congregation of about 80 families has been without a rabbi since last summer.

“We have to get out from under the ball and chain of the building and move forward,” the board’s president, Sidney Jacobson, told the newspaper.

Congregation leaders hope the sale will allow them to hire a rabbi and open a smaller synagogue in the Des Moines area.

Once the sale of the building is final, the members will use vacant space at the city’s Reform synagogue, Temple B’nai Jeshurun, which has about 300 families.

The congregation was founded in 1885 and opened its first synagogue building in a former church in 1893. It had about 400 families when the current building opened in 1957.

The only other Orthodox synagogue in Iowa is located in Postville and is affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Services are also held in the home of a Lubavitch rabbi in Des Moines.

This story "Des Moines’ Only Orthodox Synagogue To Sell Building" was written by Marcy Oster.


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Des Moines’ Only Orthodox Synagogue To Sell Building

Thank you!

This article has been sent!