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Waco in McLennan County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Congregation Agudath Jacob

 
 
Congregation Agudath Jacob Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, August 5, 2022
1. Congregation Agudath Jacob Marker
Inscription.  In 1870, only fifty of Waco's 3,618 residents were Jewish. The Hebrew Benevolent Association and Cemetery of Waco were incorporated in 1873. The association was Waco's earliest Jewish community organization. Its purpose was to support local Jewish settlers. In the early 1880s political unrest in many eastern European countries led to heavy migration to the United States. Consequently, Waco's Jewish population grew rapidly.

In 1886, fifteen orthodox jewish families brought Rabbi Samuel Levy to Waco. Two years later, in 1888, Agudath Jacob, Waco's first Orthodox Jewish congregation, received its charter. By that time the number of Jewish families in Waco had grown to one hundred. Worship services were conducted in a rented room over a grocery store until 1894, when the congregation erected a frame synagogue at 624 Columbus Avenue. In 1914 a new brick synagogue was erected at the site, and Agudath Jacob membership rose to fifty families. The congregation included a Ladies' Auxiliary Society and the Talmud Torah Religious School. In 1923, a Hebrew institute was added to the Columbus Avenue facility. A new synagogue, which included a
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social hall and classrooms, was built in 1950 at 15th and Jefferson streets.

In 1966, the traditional Orthodox congregation voted to ally itself with the conservative movement. The congregation erected a new synagogue on Hillcrest Drive in 1972, and in 1993 added a Hebrew school. Included among the congregation's longtime leaders are the Rev. Samuel Levy, who served for 62 years until his death in 1948; the Rev. J.M. Rosenberg, who served as congregation secretary for 27 years; and Rabbi Charles Blumenthal, who served for 18 years.
 
Erected 1999 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12117.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionWomen. A significant historical year for this entry is 1870.
 
Location. 31° 33.474′ N, 97° 11.912′ W. Marker is in Waco, Texas, in McLennan County. Marker is at the intersection of Hillcrest Drive and Lake Shore Drive, on the left when traveling east on Hillcrest Drive. The marker is located at the main entrance to the synagogue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4925 Hillcrest Drive, Waco TX 76710, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Central Christian Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cobbs-Walker Cemetery (approx. 0.9 miles away); Waco Lodge No. 92, A.F. & A.M.
Congregation Agudath Jacob Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, August 5, 2022
2. Congregation Agudath Jacob Marker
(approx. 0.9 miles away); First United Methodist Church of Waco (approx. one mile away); Congregation Rodef Sholom (approx. 1˝ miles away); Old Site of Texas Christian University (approx. 2.2 miles away); Camp MacArthur (approx. 2.2 miles away); The Methodist Home (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waco.
 
Also see . . .  Jews. Jews have been a part of the warp and woof of the Lone Star State since the period of Spanish Texas. To the untamed future state came Jewish seekers of fortune and freedom. Heirs to the Spanish and European forms of Jewish ritual practice, the Jews of Texas adapted their seminal faith to the new ambience without damaging the integrity of a 5,000-year-old tradition. Though some abandoned their roots, most were tenacious in the nurturing of their heritage. Before 1821, Jews who openly practiced their religion could not legally live in Texas, a Spanish colony where only Catholics could take up residence. Samuel Isaacks had settled on the Brazos River by December 1821, however, N. Adolphus Sterne moved to East Texas in 1826, and by 1838 Jews were living in
The front entrance to the Congregation Agudath Jacob and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, August 5, 2022
3. The front entrance to the Congregation Agudath Jacob and Marker
Velasco, Bolivar, Nacogdoches, Goliad, San Antonio, and Galveston. Source: Texas State Historical Association (Submitted on August 11, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
The view of the Congregation Agudath Jacob and Marker from the street image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, August 5, 2022
4. The view of the Congregation Agudath Jacob and Marker from the street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 11, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 11, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 114 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 11, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Apr. 23, 2024