Natchez in Adams County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
Temple B'Nai Israel
Jewish Americans have been part of Mississippi’s economic, social and political life since the 1780’s. In 1843, the Jewish community of Natchez grew large enough to organize and sustain the state’s first permanent religious congregation, Temple B’Nai Israel (Children of Israel). In 1867 the congregation purchased property on Washington and Commerce streets, building its permanent synagogue in 1872. Temple B’Nai Israel became a charter member of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1873. The original building burned in 1903. The present structure was quickly built in 1905 with financial support from both the Jewish and Christian communities of Natchez.
Erected by Institute of Southern Jewish Life, Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1843.
Location. 31° 33.465′ N, 91° 24.237′ W. Marker is in Natchez, Mississippi, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of South Commerce Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 213 South Commerce Street, Natchez MS 39120, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Trinity Episcopal Church (a few steps from this marker); Intersection of Washington and South Commerce streets (a few steps from this marker); Richard Wright (within shouting distance of this marker); Intersection of Washington and South Union streets (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Intersection of Washington and South Pearl streets (about 400 feet away); The First Presbyterian Church (about 500 feet away); Intersection of State and South Pearl streets (about 500 feet away); Lambert-Taylor House (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Natchez.
Also see . . .
1. Temple B’nai Israel - Natchez, Mississippi. Temple website homepage:
While there are some reports of an eighteenth-century minyan and an early cemetery on Canal Street, Natchez’s Jewish congregation officially started in 1840 when a group of merchants bought land for a Jewish cemetery. By 1843, this group of men had formed a traditional burial society called “Hevrah Kadishah” to honor those that would depart in the traditional European style. This society of German Jewish immigrants began the history of Natchez’s current synagogue, Temple B’nai Israel. (Submitted on December 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. A Jewish Gem of the South: Temple B'nai Israel in Natchez. Samuel Gruber's Jewish Art & Monuments website entry:
(This link presents various interior and exterior photos of the Temple.) B'nai Israel is especially loved for its brilliantly color and patterned windows, and its classical style Ark of dazzling white marble. (Submitted on December 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 15, 2022. It was originally submitted on December 2, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 440 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on December 2, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 2. submitted on December 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 3. submitted on December 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.