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Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

B'nai Israel Synagogue

(originally Chizuk Amuno Synagogue)

 
 
B'nai Israel Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, April 13, 2008
1. B'nai Israel Synagogue Marker
Inscription. The B'nai Israel Synagogue, erected in 1876, is the longest actively-used synagoue in Baltimore. It was built by Congregation Chizuk Amuno ("Strengthening of the Faith"), whose members had seceded from the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in 1870 to protest changes in traditonal Jewish practice and ritual. The traditionalists were led by Jonas Friedenwald, whose family exercised such influence over the congregation that for many years Chizuk Amuno was known as the Friedenwald Schul (or, "Friedenwald Synagogue").

The synagogue was designed by Henry Berge, a stonework contractor and self-taught architect. Its design, though highly eclectic, primarily reflects the Moorish Revival style, which was thought suitable for synagogues because of its Near Eastern connection. Significant interior features include the majestic hand-carved Torah ark in the sanctuary and the massive central brass chandelier, installed bfore 1890 and one of the earliest major electric fixtures still in use in Baltimore.

Congregation B'nai Israel ("Sons of Israel") purchased the synagogue from Chizuk Amuno in 1895 and has worshipped here ever since. Founded in 1873, B'nai Israel was the first Baltimore congregation organized by residents of Russian origin. The synagogue became known as the Russisheh Schul ("Russian Synagogue") to distinguish it from the
B'nai Israel Synagogue image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, April 13, 2008
2. B'nai Israel Synagogue
older German congregations.

The Jewish Historical Society of Maryland (now the Jewish Museum of Maryland) acquired and restored the synagogue in 1983-1986. The restoration received historic preservation awards from the American Society of Interior Designers and the Maryland Historical Trust.
 
Erected by the City of Baltimore, Sun Life Insurance Company of America, sponsor and Clarence "Du" Burns, mayor, rededicated 2005 by Martin O'Malley, mayor.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland, Baltimore City historical markers marker series.
 
Location. 39° 17.394′ N, 76° 36.067′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on Lloyd Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21202, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lloyd Street Synagogue (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Lloyd Street Synagogue (within shouting distance of this marker); 1029 East Baltimore Street (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1023 East Baltimore Street (about 400 feet away); On to Yorktown
B'nai Israel Synagogue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 28, 2016
3. B'nai Israel Synagogue Marker
B'nai Israel
Synagogue
Jewish Museum of Maryland
at the Herbert Bearman Campus
(about 500 feet away); McKim Free School (about 500 feet away); 1017 - 1021 East Baltimore Street (about 500 feet away); 1781 Friends Meeting House (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Jewish Museum of Maryland. (Submitted on April 14, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.)
2. B'nai Israel (Chizuk Amuno Synagogue). (PDF) National Register of Historic Places Inventory -- Nomination Form. (Submitted on September 26, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.Notable Buildings
 
B'nai Israel Synagogue image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 28, 2016
4. B'nai Israel Synagogue
B'nai Israel Synagogue Interior image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 28, 2016
5. B'nai Israel Synagogue Interior
Close-up of photo on marker
by Aaron Levin 1994
Chandelier image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 28, 2016
6. Chandelier
This chandelier has both gas and electric lights, reflecting the transitional period in which it was built.
Moorish Window image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 28, 2016
7. Moorish Window
The Ten Commandments image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 28, 2016
8. The Ten Commandments
Inscription image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 28, 2016
9. Inscription
The Gates of the House of God, Holy Congregation, B'nai Israel, 5633. (5633 on the Hebrew calendar is 1873 on the Georgian calendar).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 28, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 13, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,031 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 13, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   3. submitted on September 24, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   4. submitted on September 26, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   5, 6. submitted on September 24, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   7, 8. submitted on September 26, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   9. submitted on September 28, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
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