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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Little Rock in Pulaski County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Concordia Hall and Jewish Life in Little Rock

Site of the first Jewish house of worship in Arkansas

 
 
Concordia Hall and Jewish Life in Little Rock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jerry Klinger, March 20, 2009
1. Concordia Hall and Jewish Life in Little Rock Marker
Inscription. From 1882 to 1887, an ornate two-story space on the second floor of this building served as the social hall for the Concordia Association – an organization established in 1864 to help Jewish immigrant families adapt to their new lives in Arkansas. Despite religious segregation that prohibited Jews from belonging to most community-wide social organizations, many non-Jewish groups also used Concordia Hall for events.

Brothers Jacob, Hyman and Levi Mitchell from Galicia became the first Jewish settlers in Little Rock in 1830. The establishment of Congregation B’nai Israel in Arkansas in 1866 affirmed the American principles of freedom of religion and assembly. At that time, more than 200 Jewish families lived in Little Rock, with most of their businesses located in this downtown area.

Although statistically small, Little Rock’s Jewish population has provided leaders in the business, educational, and philanthropic life of Little Rock, including the revitalization of the River Market District, which was aided by the Ottenheimer Foundation.

This marker was placed with assistance from the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation and Temple B’Nai Israel.
 
Erected 2009 by Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
 
Location.
Concordia Hall and Jewish Life in Little Rock Marker image. Click for full size.
March 20, 2009
2. Concordia Hall and Jewish Life in Little Rock Marker
34° 44.848′ N, 92° 15.982′ W. Marker is in Little Rock, Arkansas, in Pulaski County. Marker is on President Clinton Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 407 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock AR 72201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Geyer & Adams Building (a few steps from this marker); Porbeck & Bowman Building (a few steps from this marker); Augustus Hill Garland (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The "Little Rock" (about 600 feet away); Tuf-Nut Lofts (about 700 feet away); First Site: Arkansas College of Medicine (approx. 0.3 miles away); Freedom Riders in Little Rock (approx. 0.3 miles away); Gilbert Maxwell Aronson (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Little Rock.
 
More about this marker. Concordia Hall, a Jewish community social gathering place, was housed on the second floor of the Porbeck & Bowman building in downtown Little Rock during the late 1880s. The Porbeck & Bowman building, as well as the Geyer & Adams building and a new state-of-the-art Manuscripts Repository, now comprise the Arkansas Studies Institute on President Clinton Avenue.
 
Also see . . .  Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation. The Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation is a non-profit, volunteer organization. The purpose of the Society is to identify and recognize sites of American Jewish Historical interest. The Society sponsors and promotes programs of local and national historic interest. Cooperating with local Historical Societies, Communities, Churches and Synagogues, the Society encourages dialogue and interactive recognition of the commonality of the American Experience. (Submitted on January 26, 2010, by Jerry Klinger of Derwood, Maryland.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Arkansas Jewish History
Jewish participation in Arkansas life dates from 1820. One year after Arkansas was organized as a territory in 1819, Abraham Bloch moved to Arkansas with his family. Over time he established himself as leading member of Arkansas' social, economic and political life. Bloch's family traced their Jewish history to Richmond, Virginia's Kahal Kadosh Beit Shalome, in the mid 18th century. He was a founding member of Shangarai Chasset in New Orleans. Jewish Arkansans tended to settle in many small Arkansas towns. It was not until the mid 19th century that Jewish population grew large enough to establish permanent houses of worship in Pine Bluff and Little Rock.
    — Submitted January 26, 2010, by Jerry Klinger of Derwood, Maryland.

 
Additional keywords. JASHP Jewish American History
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 26, 2010, by Jerry Klinger of Derwood, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,471 times since then and 61 times this year. Last updated on October 15, 2014, by Sally L Blewett of Little Rock, Arkansas. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 26, 2010, by Jerry Klinger of Derwood, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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