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Downtown Jefferson City, Missouri Historic Walking Tour
Item 8 of 12
Constructed in 1883, Temple Beth El is the oldest synagogue still used west of the Mississippi River and the 14th oldest in the country. It is a simple one-story structure located in the heart of downtown Jefferson City. It is a Reform congregation and as such belongs to the Union of Reform Judaism. According to official records, Jews had been living in the city since at least 1865. In 1879, a few of the men formed the Jefferson City Hebrew Cemetery Association to create a place for burial and also established the congregation that year. In 1882, some women of the Hebrew Ladies Sewing Society donated money to buy a plot of land with the purpose of building the temple. These women are honored in a plaque that is on display in the temple.

Temple Beth El was built in 1883 and is the oldest temple still in use west of the Mississippi River.

Temple Beth El was built in 1883 and is the oldest temple still in use west of the Mississippi River.

The plaque honoring the women from the sewing society.

The plaque honoring the women from the sewing society.
"History." Temple Beth El. Accessed February 20, 2017. http://www.templebethel-jc.org/index.php/history. 

Photos: Wikipedia Commons