SYNAGOGUE OF THE MONTH - August 2017
Temple Beth Israel
98 North Church Street
Photographs 1991 ©Julian H. Preisler
Hazleton is south of Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania. The town still has two functioning Jewish congregations, Agudas Israel and Beth Israel, and until a few years ago had a small Jewish Community Center building. Both congregations will appear in my next book, The Synagogues of Eastern Pennsylvania which will be published in 2018. Beth Israel was established in 1906 but German Jews began settling in the town in the 1860's. The first congregation, Agudas Israel, was not established until 1893 and is one of the two located in Hazleton.
Beth Israel's temple appears to have been built sometimes in the 1920's or 1930's and the facade has a distinct Mid-Century Modern facade that was probably added in the 1960's. The main entrance to the synagogue was also remodeled in a style to mirror the facade with the same blue tile. There are many original beautiful stained glass windows in the sanctuary. Beth Israel has a historic cemetery in Hazleton as does Agudas Israel.
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