Synagogues in the Southeast US

LOCATED IN COLUMBIA, THE CAPITAL CITY OF SOUTH CARLINA, BETH SHALOM

The Beginning

The Jewish community has existed in Columbia since the early nineteen century, with German Jewish settlers practicing Judaism in a synagogue they had rebuilt in 1900, after it was destroyed by General Sherman’s troops in the closing days of the Civil War.  By 1907, a number of Jewish men began to gather in this small house at the corner of Park and Lady Street to conduct Orthodox services.  This small “minyan” became the House of Peace (Beth Shalom) under the leadership of the first congregational president, Philip Epstein, and received a state charter in 1912.

The Past

By 1928, Columbia’s Jewish community was too large to be accommodated in the Park Street Synagogue and plans were made to erect a larger synagogue. On January 27, 1935, this building was built on Marion Street.  In 1955, the congregation moved from the orthodox movement to the conservative movement, where it remains today, and a general meeting on April 21, 1955, the congregation approved the purchase of land on Trenholm Road to be used to build a Jewish Community Center, education building and Synagogue.   The JCC later became a separate organization and the education building (now known as Lollipop Lane Daycare) served as Sunday School, Hebrew School, and Nursery School, until the current education wing was added onto the synagogue in 1980.

The Present

Ground breaking ceremonies for the new Synagogue at 5827 North Trenholm Road, were held on December 19, 1971.  The dedication of the new Synagogue we now call home was held on March 25, 1973.  Ten years later, the synagogue became egalitarian and continues that tradition proudly.   At a general congregational meeting held on October 31, 1976, the congregation voted to build an education building adjacent to the Synagogue.  Ground breaking ceremonies were held on May 20, 1979 and the completed building was officially dedicated on January 12, 1980.  A major expansion of the education wing was built in 1999.  A Mikvah was constructed adjacent to the education building in 1999.  Today our congregation has the largest membership in its history and many second and third generation Beth Shalom members have taken leadership roles within the Synagogue.

Beth Shalom remains the leader in the Jewish community with its outreach, education, and philanthropic arms.  The synagogue physically houses the Jewish Day School, operated by Chabad of SC. Additionally; Beth Shalom offers religious school programming for children 4-16 years old. Bar/ Bat Mitzvah classes are offered in the religious school, as well as post Bar/Bat Mitzvah classes.  A Mikvah is housed on the grounds of the synagogue and is available to the entire community.

The synagogue is governed by the Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees, and the Board of Education; all three entities work closely together.  The Rabbi is the spiritual leader of the synagogue and the Educational Director oversees and supervises the Religious School and Adult Education Programs.
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CALL US for an informative consultation: Direct Line: 843-272-3335, Toll Free: 800-359-5618.


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