A Synagogue in Alpena?
Yes! Not just any synagogue but a congregation that is growing and thriving!
The Alpena County Library has created a new audio tour — Alpena’s Places of Worship: A Historical Tour from 1860-1890. Find the full tour at https://izi.travel/en/8efd-alpena-s-places-of-worship-a-historical-tour-from-1860-1890/en. If you scroll down the page, you can download the free izi.Travel app.
WBKB-TV ran a news story about the library’s audio tour. Don LaBarre from the Alpena County Library told WBKB, “A request from the Temple Beth–El synagogue to cover multiple faiths inspired the project. He said he hopes this project will help people learn more about the numerous cultures and histories that make up Alpena.” http://www.wbkb11.com/library-publishes-new-audio-tour
Temple Beth-El is a member of L’Dor v’Dor — a group of six congregations from Northern Michigan and Northern Ontario. L’Dor v’Dor shares resources, plans shared events, learns from each other, and enhances the Jewish experience of its member communities. Visit their website at ldvd.net.
Temple Beth-El’s rich history dates to the late 19th century when Julius Myers, a merchant who was among the first Jewish residents of Alpena, settled in the area sometime before 1867. The successful clothier would serve as one of the founders and presidents of Alpena’s Hebrew Benevolent Society, founded in 1875 for the purpose of “buying a burial ground.”
By 1887, some forty-five Jewish adults had settled in the area, finding great opportunity in the booming lumbering trade. Today, after what could have been a demise of the congregation, Temple Beth-El is enjoying a rebirth with new members, an updated building, and an active and engaged community.
The mission of Temple Beth-El is to maintain our historic synagogue as a place of worship and Torah study for Alpena and surrounding area residents and to develop and maintain a strong Jewish presence in our community. Our long-term mission is to perpetuate Jewish tradition through education, social activities, and life- cycle events.
We hope you will visit our special sanctuary and join us for fellowship and worship. Support our mission to maintain this special place with a donation today.