B’nai Israel Synagogue

B'nai Israel SynagogueThe B’nai Israel Synagogue is a beautiful example of Moorish Revival architecture. This ornate building was restored to its original glory, and today visitors can enjoy the magnificent hand-carved ark wall that adorns the sanctuary.

The synagogue was built in 1876 by Congregation Chizuk Amuno. Chizuk Amuno (“Strengthener of the Faith”), was founded in 1871 by members of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation who had left the Lloyd Street Synagogue because they resisted efforts to “reform” its liturgy and ritual.

After worshipping in rented quarters for a few years, the new congregation built a synagogue of their own, just down the block from their former congregation on Lloyd Street. Chizuk Amuno was the last synagogue built by Baltimore’s German-Jewish immigrant community.

The congregation occupied its new synagogue for only 19 years. In 1895 the building was sold to the B’nai Israel Congregation, a newly-formed congregation composed largely of recent immigrants from Russia. Today, the B’nai Israel Congregation still occupies its historic synagogue. It is the oldest Orthodox synagogue in continuous use within the Baltimore metropolitan area.