December 11, 2016
Tree of Life Synagogue
In 1896 members of 18 Jewish families assembled to worship at the Independent Fire Company’s station overlooking Sidney Park. Organized as Etz Chayim (Tree of Life), this group’s members embraced Judaism’s Reform branch or liberal movement. In 1907, members moved into the first temple built in Columbia since the CivilWar. Located at 1320 Lady St., the synagogue was paid for by funds raised by local Jewish citizens.
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To meet the needs of their growing congregation, Tree of Life members began making plans for a new synagogue in 1950. Following a design by Columbia firm LBC&W, M.B. Kahn Construction erected a modern temple in 1952. The highly-touted, contemporary building was a unique addition to the Shandon neighborhood. The Reform congregation worshipped here until 1986, when members relocated to a new synagogue in Forest Acres.
Sponsored by Historic Columbia, Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiative,
and Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina, 2016
Location: 100 Woodrow St., Columbia, SC