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Temple B’Nai Israel
Anderson’s Jewish community dates to the antebellum era but grew significantly after 1900 with the arrival of several families from Eastern Europe. This congregation was founded at Temple B’nai Israel (Sons of Israel) as early as 1911. It held services in the Masonic Temple on the square and a number of other buildings in downtown Anderson before the construction of this synagogue in 1948.
After World War II, with the Jewish population in Anderson almost doubling in number since 1937, the congregation needed a permanent home. This 150-seat sanctuary, with classrooms, a social hall, and a kitchen, was completed in 1948, when the congregation numbered 20 to 25 families. B’nai Israel’s first Torah, from Russia, had belonged to Sam Poliakoff’s maternal grandparents.
To learn more about the history of Anderson, Click Here.