Beth-El Sephardic Congregation

404 Calhoun Rd
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Year Built: Unknown

Architect: Unknown

Years Active: 1970 – Present

Architectural Overview

Congregation History

A group of Sephardic families hailing from New York established Synagogue Beth-El in the 1970s. Beth-El is the oldest and largest Orthodox Sephardic synagogue in Myrtle Beach. Shortly after its establishment, Rabbi Yaakov Shema and cantor Yaakov Cohen began leading the congregation.1 Beth-El closed around 1986 for 25 years, though it reopened fully in 2011.2 It is not fully known why the synagogue Rabbi Shema led the congregation for only Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services until his passing in 2010. It was at this point in time that Rabbi Shlomo Meir Elharar was hired. Rabbi Elharar was born in Jerusalem, is a certified mohel, and is also authorized to slaughter poultry.3 Prior to serving Beth-El, Rabbi Elharar worked in South America, primarily in  Colombia. Part of Rabbi Elharar’s work includes the King Salomon Foundation.4 The King Salomon Foundation works to strengthen and grow the Jewish community through engaging with the larger local Jewish community via tzedakah and visiting the sick. Orly Elharar, Rabbi Elharar’s wife, is the head of both the sisterhood and the mikvah.5 There is no Jewish day school for those beyond early childhood, so Rabbi Elharar offers older children the opportunity to study with him one-on-one on a variety of  subjects.

Roughly 95% of the Israeli population living in Myrtle Beach are Sephardic, according to Rabbi Elharar.6


1. “Synagogue – Beth-El Orthodox Sephardic Congregation.”
2. Savage, “Amid Contentious Democratic Primary, South Carolina Jewish Community Reflects ‘Civility.’”
3. “Rabbi – Beth-El Orthodox Sephardic Congregation.”
4. Foundation, “King Salomon Foundation.”
5. Savage, “Amid Contentious Democratic Primary, South Carolina Jewish Community Reflects ‘Civility.’”
6. Savage.

Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina



JHSSC Office
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918

copyright © 2024