Historic Synagogues of Hartford-3

Congregation Bess Israel

Congregation Bess Israel was originally established in 1918. The congregation’s first known location at 92 Barbour Street became known as the Barbour Street Shul. Louis Lutvak, a Jewish merchant, became the congregation’s first president and Aron Kriwitsky became the congregation’s first secretary and contracted Hebrew instructor in 1928.

In 1966, the congregation sold the Barbour Street property and moved to 96 Hebron Street. The year in which the congregation disbanded is unknown.

 

  • Date of Construction: 1927
  • Address: 92 Barbour Street
    96 Hebron Street
  • Branch: Orthodox
  • Background: European

Tikvoh Chadoshoh Synagogue

Congregation Tikvoh Chadoshoh was officially founded on November 8, 1942 by a group of eighteen men who met in the vestry of the Bedford Street Synagogue in Hartford (home of the Congregation Chevry Lomday Mishnayes). A Board of Directors (Vorstand) was elected to guide and manage the organization. The purposes of the congregation were originally declared to be: to conduct services as often as possible, especially Friday evening, to take care of the dead, and to teach the children.

With the encouragement of Holocaust survivor Rabbi Hans Bodenheimer, who became the founding spiritual leader of Tikvoh Chadoshoh, the growing congregation would continue to meet at the vestry of the Bedford Street Synagogue for both Sabbath and holiday services until 1957 when they moved into a permanent synagogue building on Cornwell Street. In 1969, this congregation would relocate to Still Road in Bloomfield.

The Tikvoh Chadoshoh synagogue on Cornwall Street had some interesting architectural features including a broad expanse of windows reaching to the high ceiling and that extended across the entire front of the sanctuary. The window was divided into twelve rectangles arranged in three columns and four sections, symbolically representing the twelve tribes of Israel. In the entrance hall of the synagogue, in a small glass-covered niche, was a piece of rough Jerusalem stone picked up by Rabbi Bodenheimer on top of Mount Zion and carried back to Hartford to serve as a constant reminder of the significance of the land of Jerusalem.

  • Date of Construction: 1956-1957
  • Address: Cornwall and Granby Streets
  • Architects: Kane & Fairchild
  • Branch: Conservative
  • Background: European-German

Young Israel Synagogue

At a meeting convened May 17th, 1928 at the Zionist Center on Albany Avenue, it was unanimously decided by those present that a Young Israel Organization would be formed in Hartford. The ratification of Young Israel’s constitution and the election of its officers followed soon after in June of the same year. At first, Young Israel services were conducted at the Congregation Agudas Achim on Greenfield Street, with some High Holiday services held also in the Chevry Lomday Mishayes synagogue on Mather and Enfield Street.

Young Israel officially incorporated in 1942 aftering purchasing a property on Greenfield Street which was used for worship until the congregation erected a new synagogue on Blue Hills Avenue near Colebrook Street. This building maintained a vestry and a 300 person seating capacity.

  • Date of Construction: 1962
  • Address: 339 Blue Hills Avenue
  • Branch: Orthodox