BETH HEBREW, 1950
During the Autumn of 1950, three men met at the home of Max Jacobson with the idea of Synagogue in which to conduct an Orthodox form of worship. With an initial contribution of $2,000 in memory of Max Jacobson’s wife, Channe Jacobson, the first building was purchased on October 27, 1950. Beth Hebrew Congregation was incorporated on November 1st of that year with its first officers being elected including Elias Loewy, a Holocaust survivor. Other congregations were welcoming to the addition of a new congregation in the Phoenix area. Beth Israel’s Rabbi, Abraham Lincoln Krohn worked closely with the officers, donating an Ark, Sefer, Torahas, chairs and candelabras. Beth Israel also opened a section of its cemetery to Beth Hebrew until they purchased their own cemetery in 1952.
Left Photo: Exterior of Beth Hebrew 1955
Right Photo: Michael Levine & Roy De LaGarza 2019
CONSTRUCTION BEGINS, 1955
Construction began on a new building on July 8, 1955, following a groundbreaking ceremony conducted by officers of the congregation and Rabbi Krohn. The construction would take a year to complete, which included another name change to the congregation, this time to Congregation Ayn Yaacov. The congregation would continue until the 1970s with numbers dwindling and the eventual merger with Beth El. Following the merger, the synagogue was purchased by Mexican-American Pentecostal Church in 1977. Pastor Roy De la Garza would call this his home until 1983. At that time, another group in Phoenix was looking for a home, the Black Theater Troupe. Hosting a venue for African-Americans in Phoenix to express themselves freely in the face of racial segregation until an electrical fire in 2001 put the building future in a state of flux. The Theater found a new home, and Beth Hebrew sat vacant until would be sold in 2007, where it still resides on 333 E. Portland in Phoenix
Left Photo: Interior of Beth Hebrew with Jerome Klein at Podium 1956
Right Photo: Dr. Jason Bruner, Roy De LaGarza, & Michael Levine 2019