A Synagogue with a Rich History

Congregation Ahavas Israel is located in the Greenpoint Historic District in North Brooklyn, New York. Founded in 1886, we are the oldest synagogue still operating in Brooklyn. The synagogue holds Shabbat and holiday services, all of which are followed by communal meals. We also host classes by visiting rabbis and scholars as well as celebrations of the Jewish holidays throughout the year.

Ahavas Israel is the only remaining Jewish congregation in a neighborhood that once supported five synagogues. Ahavas Israel is the result of a merger of three synagogues that had served Greenpoint in the late 19th century: Temple Beth El, Hebrew Educational Alliance of Greenpoint and Ahavas Israel. According to records, the east building of Ahavas Israel was originally a Congregationalist Church dating back to 1871. From 1886 onwards, it operated as a German-Jewish Reform synagogue called Temple Beth El.

Ahavas Israel came into existence in 1893 when it was incorporated by German-Jewish émigrés in Kings County as an Orthodox shul. Both institutions merged in 1898 and laid the cornerstone for the West Building in 1903. In the early 1900s, the Hebrew Education Alliance of Greenpoint built a synagogue on Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint’s main thoroughfare. After a fire destroyed the structure in 1960, the Hebrew Education Alliance merged with Ahavas Israel on the basis of an executive order of then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

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