Temple Israel, 501-503 10th Street South, Minneapolis

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Temple Israel

Temple Israel
Address: 501 10th Street S
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1890
Historic Function: Religious/Place of worship
Architect or source of design: Leroy Buffington

Minneapolis Hennepin

Synagogues Onion domes, tower-like minarets, and pointed arches might seem out of place on a Jewish-American synagogue. However, the use of Moorish or “Byzantine” revival style became a common motif for Jewish Orthodox synagogues. The style was first used by Jewish communities living in Germany. In the early 1800s, Jewish people in Europe had gained more political agency, but were still categorized in terms of otherness, called “the Orientals of Europe.” These congregations embraced their Eastern origins and established a distinct identity, drawing upon Turkish, Persian, Syrian, Indian, and Moorish motifs for their religious buildings.

Designed by the nationally renowned architect, Leroy Buffington, the building included elements of Moorish and “Byzantine revival” style, complete with a large onion dome, slender towers, or “minarets,” and lobed and pointed arches.15

Temple Israel (originally named Shaarai Tov) is the Twin Cities oldest synagogue, founded in 1878. Originally, the congregation was meant to serve both Reform and Orthodox Jewish traditions, however, the plan was unsuccessful and it became a Reform congregation. Their first religious building was constructed in 1880, located on Fifth Street between what is now Marquette and Second Avenue South. In 1888, the congregation moved the building to Tenth Street and Fifth Avenue South.16


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Moorish Revival Style

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