A Brief History

A Brief History

Congregation Bnai Jacob

Conservative Synagogue History
 
In 1894 a group of Russian Jewish immigrants formed an Orthodox synagogue named Bnai Israel (House of Israel). In 1912 another group (of Polish and Lithuanian background) formed a second Orthodox Congregation named Bnai Jacob (House of Jacob). Bnai Jacob constructed their first synagogue at Wayne and Monroe Streets , of "modern architectural design". By 1928 the Congregation had grown and Hebrew Center was added to the building accommodating a religious school, a gymnasium and auditorium. 
 
Bnai Israel merged with Bnai Jacob in 1937 and became a conservative congregation. With the outbreak of WWII, and the opening of Baer Field, the Synagogue became a refuge for solders who wanted spiritual guidance-and good meals. 
 
In 1955 a larger, modern synagogue was opened on Fairfield Ave., including more classrooms, a social hall with stage, a small chapel and a beautiful sanctuary. The sisterhood appreciated the large kitchen while preparing food for many varied occasions. 
 
On one of our Shabbaths, Saturday morning, April 16, 1960 the Synagogue was defiled with swastikas. On that infamous day, the Christians ministers of Fort Wayne donned blue jeans and sweat shirts and tried to scrub off the spray painted red swastikas desecrating the outside brick walls. This remarkable show of brotherhood was picked up by the wire services and made the national news. 
 
In 1997, the Congregation moved to its current location. The building, situated in an attractive garden setting, is intimate and welcoming. Bnai Jacob, lead by Rabbi Mitchell Kornspan since 2004, remains an active, moderately sized, family oriented congregation. 
 
In addition to serving the spiritual and community needs of members, the Synagogue regularly hosts members of other faiths. Guests are invited to attend services, learn about Judaism, and the common roots of Judeo-Christian observances.
Fri, June 23 2017 29 Sivan 5777