Built in 1911 as Temple Beth El for the Reform Jewish Congregation of the Sons of Israel and David, the Broad Street Synagogue immediately served as a focal point of religious and community activity in South Providence. As the city’s – and congregation’ s – Jewish population grew over the next 30 years, the Jewish community began to move to Providence’s East Side and to the suburbs. Beth El relocated to a new temple on the East Side in 1954. The following year, Congregation Shaare Zedek, a merger of four Orthodox synagogues, moved into the building, which it would occupy for more than fifty years. After years of declining membership and demographic shifts, Shaare Zedek merged with another Orthodox congregation, Beth Sholom, in 2006. Learn more about the building’s history.
Left vacant, the building deteriorated, suffering from vandalism and severe water damage. Today, a group of local residents is working to revitalize the building once again as a center for community. Learn more about the revitalization project.