Adath Jeshurun Congregation was founded in 1917 in the East End of Pittsburgh. A group had left B’nai Israel Congregation in July 1915 to start the Montefiore Hebrew Congregation but soon rejoined. Some of these same people left again in November 1917 to start Adath Jeshurun. Following the split, B’nai Israel shifted its affiliation to the Conservative movement while Adath Jeshurun affiliated with Orthodoxy. The name “Adath Jeshurun” may have been a reference to a well-known congregation of the same name in Frankfurt, Germany, which Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch had founded in the 1850s as an Orthodox response to the growing liberalism of Jewish life in Germany.
Adath Jeshurun obtained a charter in February 1918 and soon acquired property at Margaretta and St. Clair streets in East Liberty. The congregation dedicated a newly built synagogue at this location in 1923. It became known colloquially as the “Margaretta Street Shul.” The beth hamedrash (daily sanctuary) of the synagogue was renovated and rededicated in 1958 as the Cecil Rudin Beth Hamedrash. The entire synagogue was remodeled in 1971. The Werner Pavilion Annex was added onto the building in 1977.
Adath Jeshurun acquired land in Hampton Township in 1927 for a cemetery. It built a chapel on the property in 1952 and acquired additional ground at the site in 1953.
Adath Jeshurun Congregation always maintained educational facilities for children but reorganized its religious school in 1949. The congregation also maintained a Sisterhood, a Men’s Club, a chevra kadisha (burial society), chevra mishnayos (Mishna study group), chevra tehillim (Psalms study group), and a gemilus chassadim (free loan society).
With the decline of the overall Jewish population of the East End, Adath Jeshurun merged with Congregation Cneseth Israel in 1978, retaining the Margaretta Street synagogue as their meeting place. The congregation also allowed mixed seating.
Adath Jeshurun relocated to Monroeville, Pa. in early 1996 and disbanded in 2002.
Spiritual leaders of Adath Jeshurun included Rabbi Aaron Mordechai Ashinsky (1917-1924), Rabbi Morris Alimelech Levin (1924-1947), Rabbi Noah Golinkin (interim 1947-1948), Rabbi Morris Landes (1948-1996), and Rabbi Alan Pruss (1999-2002).