Beth Jacob Congregation was an Orthodox congregation in the Hill District of Pittsburgh. It was created in 1879, when a group of people originally from the Litvishe (Lithuanian) towns of Kalverie and Mariampol in Suwalk province in present-day Poland broke away from B’nai Israel Congregation (later known as Beth Hamedrash Hagodol Congregation).Pittsburgh Tri-State Pinkas, p. 172 (online). Beth Jacob was incorporated in 1883 with charter members P. Cohen (president), Lazarus Levy (vice president) R. B. Visansky (secretary), D. H. Bloom (treasurer), D. Goldman (trustee), Moses Lasdusky (trustee), J. Martin (trustee) and S. Martin (trustee).Beth Jacob Congregation (Pittsburgh, Pa.) charter (online).
Beth Jacob rented meeting spaces for its first decade. It was briefly forced to meet in the home of a member when it was locked out of its synagogue for failure to pay rent. The congregation purchased a building on Logan Street after 1890 and remained there for a decade. As membership grew, the congregation purchased the former Sixth Presbyterian Church at Townsend and Epiphany streets in 1901 and converted it into a synagogue. The social hall of the Townsend Street synagogue became a meeting place for Jewish communal organizations, most notably the Lechem Aniyum Society.
By the late 1950s or early 1960s, Beth Jacob Congregation was no longer located in the Hill District. It used 1512 Murray Avenue as a mailing address and held board meetings at Chofetz Chaim Congregation in Squirrel Hill. The congregation merged with Beth Hamedrash Hagodol Congregation in 1964 to create Beth Hamedrash Hagodol-Beth Jacob Congregation. The two congregations also merged their neighboring cemeteries.
Spiritual leaders of Beth Jacob include Rabbi B. Meyerovitz (before 1895), Rabbi Jacob Hirsch (before 1895), Rabbi Baruch Rambach (before 1895), Rabbi Moshe Shimon Sivitz (c1895), Cantor Julius Bloom (after 1900) and Rabbi Aaron Mordechai Ashinsky (1901-1954). Presidents include P. Cohen, Gutman Caplan, M. Moskowitz, Elchanan Stein, Max Goldberg, J. F. Fisher, D.S. Osgood, Joseph Schwartz, and Louis Mervis. Gabbaim (sextons), secretaries and other lay leaders include Reuben Davidson, Z. Barach, D. Openheim, L. Zabludonsky, E. Stein, Nathan Lieber, S. D. Levitsky, Joseph Yorkansky, A. L. Abramowitz, A. Moskowitz, A. D. Rappaport, M. A. Alter, H. L. Frank, Max Enelow, Jacob Friedman, J. L. Steinsapir, Israel Parker, Joseph Katz, Lazarus Edelstein, Jacob Malachovsky, M. G. Bernstein, Abraham Goldman, L. Pincus, and Louis Whitman.
|NAME||HISTORIC ADDRESS||CURRENT LOCATION||DATES||BUILDING||SOURCE|
|Beth Jacob Congregation (Pittsburgh, Pa.)||Wylie Ave. and Elm St., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219||Wylie Ave. and Elm St., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219||1879-1884||rented storefront||Pittsburgh Tri-State Pinkas (online-Historic Pittsburgh).|
|Beth Jacob Congregation (Pittsburgh, Pa.)||Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219||Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219||c.1880||S. Broida residence||Pittsburgh Tri-State Pinkas (online-Historic Pittsburgh).|
|Beth Jacob Congregation (Pittsburgh, Pa.)||512 Wylie Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219||40.439408, -79.996736||1884-1891||Ashland Hall, second floor||WPA Church Archives Survey; Pittsburgh Tri-State Pinkas (online-Historic Pittsburgh).; Jewish Criterion, 09/11/1942, p22 (online).|
|Beth Jacob Congregation (Pittsburgh, Pa.)||73 Logan St., Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219||1320 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219||1891-1901||rented storefront||WPA Church Archives Survey; Pittsburgh Daily Post, 08/31/1891 (online-Newspapers.com).; Pittsburgh Tri-State Pinkas (online-Historic Pittsburgh).; Jewish Criterion, 09/11/1942, p22 (online).|
|Beth Jacob Congregation (Pittsburgh, Pa.)||1312 Epiphany St., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219||40.26'27.8"N 79.59'17.5"W||1901-1964||synagogue||WPA Church Archives Survey; Pittsburgh Tri-State Pinkas (online-Historic Pittsburgh).; Jewish Criterion, 09/11/1942, p22 (online).|
|Beth Hamedrash Hagadol-Beth Jacob Congregation||1230 Colwell Street, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219||40.26'21.4"N 79.59'17.8"W||1965-2008||synagogue||Feldman, "Early Migration..." (online).|
|Beth Hamedrash Hagadol-Beth Jacob Congregation||810 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219||810 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219||2010-present||synagogue|