Agudas Achim Synagogue, Hebron (1940)

April 14th, 2011 Posted in Art Deco, Hebron, Synagogues

This past winter, Connecticut Explored magazine featured an article about the state’s rural synagogues. One of these is Agudas Achim (United Brethren) Synagogue, at 10 Church Street in Hebron, a brick Art Deco building. The congregation had been meeting in private homes for many years, but began planning to build a synagogue in the late 1930s. A leading member of Hebron’s Jewish community, Ira Charles Turshen, offered to design and build the new synagogue. In 1924, Turshen, who was born in the province of Minsk in Russia, had bought a grain business and store in Amston, a village in Hebron. When his grain mill burned down in 1927, he rebuilt it himself using brick. The new building featured his signature trademark, a circular window. In building Agudas Achim, Turshen wanted to construct a building which would last for generations. He was willing to make up the difference for cost overruns and used recycled bricks on the synagogue’s rear and side walls. Turshen made the Star of David stained glass window on the front facade himself. The synagogue was completed in 1940 and officially dedicated in the following year.

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