Delivered six pieces to the Providence Broad Street Synagogue Project today. So honored to play a part of this very special project.
The 2011 Broad Street Synagogue Project
Providence, Rhode Island
Built in 1911 as a site of worship for the Sons
of Israel and Sons of David congregations,
Temple Beth El was the first temple built on
the South Side of downtown Providence for a
citywide Jewish population of approximately
10,000 and a growing reform movement.
Jews settled both in Providence’s North End
(primarily Lithuanian and Polish immigrants
whose synagogue was since demolished to
1950s) and the South Side (primarily Romanian and Ukrainian immigrants).
While the Jewish population tripled over the next 30 years, as their wealth grew, the
community began to move to the East Side of the city and Beth El soon relocated its congregation
to a new synagogue in 1954 to meet that need. Broad Street’s Synagogue became Sons of Abraham
in the mid-1960s and remained an active site of worship (though it became much smaller as
Providence’s Jewish population has reverted to close to its 1910 size) until 2002 when Sons of
Abraham merged with Temple Beth Shalom, an orthodox shul on the Eastside that now owns the
Broad Street property.
Over this century, Broad Street and the South Side of Providence have maintained its
identity as the home of recent immigrant populations and now is the center of much Dominican
and Puerto Rican culture. The Broad Street Synagogue property, while structurally sound, has sat
unused this past decade, and as a result has suffered from neglect, weather damage, and some acts of
Plans/Ideas/Thoughts for the
Future of Broad Street Synagogue
We are actively raising funds to:
It is exactly 100 years since the Broad Street
Synagogue was built. We are undertaking an
endeavor to preserve and renew this beautiful
historical structure so that it can be used as
a cultural, spiritual, and community space
for past and present residents of Providence.
This building tells a story—both in its use and
abandonment—of how and why residents
migrated to and within Providence and the
importance of cultural spaces in navigating
that sense of place.
Preserve and rehabilitate the 3000 square foot main sanctuary so that it can be used as a
performance, rehearsal, teaching, and gathering space for local artists and educators
Re-open the Synagogue to serve as a home for spiritual practice in South Providence
Convert the first floor of the building into a home for arts and education non-profits
invested in the life of the building
Re-establish the dual industrial (and kosher) kitchens so that they can be used as incubator
spaces for local chefs and small business owners
Design programming that tells, teaches, and provides a space for investigating the public