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Old Ohavi Zedek Synagogue

168 Archibald Street
Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont, 05401

Old Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington, Vermont
Photo: License: CC0 1.0
Old Ohavi Zedek Synagogue (Hebrew for "Lovers of Justice") is a historic synagogue building in Burlington, Vermont. It was built in 1885 for Ohavi Zedek, Vermont's oldest Jewish congregation, and is currently occupied by Congregation Ahavath Gerim.
Founded in 1876, Ohavi Zedek is the oldest Jewish congregation in Vermont. The congregation was founded by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, predominantly Lithuanian Jews. The congregation constructed this building in 1885, and in 1952 the congregation moved to its present home on North Prospect Street. This building was sold to Ahavath Gerim, a traditional egalitarian Conservative congregation.

It is a rectangular brick building with a gabled roof and Gothic Revival features. The front facade has arched windows flanking an arched entry, accessed by side-facing stairs. Above the entrance is a round window with a Star of David. The building sides also have arched windows, with small oculus windows interspersed above them, which provide illumination for the women's gallery.

The building was erected in 1885, and is among the oldest synagogue buildings still standing in the United States. Originally finished in wood, it was clad in brick in 1902, when it was enlarged. It was again enlarged in 1928, at which time the present Torah ark was built. It has a Classical design, with a depiction of the Ten Commandments flanked by gilded lions and pineapple finials.

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