WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The Temple of Israel at 4th and Market Streets is in need of urgent repair and the community is being asked to help raise the $500,000 needed to restore the almost 150-year-old sanctuary.
The Temple of Israel is the oldest Jewish house of worship in continuous use in the state of North Carolina and has been closed since 2020 because water intrusion and age-related deterioration have rendered it unusable.
Prior to Thursday’s announcement, over $200,000 has been donated or pledged by private fundraising; currently, organizers are approaching foundations and writing grants for additional funds. Donor recognition plans include a plaque to be installed prominently at the Temple.
Beverly Tetterton, current President of the Temple Board of Trustees says the Temple is of historic architectural importance in Wilmington’s historic district.
“According to the American Jewish Historical Society, the Temple of Israel is the 10th oldest synagogue still in use in the United States,” said Tetterton. “Its design follows the Moorish-revival style of architecture popular in the 1800s.”
The Historic Wilmington Foundation granted a historic plaque to the Temple in 1976 to commemorate it’s 100th anniversary.
Elements of historic significance include a working Pilcher-Tracker organ that dates back to 1906 and a 200-year-old chandelier.
Modern upgrades include air conditioning and an elevator.
The campaign’s name, “Restoration 150″, recognizes the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Temple of Israel congregation in 1871.
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