The American Shul
The American Shul
When the neighborhood synagogue of Agudas Achim Anshei America Yerushalayim was built, the year of its construction was also noted above its main entrance in a symbolic and surprise form as having the gematria (numerical value of the letters) of the year “Agudas Achim Anshei America Yerushalayim” (5734-1934). The synagogue contains many memorial plaques that combine to relate its story.
The Agudas Achim synagogue lobby was constructed to keep the halachah (Jewish law) that determines that someone needs to enter a synagogue using “a door beyond the door” as written in the verse (Proverbs 8:34) “Praiseworthy is the person who listens to Me, to hasten to My doors every day, to the doorposts of My entranceways”.
The majority of the synagogue room is covered with memorial and commemorative plaques that together tell the story of the community.
The central tablet in the lobby, that begins with a list of the conditions under which the apartments were granted to their residents when the neighborhood was first built, then lists the names of the benefactors who donated funds for the synagogue’s construction and establishment.
Other plaques contain lists of names of those who passed away over the years, including:
Our teacher, Rabbi Shlomo son of Yitzhak Golobentzitz, ztz”l, the community’s first rabbi.
Rabbi Mordechai Meir Markenson, ztz”l, teacher of the daf hayomi (daily Talmudic page) class.
The names of several community teachers were listed in the synagogue itself:
Rabbi Binyamin Halevi Holzberg, ztz”l, who was selflessly occupied in communal needs, and one of the key figures of the synagogue.
And Rabbi Mordechai Grufman-Azaryahu, ztz”l, who served as a maggid shiur (teacher of a Torah class) in the synagogue for over forty years.
There are two old memorial plaques on the upper part of the southern synagogue wall, both dedicated to Rabbi Tzvi Kaufman, ztz”l – President of Agudas Achim. The upper memorial plaque was hung, unusually, during his lifetime, to mark his seventieth birthday, inscribed with the words, “They will still be fruitful in old age, vigorous and fresh they will be” (Psalms 92:15).
Rabbi Tzvi Kaufman initially served only as the vice chairman of Agudas Achim, but practically he was responsible for all the work and he bore that responsibility joyfully and willingly. Over the years a Talmud Torah and Yeshivas Yibaneh in Yoel Street were built in the neighborhood. These institutions served as a preparatory place of learning for boys who would eventually study at the famous Hevron Yeshivah.
The synagogue currently has regular minyanim (communal prayers) on weekdays and a regular, well-established minyan on Shabbos.
If you would also like the merit of being a partner in maintaining the synagogue: