Beth Jacob Torah

Miami Beach's first synagogue, Congregation Beth Jacob, was built in 1928-29 at 311 Washington Avenue.  The site was chosen because at the time the synagogue was built, Jews were not permitted to live north of Fifth Street. Prior to this, Jews had been denied permission to construct a synagogue.  They had to ferry across Biscayne Bay (and later the County Causeway, now the MacArthur Causeway, built in 19230) to attend religious services at B'nai Zion Congregation in Miami.  Orthodox Jews in the congregation, who walked to shul, held services in the Royal Apartments at 221 Collins Avenue.

By 1936, the congergation outgrew its original facility and constructed a second larger adjacent building for the synagogue at 301 Washington Avenue.  Gangster Meir Lansky and his cronies attended services here.  Both buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The Jewish Museum of FLorida purchased the original building in 1995.  Beth Jacob Congregation began to dwindle and in 2005 the congregation closed its doors.  The Jewish Museum of Florida purchased and restored the syunagogue, ensuring that the building so rich in Jewish history will continue to be preserved and become a repository for the chronology of Florida's Jews.

Ahavat Olam is proud to preserve Beth Jacob's legacy as well.  We opened our doors as they were closing theirs.  Our first Torah was procured from this congregation, and they donated their High Holy Day machzorim (prayerbooks) to us.