Temple Beth El
1001 Hancock Street
Quincy, MA 02169
A Brief History of the Jews in Quincy *
The history of the Jewish community in Quincy began in the early 1890s. In 1892, the
first minyan was formed and services were conducted. Initially, services were held in a rented
space known as “Malnati’s Hall” on Liberty Street in South Quincy.
Quincy’s first formal synagogue - Ahavath Achim (Brotherly Love) - was located at 137
Water Street. The Water Street synagogue was located on the second floor of the Liberty
Model Bakery. Louis Grossman founded the synagogue in 1893 or 1894 and the initial
congregation was fourteen people. On November 11, 1899, this group received a certificate
of incorporation from the Commonwealth and was formally named Congregation Ahavath
Achim. In 1972, the building was torn down for the expansion of the Lincoln Hancock School.
A commemorative stone on the grounds of the school mark the site of this first synagogue.
As the need for space grew, this congregation dedicated a structure at 141 School Street
in 1903. This structure was the first building dedicated solely for use as a synagogue. By
1972, the building was demolished and much of the contents were transferred to Temple Beth
El. The incorporation certificate for Congregation Ahavath Achim is located at the entrance
to the lower chapel in Temple Beth El.
In 1910, the growing Jewish community in Quincy Point formed a minyan and met in
the home of Abraham Aronson at 104 Main Street. Thereafter, they began holding services
at a former coal company on Cyril Street. In May of 1918, this group was incorporated as
Congregation Beth Israel. Groundbreaking for the Beth Israel Synagogue took place on July
15, 1918 at 33 Grafton Street. For many years, Beth Israel was led by the beloved Rabbi Jacob
Mann. The area in front of the now-closed synagogue was named in honor of Rabbi Mann
by the City of Quincy.
In 1950, Temple Beth El was formed and for eight years, met at the Jewish Community
Center at 10 Merrymount Road. Groundbreaking for the present location of Temple Beth El took
place on June 15, 1958. The formal dedication was on December 12, 1958 (click here to see
the cornerstone). For over fifty years, Temple Beth El was led by Rabbi David J. Jacobs, and
the main sanctuary is named in his honor. Visitors to the Temple are always impressed by
the collection of mosaics, tapestries and stained glass windows. Much of the art work is by
the well-known artist David Holleman.
Temple Adas Shalom was organized in 1960 and occupied a former bottling plant at
435 Adams Street. Services were first held in September of 1962. In 2001, Adas Shalom
was disbanded and the building has now been converted to residences.
At present, Temple Beth El is the only remaining synagogue in Quincy. The
congregation meets regularly on Shabbat, Sundays and holidays. Presently, the congregation
is led by Rabbi Navah Levine.
* (Information for this article was researched and compiled by Janet Petkun, and
provided by the Quincy Historical Society, Adams Street, Quincy, Massachusetts.)