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The Washington Hebrew Congregation is a Jewish congregation formed on April 25, 1852, in Washington, D.C.marker, by twenty-one members.

Solomon Pribram was elected the first president. By 1854, there were forty-two members. On December 13, 1855, at the thirty-fourth session of the United States Congress, a special act was passed, which provided that

The congregation grew steadily in membership and in influence; and in 1863 it moved to the site of a former Methodist church, which had been used by the government as a hospital during the Civil War.

From 1897 until 1954, the congregation met at 816 Eighth Street, NW, in a building designed by Washington architects Louis F. Stutz and Frank W. Pease. The cornerstone of this building was laid on September 16, 1897, by President William McKinley. This building was sold to New Hope Baptist Church (later Greater New Hope Baptist Church) in March 1954.

In 1952 President Harry S. Truman laid the cornerstone of the congregation's current home on Macomb Street, NW, which was dedicated on May 6, 1955, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

By 1905, the First Washington Hebrew Congregation was the only Reform congregation in the District of Columbiamarker, with a membership of 350, and a religious school attended by 200 children.

One prominent leader was Uriah P. Levy.

Adas Israel Congreationmarker, with Isaac Stampel as Hazzan, was founded in 1869 by 69 members of the Washington Hebrew Congregation who objected to the Reform tendencies of the old congregation.

The Washington Hebrew Congregation is currently a member of the Union for Reform Judaism.


  1. Washington Hebrew Congregation Building Committee minutes, November 29, 1896, cited in Justin M. Spivey, "The Washington Hebrew Temple", typescript, Historical Society of Washington, D.C., 1997.
  2. ā€œGreater New Hope Baptist Climaxes 20th Anniversary,ā€ Washington Afro-American, June 21, 1958.

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