South Carolina Picture Project

Temple Sinai – Sumter, South Carolina


South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Sumter County Photos  |  Temple Sinai


Edit This Page  |  Leave A Comment

Though a Jewish community had been established in Sumter as early as 1815, the congregation of Temple Sinai was not founded until the end of the nineteenth century. Several Jewish families from Charleston had moved to Sumter in the early 1800s to form an inland community. Other families who emigrated from Europe, fleeing persecution in their home countries, soon joined them. Following the Civil War, the group was able to purchase enough land to establish a Jewish cemetery.

Temple Sinai

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2006 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In 1874 the group created the Hebrew Cemetery Society, and a few years later, in 1881, the Sumter Hebrew Benevolent Society was formed. In 1885 the two groups merged into the single organization, the Sumter Society of Israelites. The forming of the society marks the birth of the Jewish congregation; the organization is the formal name of the Temple Sinai. The temple soon started a Sunday school, engaged in mission work, and continued to maintain the cemetery. During its first years the congregation was led alternately by Rabbi E.S. Levy from Augusta, Georgia and Rabbi David Levy from Charleston.

Temple Sinai Marker

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2006 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

A frame building for the synagogue was erected at the turn of the twentieth century. Around the same time, in 1904, the congregation received its first permanent rabbi, Jacob Klein. The first building burned, and in 1913 it was replaced by the current brick Moorish Revival temple. The edifice was remodeled and rededicated in 1969.

Temple Sinai Marker Back

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2006 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Notable features of the Temple Sinai sanctuary include its domed ceiling and 11 stained-glass windows. Ten of the windows measure 20 feet in height, while another is positioned high over an entrance wall. Each window depicts a scene from the Old Testament. Additions to the building and its grounds were completed in 1932 and 1956, respectively. The 1932 rear addition, called the Barnett Memorial Addition, was built in keeping with the synagogue’s style, including the installation of complementary stained glass windows. The 1956 Hyman Brody Building is used for classrooms and offices.

Temple Sinai is listed in the National Register:

Temple Sinai is a significant example of a sanctuary designed in the Moorish Revival style. It is also a visible symbol and tangible reminder of the substantial and influential Jewish community in Sumter from the early nineteenth century to the present. As the center of that community, its impact and influence were widespread. Outside the coastal cities of Charleston and Georgetown, where there were well-established and significant Jewish populations dating to colonial days, Sumter’s Jewish community was one of inland South Carolina’s largest. Congregation Sinai grew out of the formation of several societies in Sumter in the mid-nineteenth century. By 1895, the Sumter Hebrew Benevolent Society and the Sumter Society of Israelites merged under the name of the Sumter Society of Israelites. Between 1895 and 1904, the society purchased a lot on the corner of Church Street and West Hampton Avenue as the site for a synagogue. By 1906, the congregation had constructed a wood-frame building. The second, and present, brick sanctuary was built ca. 1910-17.


Temple Sinai Info


Address: 11 Church Street, Sumter, SC 29150
GPS Coordinates: 33.921830,-80.346518


Temple Sinai Map




Temple Sinai – Add Info and More Photos


The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Temple Sinai, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


Please Share Your Thoughts!


The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!



2 Comments about Temple Sinai

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
April 30th, 2017 at 4:57 pm

Hello Bob, we tried to locate an official website for Temple Sinai but do not see one published. Did you have questions about their open times? If so, they did have a phone number listed – 803-773-2122. We hope this helps.

Bob MitzenheimNo Gravatar says:
April 30th, 2017 at 7:34 am

I tried to find the site published in today’s (4-30-2017) [Sumter] Item but could not find it. I tried several variants but failed it as well. I still would like to visit your open house this Tuesday. Maybe I will be able to view the video there.

Respectfully Yours,
Bob Mitzenheim






SC PICTURE PROJECT

Join Us on Facebook
Our 5 Goals
Our Contributors
Add Info
Add Pictures
Search for Pictures
Missing Landmarks

SC TOWNS & LANDMARKS

Abbeville ACE Basin Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Honea Path Hopkins Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinopolis Plantations Port Royal Post Offices Ravenel Restaurants Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Waterfalls Water Towers West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Yemassee York

© 2017 SCIWAY.net, LLC All rights reserved.