Congregation Emanu-El (San Francisco)

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Temple Emanu-El
Basic information
Location 2 Lake Street, San Francisco,
California, USA
Geographic coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Affiliation Reform Judaism
Status Active
Architectural description
Architect(s) Arthur Brown Jr.
Architectural style Byzantine Revival
Completed 1926
Dome(s) 1
Dome height (outer) 150 feet

Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco, California, is one of the two oldest Jewish congregations in California.

During the Gold Rush in 1849, a small group of Jews held the first High Holy Days services on the west coast of the United States in San Francisco. This group of traders and merchants founded Congregation Emanu-El sometime in 1850, and its charter was issued in April, 1851. The 16 signatories were mostly German Jews from Bavaria.

In 1884 Julie Rosewald became America's first female cantor when she began serving in Emanu-El, although she was not ordained.[1][1][2] She served as a cantor there until 1893.[1][1][2]

File:Jewish Synagogue, Congregation Emanu-El. Sutter Street, San Francisco, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views.png
Early Temple Emanu-El. Sutter Street, San Francisco, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views


  • Rabbi Julius Eckman (1854–1855)
  • Rabbi Elkan Cohn (1860–1889)
  • Rabbi Jacob Voorsanger (1889–1908)
  • Rabbi Martin Meyer (1910–1923)
  • Rabbi Louis Newman (1924–1930)
  • Rabbi Irving Reichert (1930–1948)
  • Rabbi Alvin Fine (1948–1964)
  • Rabbi Meyer Heller (1950–1963)
  • Rabbi Irving Hausman (1964–1967)
  • Rabbi Joseph Asher (1967–1986)[3]
  • Rabbi Robert Kirschner (1981–1992)
  • Rabbi Mark Schiftan (1987–1994)
  • Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan (1990–2010)
  • Rabbi Stephen Pearce, D.D. Ph.D. (1992–present) (Senior Rabbi Emeritus)
  • Rabbi Helen Cohn (1993–2005)
  • Rabbi Lawrence Kushner (Scholar in Residence since 2002)
  • Rabbi Sydney Mintz (1997–present)
  • Rabbi Ryan Bauer (2005–present)
  • Rabbi Jonathan Jaffee (2005–2014)
  • Rabbi Carla Fenves (2011–present)
  • Senior Rabbi Beth Singer (2013–present)
  • Senior Rabbi Jonathan Singer (2013–present)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Julie Rosewald: America's first woman cantor".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The Forgotten Woman Cantor: Julie Rosewald Now Getting Her Due - The Jewish Week". The Jewish Week.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Kirschner, Robert (1991). "A Singular Elegance". In Rischin, Moses; Asher, Raphael. The Jewish legacy and the German conscience. Berkeley, CA: The Judah L. Magnes Museum. p. 47.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Rosenbaum, Fred, Visions of Reform : Congregation Emanu-El and the Jews of San Francisco 1849–1999, Judah L. Magnes Museum, 2000, ISBN 0-943376-69-6 ISBN 978-0-943376-69-1
  • Rosenbaum, Fred, Architects of reform: congregational and community leadership Emanu-El of San Francisco, 1849–1980, Western Jewish History Center, Judah L. Magnes Memorial Museum, 1980
  • Voorsanger, Jacob, The Chronicles of Emanu-El, Spaulding Press, 1900.

External links