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Congregation Ahavas Israel

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Congregation Ahavas Israel is a 120 year-old synagogue located in the Greenpoint Historic District in North Brooklyn, New York. The synagoguge holds Sabbath and holiday  services, all of which are followed by communal meals. It also organizes classes by visiting rabbis and scholars, and hosts Hanukah and parties as well as other communal events.

Ahavas Israel is the only remaining Jewish congregation in a neighborhood that once supported five synagogues. Today’s Ahavas Israel is the result of a merger of three of five synagogues that had begun serving Greenpoint  in the late 19th century: Temple Beth El of Greenpoint, Ahavas Israel and Hebrew Educational Alliance of Greenpoint. According to available records, the East Building of Ahavas Israel was originally a Congregationalist Church dating back as far as 1871. From at least 1886 onwards it operated as a German-Jewish Reform synagogue called Temple Beth El.

Ahavas Israel itself came into existence in 1893 when it was incorporated by German-Jewish émigrés in Kings County is an Orthodox congregation. Both institutions merged in 1898 and laid the cornerstone for the West Building in 1903. In the early 1900s, the Hebrew Education Alliance of Greenpoint formed and constructed a synagogue on Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint’s main commercial thoroughfare. After a fire destroyed this structure in 1960, the Hebrew Education Alliance merged with Ahavas Israel on the basis of an executive order of then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller.