The Greensboro Jewish community had its first permanent settlers in the middle 1890’s. At this time, the earliest Greensboro members of the Cone and Schiffman families arrived and were soon joined by relatives and in-laws. The decade of the 1890’s was a period of rapid growth for Greensboro. The population grew from 3,317 in 1890 to 10,035 in 1900. Growth continued for both the general and Jewish populations. It was in an atmosphere of optimism and rebirth that the foundation of modern Greensboro, with its Jewish community, was built.
The religious group that was to become Temple Emanuel was organized in 1907. The first documented formal worship services were for the High Holy Days. The early services were held in the rented second floor of a grocery store on South Elm Street.
Formal records began with minutes of the Trustees on February 8, 1908. The first meeting in 1908 was held to discuss arrangements for the purchase of the first Temple, a former Friends Church in the first block of East Lee Street. On April 9, 1909, the organization became more formal with the official name being Reform Hebrew Congregation, Inc., but was called the Greensboro Hebrew Congregation because of participation by both Reform and Orthodox Jews. The building was called Temple Emanuel. The Congregation was officially named Temple Emanuel in 1949 in recognition of the recently formed Conservative congregation at Beth David Synagogue.
The Archives Committee at Temple Emanuel has been hard at work digitizing our historical archives to help both visitors and congregants learn about our history. Below are just a sample of some of the things you can find in our digital archives. Take the time to explore and learn more about Temple yourself in our Digital Archives!
The Temple Emanuel Physical Archive in Greensboro, North Carolina is located at the Temple's Greene Street Campus. The archive houses manuscripts, publications, photographs, and oral histories produced by Temple Emanuel, its members, and the Greensboro Jewish community.
Click here to see a full inventory list of what the Archive holds. Through the help of the Archive Committee and UNCG many of the archives have been digitized.
(If you are interested in seeing the physical archives please call the Temple office.)
Another initiative of the Archives Committee is to document the life stories of many of our congregants. Listed below are the stories and interviews of several of the congregants here at Temple Emanuel. Take the time to read about each of these amazing members of our community.
(If you are interested in learning more about this project or are wanting to help in this project please call the Temple office.)