Congregation Ohaveth Sholum opens the first synagogue in Seattle on September 18, 1892.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 9/11/2003
  • Essay 5546
See Additional Media

On September 18, 1892, Congregation Ohaveth Sholum opens the first synagogue in Seattle at 8th Avenue and Seneca Street in Seattle. (Alternate spellings are Ohaveth Shalem and Ohaveth Shalom.) The new building is filled to capacity with 680 persons for the dedication ceremony. Several hundred others cannot gain admission. Congregation Ohaveth Sholum opens a few days after Temple Emanuel opens at 3rd and Madison streets in Spokane on September 14.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "The audience was a fine one, comprising the elite of the city, a very large proportion being Gentiles." The newspaper devoted nearly an entire page to a description of the two-hour event, a transcript of some of the oratory, and a description of the building itself.

The Byzantine style building, constructed of wood at a cost of $6,800, featured four classrooms in the basement and was designed by Herman Steinman. A few years later the property was foreclosed after the congregation broke up due to theological differences.


Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 19, 1892, p. 3; "Temple Emanuel -- 1892," Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation website accessed February 1, 2008 (; N. W. Durham, History of the City of Spokane and Spokane Country (Spokane, Chicago, and Philadelphia: J. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1912), 580.
Note: This Timeline essay was corrected on February 1, 2008, to state that Temple Emanuel of Spokane was the first synagogue to open in the state of Washington.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You