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In 1888, Israel Weisberger and 24 other devoted Orthodox Jews met at the home of Michael Weiss, 510 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, New York. They drew up a charter, chose their president and took the sacred name Schomre Hadath, Observers of the Faith. At first Congregation Schomre Hadath was housed in the old Haymarket building in Clinton Square. When the building became too small to accommodate the growing membership, the congregation purchased property at 50 Noxon Street. The building was remodeled to conform to the structure of an Orthodox Synagogue. Michael Weiss was named president, and the congregation moved into its new home. For thirty years, the membership of the congregation increased and, in time, the building became too small for the thriving needs of the Orthodox Jewish community.

Throughout World War I, the Congregation planned the construction of a new Synagogue. In May, 1921, a committee began the work which led to the purchase of property at 16 South Bridge Street. On April 22, 1923, the Master of Obed Lodge F-and AM, placed the cornerstone in the building. In attendance were many of Poughkeepsie's Jewish citizens as well as prominent Jewish and non-Jewish civic leaders. In 1937, Schomre Hadath acquired land on LaGrange Avenue for a cemetery. By its 50th anniversary in 1938, the membership of the congregation had grown to 110 families; the congregation was well established in the community.

Schomre Hadath was not the only orthodox congregation in Poughkeepsie. At the end of the 19th century, The Children of Israel Congregation had come into being when a group of members disassociated themselves from Schomre Hadath and had taken a new name, Children of Israel. Smaller than Schomre Hadath, the group had its own rabbi and its own Synagogue on South Bridge Street. In 1958, the rabbi of Children of Israel left and the congregation chose to worship with Schomre Hadath. In 1965, the two Synagogues merged as Congregation Schomre Israel. Ground was broken for our present building on Park Avenue in 1967, and the building was dedicated on June 16, 1968.

Over the years, our congregants have continuously been active in community organizations such as the Community Hebrew School, Jewish Federation of Dutchess County, Chevra Kadisha and the Dutchess Interfaith Council.

Tue, July 23 2024 17 Tammuz 5784