A small pocket of the southern Jewish population of the United States, the Agudas Israel Congregation and Synagogue of Hendersonville, NC gathered together in relative harmony with the majority Christian population of the town nestled within the Appalachian mountain range.
Jewish immigrants traveled to Western North Carolina to get away from the dense industrial cities of the northeastern states and the sweltering climates of the southern ones, to help various family members recover from horrific respiratory illnesses, to have a new start after business failings or to leave the rising tensions within Europe. The Agudas Israel Synagogue was a haven of Jewish culture that gradually gained a wide membership of peoples from all walks of life.
The mission of our website is to assist in the storytelling of the very first decades of the Agudas Israel Congregation, from the first meetings to the steady establishment at the dawn of the 1940s. The families, the Synagogue building, and the community at large all had a part to play in the flourishing of the Congregation. Without the brotherhood established by the first members, the cultural identity of Hendersonville might have been greatly changed.
This website is a historical project for the UNCA Digital History course, exploring topics of Western North Carolina and bringing them to interested scholars and the general public.
Banner Image: “Service at Agudas Israel” Photograph, Agudas Israel Synagogue Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804
Page Image: “Advertisement for Agudas Israel” Scanned Document, Agudas Israel Synagogue Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804