Jewish-Americans have played a significant role in the economic, social, and political life of Macon since the 1840s. To meet their growing religious needs, they established Orthodox Congregation Kahal Kadosh Beth Israel in 1859 in downtown Macon. The original services were conducted in Hebrew and German.
In 1880, the congregations started to adopt Reform Judaism practices and, with the installation of a pipe organ, joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. After moving several times, in 1902 Temple Beth Israel located to its permanent home here at the corner of Cherry and Spring.
Temple Beth Israel is known for its magnificent columns, beautiful stained glass windows, and stained glass dome. The six windows over the choir loft, symbolic of the Six Days of Creation, follow a design by English artist Edward Burne-Jones. The Temple's Torah scrolls are housed in the Aron Ha-Kadosh, the Holy Ark, in the sanctuary.
Temple Beth Israel Community
Jewish -American Society for Historic Preservation