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Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol - B'nai Israel, the Westville Synagogue, New Haven, Connecticut


Aron Kodesh and bima of the Westville Synagogue

Built in 1958 as the Westville Synagogue, the congregation merged in 1962 with the congregation Beth Hamedrash Hagodol and then merged in 1974 with the “B’nai Israel” synagogue congregation.

It is the largest Modern Orthodox synagogue in New Haven, Connecticut. A modern style stone and glass structure featuring in its facade a seven-branched Menorah. As a result of the expansion of the congregation activities and development, an addition to the multi-purpose building was built in 1964. The dedication ceremony was highlighted by the appearance of the famous cantors Shalom Katz and Maurice Ganchoff.

The synagogue is actively involved in community activities such as helping to provide food for the needy and the resettlement of newly arrived Jewish immigrants. Besides providing the traditional worship services, several junior congregation groups, religious education and maintaining cemetery facilities, the synagogue offers through its affiliated groups, the opportunity for Jews from the area to share a religious synagogue lifestyle that is both traditional and contemporary in form. Different social clubs and committees offer rewarding spiritual and social activities for persons of all ages.

The Westville Synagogue offers the following facilities: sanctuaries, social hall, library, classrooms, kosher kitchen and gift shop.

Among the synagogue’s activities: daily morning and evening minyanim (prayer services) conducted throughout the year (no reserved seating), Yahrzeit minyanim, Sabbath and Holy Day services and programming, Sunday school, adult classes, Torah study, social action projects, cultural and social events, Junior congregation, etc.

This is the synagogue of United States Senator and former Vice-Presidential Candidate Joseph I. Lieberman.

Compiled from the article: The History of Beth Hamedrash Hagodol “B’nai Israel” The Westville Synagogue by Werner Hirsch

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