Congregation Albert: The Oldest Continuing Jewish Organization in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Congregation Albert

 

Congregation Albert is the oldest continuing Jewish organization in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In 1883, the first congregation of Albuquerque was the B’nai Brith Lodge No. 336.

In 1896, with seventy members, the founders discussed the formation of an official synagogue.

Congregation Albert was established in 1897 by Alfred Grunsfeld, Henry N. Jaffa, and Berthold Spitz.

Jaffa was the first Mayor of Albuquerque and Spitz served as Postmaster for a dozen years.

Other founding families were the Ilfelds and the Neustadts.

The naming rights of Congregation Albert were auctioned off after the first board was elected.

In 1897, the Grunsfeld family, for $250, chose to name the synagogue after Alfred’s late father, Albert Grunsfeld.

Albert Grunsfeld had come to Santa Fe from German in the 1870’s.

He worked for Spiegelberg’s firm before purchasing the brothers’ Albuquerque store and renaming it Grunsfeld & Sons.

In 1897, services were conducted at the Knights of Pythias Hall on Gold Avenue in downtown Albuquerque.

Six months later, Congregation Albert moved to the Jolly Ten Hall on Gold Avenue.

William H. Greenburg, the first Rabbi of Congregation Albert, who served the temple from 1897 to 1900.

 

First Building, 1900

Congregation Albert’s first building was dedicated in 1900 on West Gold Avenue (at 7th and Gold).

At this dedication ceremony, the community also installed Rabbi Pizer Jacobs as the congregation’s second rabbi.

Temple Albert-Albuquerque,NM, 1900. #WS0397

Temple Albert-Albuquerque, NM, 1900, #WS0397

Second Building, 1951

In 1951, Congregation Albert moved to their second building on Lead, between Oak and Mulberry SE.

The rabbi was Rabbi David D. Shor, who served the congregation for 30 years, from 1948 to 1978.


Third Building, 1984

In 1984, Congregation Albert moved to their third and current location at 3800 Louisiana Boulevard, south of Montgomery.

The clergy is led by Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld and Cantor Barbara Finn.

 

Source

  • “First Synagogue at Albuquerque, 1900,” Western States jewish History Quarterly 11/1.

Samantha Silver is the curator for this Congregation Albert exhibit.