Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, Texas, 1873/75

The First Synagogue in Dallas


During the early 1870s, the Jewish women of Dallas formed the Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Association where they raised money for a synagogue.

Then they convinced the Jewish men of the community to form a congregation – as often happened.

Temple Emanu-El of Dallas was founded in 1873 and chartered in 1875.

The original officers were: David Goslin,  president; Philip Sanger, vice president; Emanuel Tillman treasurer; H. Regensburger secretary; and Alexander Sanger, August Israelsky, and Henry Loeb trustees.

The first building was located at Commerce and Church (now Field) streets, in downtown Dallas.

One year after the formation of the congregation, the new building for Temple Emanu-El was consecrated by Rev. Dr. Aron Suhler.

Temple Emanuel of Dallas, #WS7098

The Original Temple Emanuel of Dallas, #WS7098

The following information is culled from the pages of The Jewish Times of New York City. (June 16, 1876.

“The Byzantine style building has a frontage of sixty-three feet and a depth of fifty-nine feet.

“Inside there are four rows of pews, ten pews in each row, each pew seating four people.

“There are two rows of windows, the glass of which will be stain with soft colors.

“The windows are hung and swivel on a pivot to allow controlled ventilation.

“Behind the raised pulpit is the ark, an apartment let into the wall with sliding doors in front – all draped by a heavy crimson curtain.

“The arch above the holy place has an inscription in Hebrew – ‘Hear the Voice of My Meditations, My King and My God, for Thee I Pray.’

“Surmounting this arch are the marble tablets on which are inscribed the Ten Commandments.

“The whole interior is beautiful.

“In the center of the ceiling hangs a magnificent chandelier of thirty-two burners.

“A handsome pipe organ furnishes the music, and is presided over by Professor Bauer, who also directs the singers.

“Upstairs is the lodge room of the I.O.B.B. (International Order of B’nai B’rith), well fitted for the purpose intended.

“The cupolas, which are to complete the building, will be erected at once.

“When finished, the appearance of the temple with be one of magnificence, superior to anything yet built in Dallas.”

For more information see the article in Western States Jewish History

  • First Synagogue in Dallas – 1874 Volume X, No.2


Note: We would like to have a list of the officers of the Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Association and the men who were the Founding members of Temple Emanu-El of Dallas.