The Pioneer Jewish Organizations of Butte, Montana


The Hebrew Benevolent Association, est. 1881

The Hebrew Benevolent Association held the first High Holy Day services in Butte.

The Northern Pacific Railroad deeded land to the Society in 1885 for a Jewish cemetery.

The cemetery was deeded over to B’nai Israel Congregation in 1905.


Congregation B’nai Israel, est. 1885 

Congregation B’nai Israel‘s first building was constructed in 1903.

Following the split of Butte’s Jewish community into one Reform and two Orthodox groups, this temple was built for use by the Reform congregation.

Congregation B’nai Israel was dedicated in 1904.

The three-story masonry building features a corner bell tower with an onion dome roof, an ornately corbelled front gable with rosette window beneath, and semicircular brick arches.

In 1969, the three groups reunited and a congregation of thirty families now worship together in the synagogue.

B'nai Israel Synagogue Butte, Montana, Vintage Postcard

B’nai Israel Synagogue Butte, Montana,
vintage postcard

Adath Israel, est. 1902 

The building for Adath Israel, an Orthodox Synagogue on Silver Street, was purchased from the German Lutheran Church in 1902.

Joseph Weinberg, B. Banks, I. Simon, H. Auerbach, and B. Kopald were active in creating this congregation.

Nearby mining weakened the structure, so the Anaconda Company bought the property from the congregation.

The building was demolished. Eventually, the congregation merged with Congregation B’nai Israel.



  • Julie L. Coleman, Golden Opportunities: A Biographical History of Montana’s Jewish Communities (Helena, MT: SkyHouse Publishers, 1994).

Samantha Silver is curator for this Jewish Organizations of Butte, Montana exhibit.