Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Next Chapter: Harrisburg synagogue moves from long-time location to new home

Rabbi Elisha Friedman leads a service in Kesher Israel’s new building.

A Harrisburg synagogue made the move last week from its mid-century building to a new place of worship.

Kesher Israel renovated and officially opened its new synagogue in the former Riverside Methodist Church on the 3000-block of N. 3rd Street.

The congregation purchased the building in January 2020 and sold its former home on the 2500-block of N. 3rd Street—where it was located for over 70 years.

“The new building came out beautifully,” Rabbi Elisha Friedman said. “The old building was way too big for us. This building works really well.”

Since purchasing the property, Kesher Israel completed extensive renovations to modernize the space and constructed an addition onto the building with a new sanctuary.

There are offices, conference rooms, a room to display the synagogue’s historical artifacts, a prayer chapel and a main chapel, among other rooms.

The building is far more manageable for the congregation, which, during COVID, has seen about 30 to 40 regular attendees, Friedman said. However, it’s still plenty of space for the congregation to grow.

Kesher Israel’s new building

According to Friedman, the new building is in a much more convenient location for congregants. At the old building, members had to walk anywhere from one-half to two miles from home to a service on Shabbat, the Sabbath day, on which driving is restricted. This new location cuts down that walking time for many.

“It will make it easier for people to come,” he said.

While it wasn’t an easy transition for all members to leave their former building, people are excited now to be in their new space, Friedman said.

“Our hope is always to grow,” he said. “Moving into this building shows that we plan to be here for awhile.”

Kesher Israel is located at 3200 N. 3rd St., Harrisburg. For more information, visit their website.

If you like what we do, please support our work. Become a Friend of TheBurg!


Continue Reading