Our History

Congregation Beth Jacob Founders Meeting Minutes July 31, 1909

In 1880 the first Jewish family arrived in Plymouth, and by 1900 many Jewish families had made it their home. Recognizing the need to establish a synagogue community, some of the local men formed the Beis Jacob (add Hebrew) Society to begin the process of building a synagogue. In 1912 the new congregation was thrilled to hold its first Rosh Hashanah service in the building, although it was technically not yet fully built. In 1913 the building was complete and the congregation eagerly greeted the arrival of two Torah scrolls, delivered via horse and carriage. Opening services were conducted by Rabbi Friederman of Boston, and Jews from around the state proudly attended.

The Torah scrolls arrive at the Synagogue on Pleasant Street in 1913.


Today Congregation Beth Jacob (CBJ) is a reform synagogue with a modern take on Judaism that still embraces tradition. Nestled in historic Plymouth Center, the temple overlooks the Town Brook – where we do Tashlich every Rosh Hashanah – and is minutes from the ocean and Plymouth Rock. Within a thriving South Shore Jewish community, CBJ offers worship, Jewish education for all ages, engagement group and programs, and community action initiatives. It is the oldest congregation in Massachusetts.



Virtual Tour and History Video

Rabbi Emeritus Silverman conducts a video tour of our sanctuary and provides some of the history of our congregation in this video.

This video was produced by the Norwell All Are Welcome Committee and Harbor Media for Plymouth 400.  The full version, with introduction by Barbara Aharoni, is available here.

The images in this video were assembled by Michael Cohen, the grandson of one of our founders, The original version without narration is available here, on Youtube.