Shearit Israel Synagogue

34 Wentworth Street

The new congregation split from KKBE

In 1840, this lot was purchased by Shearit Israel (“Remnant of Israel”), a congregation founded by traditionalists who broke from Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim following its installation of an organ in the sanctuary, which they believed violated Jewish Sabbath prohibitions. In 1847, after a protracted fight over control and ownership of the building on Hasell Street, Shearit Israel constructed a synagogue under the supervision of David Lopez Cohen (1820–1893), nephew of prominent builder David Lopez, who had served as contractor for Beth Elohim’s 1840 temple. The two congregations reconciled in 1866 and, in 1867, Shearit Israel sold its building, which became St. Peter’s Catholic Church, an African-American congregation.

Shearit Israel notice

Shearit Israel notice

Charleston Courier, January 6, 1843.
Petition for Act of Incorporation, Shearit Israel, 1840

Petition for Act of Incorporation, Shearit Israel, 1840

Courtesy of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia.
34 Wentworth Street, 1950

34 Wentworth Street, 1950

St. Peter’s Catholic Church, formerly the meeting place of Shearit Israel. Photo by Max Furchgott.