3 Willard Hirsch Sculpture, City Hall Park
4 Francis Salvador Memorial, City Hall Park
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (Holy Congregation House of God)
Founded in 1749 as a Sephardic congregation, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) moved into its first permanent sanctuary in 1794. In 1824, a group of its members petitioned for reforms; rejected, they created their own congregation, the Reformed Society of Israelites, and published the first Reform prayer book in America. While the Reformed Society was short-lived, the spirt of reform grew in the community. After the old synagogue was destroyed in a major fire in 1838, the congregation voted by a narrow margin to install an organ in the balcony of the new sanctuary—a move that caused the traditionalists in the congregation to break away and form Shearit Israel (Remnant of Israel).
Today, KKBE is the largest Jewish congregation in South Carolina, proud to worship in the second oldest synagogue building in the United States and the oldest in continuous use. In 2020, the congregation completed a major renovation of the 1840s-era sanctuary, including the installation of cutting-edge technology to allow for digital streaming of services and religious functions. Work on the restoration of Beth Elohim’s nearly-full pre–Revolutionary War cemetery on Coming Street is ongoing.