Founded in 1749 as a Sephardic congregation, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim 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 city 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, solidly Reform, is the largest Jewish congregation in the state of South Carolina. In 2020, the congregation completed a major renovation of its 1840s-era sanctuary, modernizing it with technical features to allow for digital streaming of services and religious functions.

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