Structure Type: built works - religious structures - synagogues

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1877-1878, demolished 1885

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14th Street and Webster Street
Downtown, Oakland, CA 94612

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This was the first permanent home of the Temple Sinai/1st Hebrew Congregation, that began in 1875. It was the oldest Jewish congregation in Alameda County. It developed through the activities of the Oakland Hebrew Benevolent Society, itself established in 1862. The group bought property 14th and Webster Streets, on the south side, in 1876. A dearth of lending capital during the economic slowdown that hit CA in the mid-1870s delayed completion of the building until 1878. This serious slowdown came following the Panic of 1873, and was exacerbated in the Bay Area by instability of the silver market.

Building History

This synagogue had exotic Moorish elements and had onion domes familiar to transplants from Eastern European Jewish communities. The building had a cost of approximately $8,000. This house of worship operated from 1878 until 1886, when a larger structure was erected at 13th and Clay Streets in Downtown Oakland.


This early synagogue burned in an 1885 fire. (See, "History of Temple Sinai (1875 - 2017)," accessed 04/13/2018.)

PCAD id: 21930