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J. D. B. News Letter

April 2, 1929
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The number of Jewish houses of worship in Miami has been increased to three with the dedication this week of a new synagogue at Miami Beach, built by Jewish winter tourists. It will mainly be used by those who come to spend the months January, February and March at the beach.

The synagogue, called Congregation Beth Jacob, was constructed at Collins Avenue and Fourth Street, Miami Beach, two blocks from the ocean. The seating capacity is 500. The construction involved an expense of $20,000, which was raised among the visitors to the resort. Six hundred and fifty contributions ranging from $5 to $1,000 made up the sum required.

Louis Topkis of Wilmington, Delaware, prominent in the Zionist movement in America, was chairman of the building committee which handed over the synagogue to the community free of any mortgage.

A record in construction was achieved in the completion of the work. The cornerstone was laid on February 17th. while the dedication took place on Sunday, March 24th. A special gallery for women was provided in the plans as the Congregation Beth Jacob determined upon the Orthodox ritual following some discussion in the committee. Some of the contributors, members of the committee, asked for the adoption of the Conservative ritual. It was, however, pointed out that the majority of the 7,500 Jewish winter tourists who come to spend the winter months at Miami are Orthodox, and range in age between 55 and 75. They come principally from New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and from the principal Canadian cities.

Louis Topkis presided at the dedication exercises. Addresses of welcome were delivered by Rabbi Israel H. Kaplan of Temple Israel, Reform congregation of Miami; the Rabbi of Congregation Beth David, Orthodox congregation; and Isidore Cohen of Miami.

Samuel Butter of Boston contributed the amount of $500 for the privilege of opening the door of the new synagogue while Mrs. Butter donated $250 for unveiling the tablet bearing the Ten Commandments. Other visitors made donations for the privileges of carrying the Scrolls of the Law from a store where the congregation had worshipped before erecting the new synagogue.

Members of the committee, headed by Louis Topkis of Wilmington, Del., as chairman, included Harry Levitt of Miami Beach, chairman of the construction committee; Harry Wasserman of Sharon Springs, N. Y., treasurer; Paul Herring of New York, William Hartman of Chicago. Joseph Tilzer, Passaic, N. J. Leon Paley of New York, Aaron Lachowitz of Shomokin Pa., Abraham Jaffe, Chicago; Jacob (Continued on Page 4)

Becker, Miami Beach; Isaac Gross, Saratoga Springs; Max Feit, Miami Beach, Fla.

Lazarus Abramowitz is president of the congregation, J. Caplan, vice-president; M. Abraham, treasurer and S. Guttman, secretary.

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