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The Downtown Shul: A Hidden Gem

Sunday, July 10 | 11:00 am 11:45 am

Travel across more than 150 years of local Jewish history without leaving your seat in the historic pews of the Beth Hamedrash Hagodol-Beth Jacob synagogue sanctuary.

The sanctuary of the Beth Hamedrash Hagodol-Beth Jacob synagogue—lovingly known as “The Downtown Shul”—is one of the unknown architectural gems of Pittsburgh. Although the current building is relatively new, it integrates elements from two earlier versions of the synagogue, each demolished during urban renewal activities.

The sanctuary elegantly preserves the legacy of Jewish life at the intersection of Downtown and Uptown with the Lower Hill District, an area once home to tens of thousands of Jewish people, dozens of Jewish congregations, and hundreds of Jewish-owned organizations, clubs, and businesses.


Ira Frank grew up at Beth Hamedrash Hagodol-Beth Jacob Congregation and is its longtime president.

Eric Lidji is the Director of the Rauh Jewish Archives at the Heinz History Center, which holds the records of the Beth Hamedrash Hagodol-Beth Jacob Congregation.

TOUR STARTS/ENDS: Beth Hamedrash Hagodol-Beth Jacob Synagogue, 810 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

  • Restrooms are available
  • Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are available
  • Photography is allowed

Tour Dates:

July 10, 2022

10:00am – 10:45am
11:00am – 11:45am
1:00pm – 1:45pm
2:00pm – 2:45pm

And remember to use #BeNebby in your social media posts before, during and after this tour!

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