Keneseth Israel: Broad and Columbia 1892-1959

From its modest origins in 1847 as Philadelphia’s fourth synagogue, to its becoming this area’s first Reform synagogue in 1855,  to the dramatic decision to call the country’s leading rabbinic abolitionist to its pulpit during the Civil War,  to the founding of the Orphan’s Guardian Society and the founding of an agricultural college, to its leading role in the history of Reform Judaism and Reform Jewish music and to its incredible history of rabbinic and intellectual leadership, Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel (KI) truly has no peer.  Over the years, some of America’s most illustrious Jewish families from the Annenbergs to the Guggenheims to the Rosenwalds called KI their spiritual home. Because KI has so much to be proud of, it determined to preserve its past for future generations. This website, Kipah.org,  is a gateway to many of our most memories and the remarkable KI Archives located at our Elkins Park synagogue. We invite you to learn about our past and to share your discoveries and insights with us.