Synagogues / Brith Israel-Anshe Ames
Brith Israel-Anshe Ames of North Buffalo brought together two former East Side synagogues neighbors: “Big Hickory Street” and “Little Hickory Street,” shuls, also known as Brith Israel and Anshe Emes. From the 1920s, Jewish congregations began to relocate to the Humboldt and Ferry and North Buffalo areas as their congregants moved their homes and businesses northwards. Several East Side congregations stayed, but struggled to maintain their facilities. By the beginning of the 1940s, both Brith Israel and Anshe Emes followed the trend. Brith Israel, the larger of the two, relocated to North Buffalo and rented space at 1191 Hertel Avenue, now a store. It merged with its former rival Anshe Emes in 1947. A synagogue designed by Jack Kushin was built at 1235-1237 Hertel Avenue and the merged congregation became Brith Israel-Anshe Ames. The congregation broke ground in 1953, and in January 1954 moved into the basement of their partially completed house of worship that was fully completed in 1955.
The 390-seat building, with its yellow-tan bricks and rising façade, represents a post-WWII mid-century period of North Buffalo’s Jewish history and is the second vernacular Jewish religious building designed by Jack Kushin in the vicinity. His first design was created for Ahavas Achim-Lubavitz, on Tacoma Ave, that was commissioned for another merged congregation of two former East Side synagogues. Both synagogues were built with flat facades, a basement social hall and kitchen area and a school addition to the right of their main building. Eventually the synagogue building became a church. In 2017, Faith Good Shepherd Chapelsx sold the building to developers that planned a mixed-use venue.
Some of the names of families associated with this congregation included: