The synagogue here at 407 Jefferson Avenue was built in 1890 and was once the largest place of Jewish life on the City's East Side. Along with the forgotten Beth Jacob Cemetery at the end of Lansdale Street, Ahavath Sholem remains one of the last vestiges of Jewish life east of Main Street. According to City records the synagogue was sold to Saints Home Church of God in 1960 and in 1982 Greater New Hope Church congregation bought the building.
The congregation had listed the property as late as December 2007 - see pic - with a local realestate agent when the property was still sealed. Based on utility records that were found strewn about the office last week, it seems as though Greater New Hope abandoned the place in 2006.
With a number of other religious and heritage properties on the auction block at next week's tax sale - that are structurally sound and in much better condition than the former Ahavath Sholem synagogue - the future of this place remains uncertain.
The pictures in the following slide show - Ahavath Sholem slide show - clearly show what happens when the wind, weather and water are allowed to penetrate a building's shell.
Make sure to check - City for Sale - Part I for additonal information about the city's annual tax sale and a link to the user friendly spreadsheet and searchable data base. City for Sale - Part II and yesterday's Part III include numerous pics and a profile of two additonal religious heritage properties that are on the auction block next week.
Check back next week for the auction report.
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