Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum

The Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum, run by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington, is at 701 3rd St. NW. It is the former Adas Israel Synagogue, which was built in 1876 and located at 6th and G St., and is the oldest synagogue in D.C. In 1908, Adas Israel built a new larger synagogue at 6th and I, and sold the building. It housed various retail businesses and religious organizations through the years. The building was going to be destroyed in the construction of Metro’s headquarters, so the city and Federal government arranged to preserve it by having the D.C. government purchase the building and lease it to the Jewish Historical Society for $1 per year for 99 years. It was moved 3 blocks to 3rd and G St. The first floor of the building was too fragile to move, so the second and third floors were moved and a new first floor was reconstructed using bricks from the building and other material. It is planned to be moved again, to 3rd and F St., when the area is redeveloped, and will be re-oriented so that it faces east toward Jerusalem.

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