As a group of artists travel around Baltimore this summer, painting some of the Jewish community’s historic synagogues, it seemed worth a look back at where at least one congregation moved when it left downtown Baltimore.
Last week, the artists gathered to paint the former Temple Oheb Shalom on Eutaw Place in the Bolton Hill neighborhood. Flashing back to the Sept. 9, 1960, edition of the Jewish Times, there is an announcement of the dedication of the congregation’s new home at 7310 Park Heights Ave.
Although the structure is markedly different in its modern design from the Eutaw Place temple’s Moorish architecture, it is also a striking edifice.
“Oheb Shalom Temple, Blaustein Auditorium To Be Dedicated in Series of Activities,” says the 1960 headline, accompanied by an artist’s rendering of the new building.
“On Sunday, September 18, at 5:30 p.m., there will be the laying of the cornerstone of the Temple. Samuel J. Fisher, chairman of the occasion, will officiate as the cornerstone is placed into position by Isaac Hecht and all past presidents of the congregation.”
A banquet was held later that day with a dedication ceremony for the congregation’s Louis and Henrietta Blaustein Auditorium, with greetings extended by Mayor J. Harold Grady. The complex was designed by Dr. Walter Gropius in cooperation with Leavitt Associates of Norfolk, Virginia.
Meanwhile, in the pages of the same edition, there was news of the dedication of the “New Air-Conditioned” Beth El Congregation synagogue at 8101 Park Heights Ave., and a full-page advertorial about the new Har Sinai synagogue at 6300 Park Heights Ave., which was completed in 1959, and offered “Progressive Service, Beauty, Convenience.”
Sixty years later, the congregations of Temple Oheb Shalom and Har Sinai Congregation, which relocated to Owings Mills in 2002, are considering a merger.