Today is April 25, 2015 -
Our History – Tradition and Change
Jews first settled in Charleston in 1695, establishing one of the first ongoing synagogues in the New World. Synagogue Emanu-El was founded in this historic Jewish community in 1947, the first Conservative congregation in South Carolina, an affiliate of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. We are a modern Conservative congregation emphasizing the continuity of Jewish traditions while being responsive to the challenges of a changing world.
Synagogue Emanu-El observes all the Jewish holidays, always striving to enhance the beauty and meaning of its religious services and celebrations.
Our central pillars of observance are the Sabbath Services with a Kiddush on Saturday morning. Our High Holy Day services convey a very special warmth and spirituality.
The congregation holds daily morning services Monday through Friday and evening services Monday through Thursday in our Steinberg Chapel. On Wednesday mornings, a breakfast program often follows the minyan.
For our youth, there are numerous options to take part in synagogue life during the school year. We host a monthly Junior Congregation and a monthly Tot Shabbat on Saturday mornings, as well as a monthly “PJ Shabbat” on late Friday afternoons. Our Bar and Bar Mitzvah celebrations are observed during the Shabbat Morning service with the Bat and Bar Mitzvah celebrant leading the service. Children are encouraged to participate in our ongoing adult services as well.
Emanu-El’s traditions and customs actively meet the needs of a very broad spectrum of the Charleston Jewish Community. Both families and single persons are most welcome in our congregation. We enjoy the full participation of women in all aspects of Jewish life and religious rituals. We welcome every Jewish person whatever his or her level of Jewish knowledge.
Our newest and youngest members are as deeply involved in Synagogue life as our founding families. In fact, our new members are the nourishment for continued growth, vitality and the enhancement of the Jewish spirit.
Synagogue Emanu-El’s impressive complex is centrally located within the greater Charleston area. Near I-26, the Synagogue is built on five serenely wooded acres in one of the beautiful residential sections of the West Ashley area. Another convenience is our close proximity to the Jewish Community Center and Addlestone Hebrew Academy. Map