Beth Jacob Congregation is a Jewish congregation in Oakland, founded in 1884, and incorporated in 1893.

Beth Jacob also runs the Home of Peace Cemetery.


The congregation was founded in 1884, and incorporated on December 19, 1893. 1 Abraham Bercovich was one of the directors when it was incorporated. 4

In 1899, the congregation had a disagreement about who was to be schouchet, the butcher who kills and blesses animals before they are butchered into meat. M. Mendillowitz had acted as schouchet for several years, but older members of the congregation brought J. Goldberg from Russia to serve in the role. As a result of the disagreement, the congregation observed Rosh Hashanah in two separate groups. 3 In 1907, part of the congregation split off into Temple Beth Abraham.

In 1907, the cornerstone for a new synagogue was laid at 9th and Castro 2. B. M. Paper was the rabbi from 1922 to 1940. 2 Legend has it that he sold sacramental wine during Prohibition to cover his salary. The building on Castro was sold in 1950 to a Baptist church. For a time, services were held in some vacant offices upstairs from Ernie Alexander's Army and Navy business at 10th and Broadway.

On April 11, 1954, ground was broken for the current temple on Park Boulevard. The architect Albert Hunter "designed the structure as a tent, based on the concept of Jews in the desert living in tents, and Abraham's tent that was always open for all to enter." 1


3778 Park Boulevard, Oakland, California 94610
(510) 482-1147

Links and References

  1. A Historical Presentation - Beth Jacob Congregation's First One Hundred Years by Barbara M. Barer
  2. Jews of Oakland and Berkeley Frederick Isaac, Arcadia Publishing
  3. Beth Jacobs Divided Over Their Butcher San Francisco Call August 26, 1899
  4. Articles of Incorporation Sacramento Daily Union December 20, 1893