Agudath Israel Etz Ahayem

Agudath Israel Etz Ahayem ("Congregation of Israel Tree of Life") is a Conservative Jewish congregation located at 3525 Cloverdale Road in Montgomery, Alabama.

Agudath Israel was established as an Orthodox synagogue in 1902 by Yiddish speaking Ashkenazi Jews, recent Eastern European immigrants who rejected the Reform practices of Montgomery's established Congregation Kahl Montgomery/Temple Beth Or. After renting quarters for a number of years, the congregation purchased its first permanent building on Monroe Street in 1914, and constructed a new building at McDonough and High Street in 1928.

Agudath Israel came to national attention in 1955 because of the Civil rights movement activism of then-rabbi Seymour Atlas, who eventually left the synagogue as a result of it. In 1957 it constructed its current building on Cloverdale Road, and joined the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, though it subsequently hired several Orthodox rabbis. Cynthia Culpeper became Agudath Israel's rabbi in 1995, the first Conservative woman rabbi in Alabama, but left in 1997 to seek treatment for AIDS, the result of an accidental needle prick while working as a nurse.

Etz Ahayem, was established in 1912 by Ladino speaking Sephardi Jews, particularly from Rhodes. The congregation grew slowly, and completed construction of its first building in 1927. In 1962 the congregation moved to a new building, but by the 1990s it had dwindled, as children of congregants moved away from Montgomery, and the synagogue had difficulty finding rabbis to lead it.

The congregations merged in 2001, and adopted the current name. In 2007 Scott Kramer became Agudath Israel Etz Ahayem's third rabbi since the merger. As of 2010, Kramer was the rabbi and Raymond Cohen was the president.

Read more about Agudath Israel Etz AhayemEtz Ahayem, Agudath Israel Etz Ahayem

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