With the sixth largest Jewish population and the fourth oldest organized Jewish community in the United States, Pennsylvania has hundreds of synagogues, past and present, and they come in all shapes, sizes and styles.
Pennsylvania is unique with regard to the extensive number of locations that either have, or once had, functioning Jewish congregations and communities.
While the city of Philadelphia has a large number of synagogues, both current and former, synagogues were established in many of the cities and towns found along the industrial and mining routes of Eastern Pennsylvania.
Places such as Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Hazleton, Reading, Wilkes-Barre and Scranton among others each have a Jewish history all their own and many beautiful synagogues.
By presenting images of these many synagogues, especially the ones that are no longer used for Jewish worship, their history is documented, and the uniqueness and wealth of their architecture is shared for all.
This diversity of architecture reflects that very same diversity of the Jewish communities that settled throughout Pennsylvania and indeed the whole United States.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Author, researcher, documentarian and genealogist residing in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia near Washington, DC. Originally from Detroit, Mr. Preisler is the son of Holocaust Survivors. He is a graduate of Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia. A life-long interest in Jewish history, synagogue architecture and genealogy has led Mr. Preisler to author several books including "American Synagogues: A Photographic Journey" (eBook 2008); "Historic Synagogues of Philadelphia & The Delaware Valley" (The History Press 2008); "Jewish West Virginia" (Arcadia Publishing 2010) and his newest book, "The Synagogues of Central & Western Pennsylvania: A Visual Journey (Fonthill Media 2014). At the present time he is working on several new research projects that will appear in eBook format soon.