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Last Orthodox Shul in Fall River, Massachusetts Becomes Church

Congregation Adas Israel, the last of several orthodox synagogues that once served the Jews of Fall River, Massachusetts – will be handing the keys over to a new group of worshippers – congregants of The Word of Life Community Church.

For the first time since it opened its doors in 1959, Adas Israel did not hold Shabbat services at the house of prayer, having sold the building to evangelical Christians for $400,000 through a real estate agent who was also a congregant at the synagogue, according to a regional newspaper, the Herald News.

The pastor of the church, Donat Boucher, moved his followers to the new building after renting several locations since starting his own church out of his dining room in 2007.

Though the 248 seats used to be too few to hold the throngs attending Shabbat and holiday services, young Jews have moved away, until less than two dozen active members passed regularly through the mezuzah-studded doors.

Temple Beth-El, a conservative synagogue, will provide room for Adas Israel’s Orthodox congregants to perform their own prayer services, and will now be the only Jewish house of worship in Fall River.

According to the Herald News, most of the Jewish symbols and plaques have been removed from the chapel, except for some “distinctive Hebrew words affixed to a wall, near a large wooden cross recently installed behind the podium,” reading “Know before whom you stand.”

About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.


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7 Responses to “Last Orthodox Shul in Fall River, Massachusetts Becomes Church”

  1. Rc Fowler says:

    Ms. Fleisher instead of reporting the news second hand by way of Herald News–why don't you do some actual reporting yourself?

    As usual, your article is incomplete. Why even bother if you're not willing to do it right? I would expect much more from a high school student. So much for being a Cardozo graduate.

  2. Its all too common for authors to use the work of others rather than doing the work themselves.
    It is a poorly written article.

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    If you are so well informed why don't you tell us where Ms. Fleisher's story was off, rather than just treating us to your usual whining and complaining?

  4. Melissa From-Chicago says:

    This is very sad.

  5. yes .. it was my shul growing up.

  6. Liad Bar-el says:

    Mrs. Fleisher is (1) Jewish, (2) Orthodox, (3) living in Israel, (4) supports Israel, (5) is married to Yishi Fleisher who heads up the JPress Radio station and (6) seemingly tries to publish all of her articles in a straight matter of fact manner so that the reader can decide what it means to him/her. (7) We need more people like her in Israel.

    Rc Fowler is not (1), not (2), not (3), not (4), not married (5) but rather shaking up with a Jewish girl, not (6) and not (7). We hope in the future, you would publish something good about yourself.

  7. Joshua Grady-Share says:

    We have to look at these places with hakarat hatov. They took us in, and in general, Jews were not persecuted in North America. But now is the time to come home.

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