Adath Israel was established in 1930. The congregation worshipped in rented premises at 1357 Van Horne until the construction of the synagogue in 1940 at 899 McEchran in Outremont. This was the only synagogue in the Outremont/Plateau Mont Royal areas that was not in close proximity to other synagogues and was in an entirely residential setting. It was the first synagogue in Montreal to define itself as a synagogue centre. All of these aspects foreshadowed what would be become a predominant post-war synagogue model across North America.
This congregation’s primary definition of “community centre” focused on the establishment of a school. The original elementary school facilities were in the basement and it was, according to an anniversary publication of 1965, not only the first congregational day school in Montreal, but also only the second in all of North America. By 1947, a school building was constructed in the adjacent rear lot which was extended in 1952 to accommodate Montreal’s first Jewish high school.
The congregation has been located at 223 Harrow Road in Hampstead since 1981 having amalgamated with two other former immigrant congregations: Poele Zedek (1985) and Anshei Ozeroff (2003, officially 2008).
Written by Sara Tauben
Adath Israel Anniversary Publication, 1960.
Tauben, Sara Ferdman. "Aspirations and Adaptations: Immigrant Synagogues of Montreal, 1880s-1945." Masters Thesis. Concordia University, 2004.
Tauben, Sara Ferdman. Traces of the Past: Montreal's Early Synagogues. Montréal: Véhicule Press, 2011.
*Images courtesy of Canadian Jewish Congress Charities Committee National Archives and Sara Tauben.