Dorchester Atheneum
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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Temple Beth El
 The first synagogue in Dorchester, the Temple Beth El building located at 100 Fowler Street near Greenwood Street was known as the Fowler Street Shul. Dedicated in 1912, the neoclassical building with a domed roof was designed by South Boston architect John Hasty. The only wooden temple built in Boston, it was modeled after the 1763 Touro, Rhode Island synagogue.

The temple sat in the heart of Boston's emerging Jewish community, and remained the spiritual focal point for Dorchester until 1967 when the congregation moved to Newton. The temple was razed in 1998 for the Erie Ellington Homes, an affordable housing development that has won awards for its use of sustainable technology and is a model for urban housing.

Hyman Shulsinger, Rabbi, in 1930.


Dorchester Old and New, 1630-1930. Dorchester: Chapple Publishing Company for the Dorchester, Massachusetts, Tercentary Committee, 1930.

"Historical Markers, Dorchester", Website of the Bostonian Society at

Readers' Comments
 From: Fred Land, January, 2008

My great-grandfather was Benjamin Gainsboro (probably originally Ginsberg). His obituary in 1938 includes the following: "One of the organizers of Temple Beth El, Dorchester, he served as vice-president of the congregation at one time and was also active in the formation of the Hebrew School. He was a founder, and for 23 years served as treasurer of the Beth El Free Loan Society."

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Created: September 28, 2003   Modified: April 22, 2008