Anshe Emeth celebrates its house of worship’s centennial


PIQUA — The Jewish congregation, which has been continuously operating since 1858, is pleased to announce an Open House to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the dedication of its building on Saturday, April 15 from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Congregation Anshe Emeth’s house of worship, at 320 Caldwell St., Piqua, on the edge of the Caldwell Historic District, was dedicated on April 2, 1923. Previously, worship services were held in various locations in Piqua. Anshe Emeth translates as “People of Truth.”

Also that day, at 1 until 2 p.m., a class titled, “Judaism 101” will be held. The goal of the class is to share information, not impose beliefs. Offered at no cost, the class will be held in the synagogue and also offered by Zoom.

Rabbinic Intern, Anna Burke, will lead an engaging lesson on the fundamentals of Judaism; exploring sacred Jewish texts and how they function in Jewish life; learning about the Jewish calendar, holidays and the rituals and traditions associated with each. Additionally, she will cover the denominations of Judaism and their respective theology and practices.

Registration is needed at [email protected] for in-person attendance of the class or the Zoom link, but not for the open house. Anna Burke is a fifth year rabbinical student at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati. She has a Master’s in Jewish Education and expects to be ordained as a Rabbi in May of 2023.

Building the new synagogue cost approximately $20,000, which is approximately $350,000 in today’s dollars. Half of the necessary funds were donated by Leo Flesh in memory of his father, Harry Flesh, a founding member. The other $10,000 was raised by a wide collection of individuals, four bake sales, four dinners and a series of rummage sales and raffles. The fundraising was done by members of Anshe Emeth Sisterhood which was formerly known as the Ladies’ Aid Society. The efforts of the Sisterhood helped to ensure the new synagogue could be created free of debt.

There were approximately 250 people, including many non-Jews, at the dedication in April 1923. Fannie Louis, wife of the president in 1923, Meyer Louis, was chosen to light the ner tamid (the Eternal Light) located at the front of the sanctuary. With the growth of the Sunday School in the 1950’s, a kitchen and social hall at the back of the building were added in 1958.

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