History or comments

For more than 100 years we have been, quite simply, the center of Jewish Life on Cape Ann and surrounding North Shore towns.

The first Jews settled in the Cape Anne area in the mid-1800s. By 1904 there were 20 to 30 families in Gloucester. The membership of Temple Ahavat Achim is now 180 to 200 families. Its Hebrew school, with 30 children enrolled, meets twice a week.

In 1950 Temple Ahavat Achim purchased a former church building, converting it into a synagogue. Disaster, in the form of fire, struck in 2007, destroying the synagogue. By 2011 a new building was built on the same site in Gloucester’s historic center.

Although the Jewish community of Gloucester is not large it is intimately knitted into the fabric of the city. An example is Temple Ahavat Achim’s participation in the Gloucester community holiday lights festival by erecting a huge, 14 foot tall by 20 foot wide menorah constructed of lobster traps and buoys, lit with LED lights. Another example is the yearly creation of a special keg of craft beer by Cape Anne Brewery for the congregation’s celebration of Purim.