Built in 1937, Niagara Falls’ only synagogue—Congregation B’nai Jacob, later renamed B’nai Tikvah—has stood dormant in recent years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the congregants agreed to sell the building to a nearby developer, who plans to tear it down to build hotels in the near future.
But the spirit of the community is not entirely lost. Despite the shul’s numbered days, its stained glass windows, installed during a renovation in the 1970s, will be relocated to a nearby cemetery as part of its Holocaust memorial. It may not attract many of the 13 million tourists who visit the Niagara Region every year, but it will remind locals, and the city’s remaining Jewish population, of what stood before.
In the meantime, the community still has work to do—services, gatherings, community outreach for which they don’t need a physical structure. Bob Muller, head of the congregation, joins Ralph Benmergui to share his city’s story on Yehupetzville, our podcast highlighting Jews in small communities around Canada and the world.
Yehupetzville is hosted by Ralph Benmergui. Michael Fraiman is the producer and editor. Our music was arranged by Louis Simão and performed by Louis Simão and Jacob Gorzhaltsan. Our sponsor is PearTree Canada, which you can learn more about at peartreecanada.com. This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, watch this video.