Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum

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Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum

The Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum, located in the Judiciary Square neighborhood of Washington, D.C., houses the oldest surviving synagogue building in the District. It was erected in 1876 by the Adas Israel Congregation. The museum is operated by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington. The museum's executive director is Laura Apelbaum.

The museum building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites, and Historic American Buildings Survey. It is among the oldest synagogue buildings still standing in the United States. It is also an official project of the Save America's Treasures program.


Ulysses S. Grant attended the synagogue's dedication on June 6, 1876 — the first Jewish service attended by a sitting U.S. president. Originally located at 6th and G Streets NW, the building was moved to its current location three blocks away in 1969. It is slated for a second move so that the property can be redeveloped for a mixed-use project. Its new permanent home will be at Third and F Streets NW, slightly closer to the building's original location. The new move will allow the synagogue to face east, the standard orientation in Jewish tradition.

Building Activity

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