Some of the earliest practitioners of the Jewish faith arrived to a pre-statehood Texas with the Spanish.
Sephardic Jews from Spanish North African communities were then followed by immigrants from Germany, Eastern Europe, and the Americas.
A Judaic Heritage
The attractions of the New World – a promise of limitless potential and religious freedom – appealed to Jewish populations just as it did most everyone else who arrived in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, before 1821, Jews who practiced their religion openly were not allowed to legally live in Texas, a mandate established by the Spanish Catholic colonists. But the termination of Spanish control over the Texas territory also ended religious exclusionism. As a result, a number of our oldest communities including Waco, Brownsville, and Castroville were founded by Jewish immigrants.
Congregation Beth Israel in Houston became the first chartered Jewish synagogue, founded in 1859. Temple B’nai Israel in Galveston followed in 1868. San Antonio received Beth El in 1874, Temple Emanu-El of Dallas was established in 1875, and Beth Israel of Austin in 1876. The pattern continued through the turn of the 19th century and, today, dozens of cities across the state host Jewish communities and synagogues.
Lakes Trail Region
208 South 15th Street Corsicana, TX 75110 (903) 654-4874 Website
Temple Beth-El208 South 15th Street
Corsicana, TX 75110
Faith and spirituality have historically been an important part of the lives of Texans - from pre-European contact until today. The places that represent spirituality are no less sacred.
Although the state’s European heritage mirrors much of the nation’s, the European Texan immigrant, like Texas itself, represents a uniqueness found only in the Lone Star state.
When you think of missions in Texas you might imagine benevolent brothers in brown robes ringing bells, or spending hours…