Rodef Shalom Temple & Biblical Garden

Rodef Shalom

PHONE: (412) 621-6566

Dating to 1847, Rodef Shalom is the oldest Jewish congregation in Western Pennsylvania. Its members are part of the Reform Movement, which began in 19th Century Germany to harmonize Jewish traditions to modernity. This orientation includes the continual process of critically evaluating and renewing Jewish law.

The temple’s current building was constructed in 1907 in a magnificent Beau Arts style as designed by noted architect Henry Hornbostel (1867-1961).

For the exterior, Hornbostel chose local yellow brick, augmented with colored terra cotta flourishes. The design incorporated four representational stained glass windows by pioneering artist William Willet (1869-1921). These were valued remnants of a previous temple — along with a large stained glass skylight in the dome and a lunette over the Fifth Avenue entrance — that were fitting additions to a building housing a congregation that valued tradition yet embraced a modern approach to Judaism and life. The Congregation subsequently installed a 1907 Kimball organ, the largest of its kind still in use. The Temple sanctuary holds more than 900 people on the first floor and 300 in the gallery.

Adjacent to the temple is the 0.3 acre Biblical Garden, which displays more than 100 plants once grown in ancient Israel. The garden also includes a waterfall and a representation of the historical Jordan River which dates back to antiquity and currently separates the Hashemite Kingdom Of Jordan from the modern State Of Israel and land called home by Palestinian people.

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  • Address
    4905 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 United States