Jewish-American History in Buffalo - Table of Contents

The Saranac Synagogue: Congregation Achei Tmimim  
85 Saranac Avenue, Buffalo NY

Ashkenazi: a member of one of the two great divisions of Jews comprising the eastern European Yiddish-speaking Jews. VS. Sephardic.

B'rith: B'nai B'rith:  an international Jewish organization, founded in New York City in 1843, which institutes and administers programs designed to promote the social, educational, and cultural betterment of Jews and of the public at large.

Chabad: Chabad, also known as Lubavitch, Habad and Chabad-Lubavitch (Hebrew: חב"ד‬), is an Orthodox Jewish, Hasidic movement.  It is one of the largest Hasidic groups and Jewish religious organizations in the world.

Hasidic: a member of a sect founded in Poland in the 18th century and characterized by its emphasis on mysticism, prayer, ritual strictness, religious zeal, and joy.

Lubavitz: Chabad, also known as Lubavitch, Habad and Chabad-Lubavitch (Hebrew: חב"ד‬), is an Orthodox Jewish, Hasidic movement.  It is one of the largest Hasidic groups and Jewish religious organizations in the world.

Orthodox:  Orthodox Judaism is a collective term for the traditionalist branches of Judaism. Theologically, it is chiefly defined by regarding the Torah, both Written and Oral, as literally revealed by God on Mount Sinai and faithfully transmitted ever since. Other key doctrines include belief in a future resurrection of the dead, divine reward and punishment, the Election of Israel and an eventual restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem under the Messiah.

Sephardic: Jews of Spain and Portugal or their descendants; after expulsion from Spain and Portugal in 1492, established communities in North Africa, the Balkans, Western Europe, and elsewhere.

Shul: synagogue. From Yiddish.

Synagogue:  the building where a Jewish assembly or congregation meets for religious worship and instruction.

Yiddish:  a language used by Jews in central and eastern Europe before the Holocaust. It was originally a German dialect with words from Hebrew and several modern languages and is today spoken mainly in the US, Israel, and Russia.


October 2018 photos


Built 1918   ...   Arts & Crafts style



Star of David    ...   Crenelated  parapet



Rafter tails - an important feature of
Arts & Crafts style



ORIGINALLY BUILT IN 1918 as a Methodist church, the building at 85 Saranac Avenue was sold to Congregation Ner Israel in 1931. Ner Israel was formed by the merger of Congregation Ohav Zedek and Congregation Anshe Zedek.

In 1952 Ner Israel merged with Temple Beth David and moved to 500 Starin Avenue. These shuls shared the Hungarian Chassidic minhagim (customs) and Nusach Sfard, which are still honored in our Shul to the present day.

Yeshivath Achei Tmimim Lubavitz (founded in 1940) purchased the building from Anshe Zedek in April of 1955, and subsequently became Congregation Achei Tmimim, informally known as Saranac Synagogue, The Saranac Shul, or simply, Saranac.

For several years, congregation Achei Tmimim shared its space with The Hebrew Academy of Buffalo, a Jewish day school, and also hosted the North Buffalo Jewish Community Center and a Boy Scout Troop. Several of our current members and quite a few visitors will happily share their memories of those days with whomever is within earshot...you've been warned!

Congregation Achei Tmimim has been in continuous operation  from its founding to the present day.







 Photos and their arrangement 2018 Chuck LaChiusa
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