Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiative

Beth Shalom Cemetery Marker Unveiling and Tour

Join HC to unveil historical marker

Join Historic Columbia at a historic marker dedication and tour on Jan. 15 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. The Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiative (CJHI), in partnership with Historic Columbia and the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina, will dedicate a South Carolina Historical Marker at the Beth Shalom Cemetery in the 1300 block of Whaley Street. Founded in 1883 by the Hebrew Cemetery Society of Columbia, the “free cemetery or burial ground for Hebrews” was one of the earliest of its kind in America. Burials include Orthodox Jews from Columbia and beyond with the cemetery’s oldest extant marker designating the burial of Arthur Benedict of Abbeville, S.C., who died in 1884. In 1911, the House of Peace (Beth Shalom) Synagogue assumed management of the cemetery, and over time, it became recognized as a burial ground specifically for the synagogue’s members. Following the dedication, enjoy a free tour of the cemetery with state archaeologist Jonathan Leader.

A second historic marker associated with Beth Shalom will be installed the week of Jan. 8 at the site of the synagogue, which once stood at 1719 Marion Street. This structure, designed by architects Lafaye & Lafaye and built by M. B. Kahn Construction, was dedicated on September 8, 1935. It served as the congregation’s house of worship for nearly 40 years. The congregation relocated to its present location at 5827 Trenholm Road in 1973, and the Marion Street synagogue was demolished shortly thereafter. Visit historiccolumbia.org/cjhi for more information.