Historic note

The former Beth Israel Synagogue in North Battleford at the corner of 105th Street and 14th Avenue was renovated as a residence in the 1990s.

The original building, according to information obtained from the Ontario Jewish Archives, had a poured concrete basement, one and a half storeys, a plaster or stucco exterior and a flat roof with a plain parapet roof line. Each of the many windows on the north and south facades had four fixed divisions.

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Although it is not visible on the photo, the archive information refers to a window on the east side, facing 105th Street, as well. The four-and-a-half-foot-wide main door was off centre on the main facade facing 14th Avenue. It was a flat wood door decorated with a recessed Star of David outlined in moulding flush with the surface of the door. Above the door was a five by five foot overhang.

Thanks to Sheldon Levitt for permission to use copyrighted archival material. Archival material provided as follows: North Battleford Synagogue, North Battleford, Saskatchewan, 1977. Ontario Jewish Archives, fonds 64, series 3, file 18.

Homeowner Kelly Waters has been opening her North Battleford home to music lovers four or five times per year for most of the five years she's resided in The Gog, so named for its original function as a synagogue.

Her understanding is that her home was originally built as a synagogue after the Second World War. People travelled as far as from St. Walburg to attend the synagogue.

The synagogue closed in the 1990s, but its legacy continues as the Torahs and ritual articles continue to be used in other synagogues. The Beth Tzedec Synagogue in Edmonton was given two of the Torahs from the North Battleford synagogue in 1996 after it closed.

© Copyright Battlefords News Optimist

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