Congregation Emanu El Building Dedication Program
Congregation Emanu El
Congregation Emanu El was established in Houston in June 1944 as the city's second Reform temple, following a contentious debate among the members of Congregation Beth Israel over support for Zionism and the establishment of a Jewish state. In 1945, the congregation acquired property at 1500 Sunset Boulevard, across the street from Rice. Their building, designed by congregant and Rice graduate Lenard Gabert with MacKie and Kamrath Architects, was dedicated in 1949. Rabbi Robert I. Kahn, formerly of Beth Israel, served the congregation as Senior Rabbi upon his return from World War II until his retirement in 1998. He was succeeded by Rabbi Roy Walter, who retired in 2011. Rabbi Oren Hayon, a Rice graduate, was named the congregation’s Senior Rabbi in 2015.
The program created by Congregation Emanu El commemorates the building dedication that took place the weekend of February 9-10, 1949.