Jewish Communities in Minneapolis, 1934
When we are doing research about the historic Jewish community in Minneapolis, we usually are looking in the Northside but did you know there was also a community on Franklin Avenue in South Minneapolis?
From 1902-1950 the Agudas Achim (Association of Brothers) Synagogue was located at 1820 17th Avenue South. As you can see by the map above (courtesy of Jews in Minnesota, 2002), the Jewish community in south Minneapolis migrated west after 1935. The congregation shrank in size and the land was sold to the highway department for a Hiawatha Avenue expansion in 1950.
The first Agudus Achim services were held in a rented dance hall on the 4th floor of a stone building at Franklin and 17th Avenues on the second day of the Jewish New Year, 1902. A four-plex was bought in 1904 (see above permit card) and the first floor was used for a worship space. Later the upstairs was converted to a balcony - the building became one large hall. In 1911 the balcony collapsed and the four-plex building was moved off the lot and replaced it with the former Swedish Bethany Covenant Church, which the congregation bought for $500. The former church, built in 1889 (moved from 2501 22nd St. E) was converted to a syangogue and Mayor James C. Haynes turned a golden key to open the new structure during a special ceremonial grand opening.
As membership in the congregation dwindled after the 1930s, the synagogue was kept in existance by a relatively small group that continued to support it, including Isadore Blumenfeld AKA “Kid Cann” and his family. The proceeds from the land sale and the balance of the synagogue’s bank account were donated to Mount Sinai Hospital, Jewish Home for the Aged, Jewish Orphan Home, Talmud Torah and Hadassah hospital in Israel.