Thursday, January 1, 1998

Temple B'nai Israel

The structure now occupied by Temple B'nai Israel was originally built in 1801 for Lydia Ritchie. In 1828, it became the home of Garret Dorset Wall, a member of the New Jersey Assembly. After Garret Wall's death in 1850, it was the home of his son Colonel James Walter Wall, who became the first mayor of Burlington under the new City charter.

In the 1870's, the house was bought by the Thomansons, in-laws of the McNeal family who owned the U.S. Pipe Foundry. They adopted a young Marguerite Vivienne Burton, and put her through school at St. Mary's Hall. Throughout the late 1800's and early 1900's, Marguerite's social exploits were the talk of the town.

The building was purchased in 1916 by Temple B'nai Israel, one of the oldest synagogues in southern New Jersey. Originally formed in 1907, the congregation became an orthodox synagogue in 1915, and is presently led by Rabbi Matthew Kaufman.

For more information on Temple B'nai Israel, call (609) 386-0406.

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