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Beth Israel Synagogue

Willow Creek RM 458, Saskatchewan, S0E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2003/09/10

Front view of Beth Israel Synagogue.; Government of Saskatchewan, Bernie Flaman, 2004
Beth Israel Synagogue.
Interior view of Beth Israel Synagogue; Government of Saskatchewan, Bernard Flaman, 2004, 1994.
Interior of Beth Isreal Synagogue
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1906/01/01 to 1908/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/11/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Beth Israel Synagogue is a Municipal Heritage Property situated on a Legal Subdivision (16 ha) located in the RM of Willowbunch, 13.5 kilometres southeast of of the Hamlet of Gronlid. The property features a cemetery which was established in 1906 and a wood-frame synagogue which was built in 1908.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Beth Israel Synagogue resides in its status as the oldest surviving synagogue in Saskatchewan. The impetus to build the synagogue came from a group of Jewish settlers who immigrated to Saskatchewan from Lithuania via South Africa in 1906 to found the Edenbridge Hebrew Colony. Shortly after their arrival, the new settlers established a cemetery and erected the synagogue to continue their faith in their new home. The synagogue also served as a social and cultural gathering place for the community.

The heritage value of the Beth Israel Synagogue also lies in its architecture. The unassuming exterior with simple clapboard siding, rounded-arch windows and modest ornamentation belies the striking interior which is entirely encompassed with elegant wood paneling. The building is designed with a second floor balcony to accommodate female worshippers, in accordance with the Orthodox tradition, which separates male and female congregants. The copious use of wood in the interior and the second floor balcony are uncommon features of rural places of worship in Saskatchewan.


Rural Municipality of Willow Creek No. 458 Bylaw No. 02-03.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the Beth Israel Synagogue resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those features reflecting the property's function as a place of worship for the Jewish faith, including religious ornamentations and decorations, signage, pews, Aron Kodesh, Binah, cemetery and balcony for female worshippers;
-those features reflecting the simple nature of the building's exterior architecture, including unadorned clapboard siding and round-arched windows on the front façade;
-those features which reflect the elaborate nature of the building's interior, such as the wood door and wall paneling.;
-the location of the building next to the cemetery on their original location.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (SK)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK File: MHP 101

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 101



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