Yesterday and Today: 6 Washburn Place
First site of Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex.
Before moving to Academy Road in Caldwell in the early 1950s, members of Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex worshiped in the one-room building at 6 Washburn Place pictured here.
CAI was founded in 1920 as the Jewish League of Caldwell by approximately 30 area families, according to historical information posted on the synagogue's website. The property on Washburn was purchased in 1922 and became the site of a new white stucco building, their first shul.
As the area’s Jewish population grew and the building became too small, High Holy Days were observed at the nearby Women’s Building on Westville Avenue. In the early 1950s, congregants donated a parcel of land on Academy Road, which remains the location of CAI to this day.
The property at 6 Washburn Place was sold in the mid-1950s. Most recently, in September 2009, it became the home to LifeSource Church, a contemporary Christian Church. According to the church’s website, the last service will be conducted at this location on Saturday, Dec. 24 at noon. On Jan. 8, the first church gathering will take place in the Caldwell College Chapel.
The photo published here was provided by Richard Gibbs, a local history buff and collector of Caldwell memorabilia. Gibbs reports that his grandparents lived at 10 Washburn Place.