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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 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 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.    

Lisa Lucia-Hayden December 21, 2011 at 02:19 AM
I am wondering if this building has always remained a religious building? Does anyone know who occupied it in the 1950's after it was sold? I would find it fascinating if this building was always used for religious reasons. What will happen to it after the last service on December 24?

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