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Congregation Emanu El is a Reform synagogue affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. Our building, in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright, was designed by congregant Lenard Gabert and MacKie & Kamrath Architects. It was recognized as one of the most innovative and creative buildings in the country. It originally contained 65,000 square feet of floor space with a Sanctuary seating 855 and a connecting social hall seating an additional 1800.

The name Emanu El means God Be With Us. Our building and location are both tangible expressions of the vision and foresight of our founders. The property at 1500 Sunset was purchased in 1945, and the building was dedicated September 9, 1949.

The first meeting was held June 8, 1944, by 190 families. Rabbi Robert I. Kahn was invited to lead the congregation and served as Senior Rabbi until 1978 when he was named Rabbi Emeritus and Rabbi Roy A. Walter was selected as Senior Rabbi. In 2011, Rabbi Walter was named Rabbi Emeritus, and the congregation selected Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss as Senior Rabbi. In June of 2015, Rabbi Oren J. Hayon joined Emanu El as Senior Rabbi.

We have always been a leader in areas of social action and welfare, aiding the homeless, serving the blind and feeding the hungry. Through projects such as Mitzvah Day, we have encouraged our members to go out into the community and make a difference in the lives of others, fulfilling our mandate to be a light unto the nations.

We have made a significant impact on the Houston community through sponsoring major cultural and religious experiences such as Israel Expo ’73, Festival of the Bible in the Arts and the American Jewish Festival.

Sun, September 23 2018 14 Tishrei 5779