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Our Mission & History
The Mission of the Levite Jewish Community Center is to enhance Jewish identity by providing programs and activities that promote cultural enrichment, cultivate educational development and provide for the well-being of its members.
In 1906 a group of young men from the Knesseth Israel Synagogue met to form an association, which would provide a social outlet for young Jewish Birmingham men. Dr. Henry Swedlow was elected president and serving with him were S.J. Levine, Mosley Sugarman, Jake Allen, Isadore Shapiro, Moses Cohen, Jake Goldstein, Sol Adelson, J.M. Levine and Louis Walowitz.
They rented the upstairs of a house, charged themselves dues, organized by-laws and a constitution and set out to seek members. By 1910 there were 50 members in good standing, and President I.R. Rubenstein reported $144.66 in the bank. They asked Lewis Pizitz and J. Goldstein to help them furnish the club. On March 13, they
arranged to purchase a lot on 6th Avenue and 17th Street for $4,500. They had visions of a new building they would call the YMHA, (Young Men's Hebrew Association). From 1910 to 1914 the Association grew, attracting members and holding social events.
With the approaching world crisis in Europe, little was done to raise money for improvements. In 1919 with Simon Klotz as President, M.B. Joseph as Vice President and E.M. Friend as Secretary, a serious campaign was launched to construct a building where young Jewish men and women could develop from all standpoints. On April 21, 1920 the Association purchased a lot on 7th Avenue and 18th Street for the sum of
20,000. The old location was offered to Congregation Beth-El for $10,000.Show All »