When Rodeph Shalom outgrew its first building, the membership decided to raze the 60-year-old Frank Furness building and erect a new, larger synagogue on the same site. Inspired by the great Synagogue of Florence, Italy, RS is one of the only synagogues in the United States that retains the Byzantine-Moorish style. The building was designed by the firm of Simon and Simon; the stained glass, hand-stenciled walls, star burst dome light by the D’Ascenzo Studio.
The Ark in the Sanctuary is Italian marble and the Ark doors, made of Italian bronze, weigh 1,000 pounds each. In the Ark are six Torah scrolls, the smallest of which was rescued during the Holocaust from Brno, a small town in the Czech Republic and given to Rodeph Shalom as a gift from Rabbi Wice upon his retirement in 1981.
The Sanctuary was closed for a year in 2004 for major renovations. Artists refurbished the starburst light in the center of the Sanctuary, craftsmen were brought in to restore the hand-stenciled walls, a new lower beam was built along with complex infrastructure improvements. Rodeph Shalom received the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award from the Preservation Pennsylvania in partnership with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum commission in 2006. Rodeph Shalom was entered in the National Register of Historic Places by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2007.
To see our historic facility and our breathtaking sanctuary, it is necessary to schedule an appointment by contacting Candice Nemoff at 267-930-7293. You may also worship together with us at our 6 pm Shabbat evening service, each Friday, and be sure to join us for the oneg preceding the service at 5:30 pm.