A visit to this compound offers insight into local Jewish history, a glimpse of Jewish traditions, and a look at the immigration experience. The 1845 Lloyd Street Synagogue is Maryland's oldest (and one of the oldest in the U.S.). It's plainer than the nearby B'nai Israel Synagogue, but it has a matzo oven, a mikvah (ritual bath), and a classroom where the first Hebrew school got its start. There's also a hands-on exhibit for children that focuses on the immigrant experience in this neighborhood over the past 2 centuries. The Greek Revival-style B'nai Israel Synagogue, built in 1876, contains what may be the oldest Jewish star in one of its stained-glass windows. Its ark is a hand-carved masterpiece. Take a tour of the synagogues at 1 or 2:30pm for the best experience; the guides are full of stories. Between the two synagogues is the exhibit space and library. The exhibits change often, but always focus on Jewish religion and culture.
- © Frommer's 2013
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