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Bovard Studio :: Stained Glass Maintenance
Church Window Repair

Isaac M. Wise Temple, Cincinnati, OH


Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati

Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio, one of the first Reform synagogues in the U.S., was opened to the public on August 23, 1866.


Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati

After 134 years, the stained glass windows were in need of a complete restoration.

“THE WISE and republican laws of this Country are based upon universal toleration giving to every citizen and sojourner the right to worship according to the dictates of his conscience.” These words were written in 1840 at the birth of the congregation B’nai Yeshurun at the old Workum House on Third Street between Sycamore and Broadway in Cincinnati, Ohio; forming a new fundamental principle as the basis of their constitution.

“A religious Jew can also be a citizen of a free country, a member of society, a reasoner of modern thought,” words of Isaac Mayer Wise who became the Rabbi of the B’nai Yeshurum congregation in 1854. Wise was a supporter of the Reform movement that wanted to give Judaism a distinctly American look. Rabbi Wise soon made Cincinnati a center of Reform Judaism in the United States as he became a founder of Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati as well as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. To this day Plum Street Temple hosts ordination services for the Cincinnati Campus of the Hebrew Union College, which ordains all Reform rabbis in the United States.

On August 23, 1866 the Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio, one of the first Reform synagogues in the U.S., was opened to the public as the new home of the congregation B’nai Yeshurum. The American architect, James Keys Wilson, designed the Plum Street Temple in the Moorish style that was equated with Jewish aesthetic and spiritual values that coincided with the flowering of Judaic culture under the Moslem caliphate in Spain during the Middle Ages. The unique Plum Street Temple, now designated a National Historic Landmark, is preeminent among Reform Synagogues in America.

By August 2000, after 134 years, the stained glass windows were in need of a complete restoration as the stained glass windows’ lead matrix had succumbed to metal fatigue. Over the next few months Bovard Studio restored all 71 stained glass windows in Plum Street Temple’s stained glass heritage, preserving these original historic stained glass windows for future generations.

See photo on opposite page top left for a spectacular view of the restored interior of this great temple.