History

A congregation of equality, diversity and creativity, [Temple Micah] founded a home to experiment with their faith and repair the world…Years later [it] has become one of America’s most influential Reform synagogues.

The Washington Post on Micah’s 50th Anniversary

Founded in 1963 as the Southwest Hebrew Congregation, our congregation initially occupied temporary spaces near the waterfront area in Southwest DC. We affiliated with the Reform movement in 1965; the following year, we began what became a 28-year space-sharing arrangement with St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church.

In 1968 we adopted the name Temple Micah to reflect the prophet Micah’s vision: “And what does Adonai require of you? To do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

Temple Micah’s rapid growth in membership eventually led to the decision to seek new space, and we found a new home in Northwest DC. We dedicated our new building in September 1995. Today Temple Micah is home to 600 member families.

Living History Project

The Living History Project tells the story and history of our temple – our people, our distinctive ways, and our place in the life of our city – through videos, pictures, charts, and the written word.

Fun Facts About Our Building

  • Constructed in 1995, Temple Micah was the first new synagogue built in the District of Columbia since 1957.
  • The building was designed by Micah members Robert Weinstein and Judith Capen of architrave pc architects.  Learn more about the history of the building, including the design and construction process.
  • The sanctuary’s simple shape and extensive use of wood reflect the simplicity of 19th century synagogues in Eastern Europe. The sand color of the oak and stone evokes the Sinai desert.
  • Our ner tamid (eternal lamp) at the front of the sanctuary, lit with natural gas, is an 1862 memorial lamp from Israel.
  • We constructed the building using only union labor.
  • We intentionally do not have donor plaques or any other recognition of individual donors.

We are honored to read regularly from two Czech Torah scrolls that were preserved by Prague’s Jewish community during the 1940s, and are on loan from the Memorial Scrolls Trust. Click here to learn more information about these scrolls and their history.