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Temple Beth El is a vibrant and welcoming Conservative synagogue in the heart of Utica, NY. Our congregation is made up of families and individuals committed to Jewish learning, worship, and social action.

Our Mission

  • Preserve and transmit Jewish tradition and values through vibrant Shabbat and holiday services, engaging educational programs, and meaningful social events.

  • Foster a strong sense of community by providing opportunities for connection, support, and friendship.

  • Inspire tikkun olam through acts of charity, volunteerism, and advocacy.

Welcome to Temple Beth El of Utica

If you are interested in joining our congregation, please call or email us for more information. We look forward to speaking with you!

Our History in Utica, NY

1847 - The first Jew to settle in Utica, NY is thought to be Abraham Cohen, who immigrated with his family from Poland. Over the next several decades, an influx of immigrants from Russia and Poland increased Utica's Jewish population to 2,517 by 1920.

1902 - A congregation calling itself Beth El met at the former Foster Building at the corner of Genesee St & the Erie canal in downtown Utica. Over the next ten years they established Shabbat services and a Hebrew School for children.

1919 - Temple Beth El was founded, led by Rabbi Reuben Kaufman. This Conservative congregation challenged the existing community's prevailing traditional Judaism to "reconcile [Jewish] tradition with the demands of modern life."

Temple Beth El Building - Historic

1921 - Temple Beth El joined the United Synagogue, an organization who's mission is to strengthen and grow conservative Judaism.

1923 - The temple opened its cemetery in Whitesboro, NY, which is still used today.

1933 - Through the initiative of Rabbi S. Joshua Kohn, a Jewish Community Council is organized to promote Jewish life in the city and support and unify the entire Jewish community of Utica, NY.


1955 - The Utica Jewish Community Center was founded and the community's affairs were recorded in the Jewish Community News.

2022 - Utica's first annual festival of Jewish Culture, JEWTICA, was held at the Jewish Community Center. 

Today, Utica has a small but thriving Jewish community. In addition to Temple Beth El's conservative congregation, there is a reform temple (Temple Emanu-El), an Orthodox congregation (Zvi Jacob), two Chabad houses, and an active Jewish Community Center. 

Temple Beth El manages five cemeteries: the Temple Beth El Cemetery, House of Israel Cemetery (Wood Rd), House of Israel Cemetery (Mason Rd)Sharie Tefillah Cemetery and Jonathan Lodge Cemetery.

100 Years of Temple Beth El

2019 marked the centennial anniversary of Temple Beth El. We are proud of the congregation's enduring legacy and meaningful contributions to the cultural and religious tapestry of Utica, NY.

Visit Us in Downtown Utica

Located in the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, the city of Utica is nestled in Central New York's beautiful Mohawk Valley.​ Utica is easily accessible from major cities in the Northeast. Downtown Utica is only 1.5 mi. off of Exit 31 on the NYS Thruway (I-90).


Free on-site parking is available.

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