Congregation Beth Elohim

Congregation Beth Elohim, also known as the Garfield Temple and the Eighth Avenue Temple, is a Reform Jewish congregation located at 274 Garfield Place and Eighth Avenue, in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, United States.Founded in 1861 as a more liberal breakaway from Congregation Baith Israel, for the first 65 years it attempted four mergers with other congregations, including three with Baith Israel, all of which failed. The congregation completed its current Classical Revival synagogue building in 1910 and its "Jewish Deco" (Romanesque Revival and Art Deco) Temple House in 1929. These two buildings were contributing properties to the Park Slope historic district, listed as a New York City Landmark district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.The congregation went through difficult times during the Great Depression, and the bank almost foreclosed on its buildings in 1946. Membership dropped significantly in the 1930s because of the Depression, grew after World War II, and dropped again in the 1960s and 1970s as a result of demographic shifts. Programs for young children helped draw Jewish families back into the neighborhood and revitalize the membership.