Orthodox Judaism believes that the Torah, whole and complete, was given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai and has been passed down to the present day exactly the same as it was then. This includes the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) and the oral tradition of interpreting and explaining the Written Torah. Orthodox Jews believe that the laws in the Torah are binding on all Jews, but not non-Jews.

Kesher Israel

The Kesher Israel Orthodox Congregation began in 1902, the second Orthodox congregation in Harrisburg, after a small group of members broke off from the existing synagogue at the time, Chizuk Emuna, due to internal strife. Thanks to the leadership of renowned Rabbi Eliezer Silver, Kesher Israel became nationally recognized. This is the third building to have housed Kesher Israel. The first was demolished in 1918 to make room for the expanding Capitol Building, and they moved from their second location to the present synagogue in 1948 when the complex was again expanded.


Click the thumbnails for larger images. Photo by Rebecca Krieger unless otherwise noted.

Kesher Israel sanctuary
Kesher Israel Synagogue, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In Orthodox Jewish synagogues, men and women sit separately. The section for women can be seen on the left.