Address: 120 N. East Yates Road, Memphis
Built: 1970, with modest exterior additions in the 1980s
Architectural Style: Modern Movement
Original Function/Purpose: Religious institution
The Anshei Sphard-Beth El Emeth Synagogue was placed on the National Register on July 24, 2020.
History: The synagogue was designed by Francis Mah and Keith Kays. Historically its congregation is descended from the nineteenth-century Memphis congregations of Anshei Sphard and Beth El Emeth, both having their beginning in the historic Pinch neighborhood. The Beth El Emeth congregation was founded in 1862 and worshipped over the years at several locations downtown, while Anshei Sphard was founded in 1893, also downtown, although it moved to Bellevue and North Parkway in 1950. These two congregations merged in 1966 and dedicated their new house of worship in East Memphis on Sept. 13, 1970. (This move mirrored a similar one by the Baron Hirsch Synagogue, referred to elsewhere here in the history of the NR-listed “Vollintine Hills Historic District.”) The new building was given the Award of Excellence for Design of Interiors by Architectural Record in 1972, and has not changed significantly since its construction.
City Council District: 5
Super District: 9
County Commission District: 5