Although Jews first began to settle in Valparaiso, Indiana, in the 1880s, it was not until 1920 that the first Jewish congregation, Congregation Adas Israel, was established. The congregation met in members' homes or rented space in public halls until 1946 when a building was purchased in downtown Valparaiso. The small congregation renamed their new home Temple Israel.
In 1984 a fire swept through the building at 22 Washington Street. The Torahs were the only objects saved from the flames. St. Paul Catholic Church generously offered their preschool building for the congregation's use while land for a new house of worship was purchased and the temple rebuilt.
In 1986 the congregation dedicated the new building at its present location at 1405 East Evans Avenue. An eight foot high bronze menorah, designed and forged by the late Hermann Gurfinkel, a member of the congregation and a well known area sculptor, was installed on the facade of the building.
Members of the congregation live in Chesterton, Portage, Shorewood, Valparaiso and Hebron in Porter County. We also have members who live in neighboring counties throughout northwest and north central Indiana, and nearby southern Michigan.