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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

Wilmington's Temple of Israel seeks community help in restoring its historic building

The Temple of Israel located on fourth and market in downtown Wilmington
Ashley Brown
The Temple of Israel located on fourth and Market Street in downtown Wilmington

On Thursday, members of the local Jewish community announced the Restoration 150 Campaign, a fundraiser for repairing and restoring the historic Temple of Israel building in Downtown Wilmington.

The Temple has been closed since 2020 due to flood damage and old age deterioration. The building is the oldest Jewish house of worship still in use in the state of North Carolina.

The Temple was built in 1876 and the campaign's name honors the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Temple of Israel congregation in 1871.

Glenn Tetterton, co-chair of the campaign, guided a tour inside the temple, where he talks about the building’s unique features — like a 200-year-old chandelier.

The Temple also has a Pilcher-Tracker organ that dates back to 1906, it's one of only three organs that remain in use.

He says the significance of the building is why this campaign is so important.

“It's been part of the historic fabric of Wilmington, for a century and a half. We just don't want to lose what we were granted by our forebears," he said.

Private fundraising began two months ago, and the campaign has already raised more than $200,000, 40% of its $500,000 goal.

Family members and friends of the congregation contributed to the money that has been raised so far.

Ashley Brown is from from Houston, TX. She holds a BA in Mass Communication from Sam Houston State University and an MA in Professional Communication and Digital Media from Texas Southern University. Her love of news, radio, and entertainment led her to the field of journalism. As a creative person, she loves the journalistic challenge of putting stories together. And as a future news reporter, she hopes to tell stories that reach and affect people. In her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, journaling, spending time with friends and family, and trying out new brunch places to eat.