Our History

Our History

Like any great story, ours starts with a strong beginning.

Founded in 1861, Congregation Shaarey Zedek was the first Conservative Jewish Congregation in Detroit, and one of the founding congregations of the United Synagogue of America (now United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism).

From 1962 to the present, Congregation Shaarey Zedek has been based in Southfield, Michigan. Our synagogue building, designed by Percival Goodman, is one of the most breathtaking places to worship in the country. Magnificent, multi-story stained glass windows surround our bimah within a soaring sanctuary ceiling – a perfect setting for a tradition of world-class clergy, inspiring sermons, pitch-perfect cantorial excellence, moving simchot and an elevated sense of spirituality.

A summary of our history was prepared for the 150th-anniversary celebration.

Learn more about our history here.

Our Archives

The Lillian & Professor Samuel Levin Archives at CSZ contain more than a century of photographs, documents, memoirs and artifacts which tell the story of our illustrious congregation throughout the years. Our collection celebrates the legacy of our synagogue, its Rabbis and its members, showcasing their impact on local, national and international Jewish history. Our Archives have been cataloged, digitized and preserved, proudly safeguarding the treasures of our past for future generations.

If you would like access to our Archives or donate to our collection, contact Cillia Kleiman, Associate, Lillian & Professor Samuel Levin Archives of Congregation Shaarey Zedek. Contact her at 248.864.5095 or at archive@shaareyzedek.org.