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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Historic Preservation & Archaeology > Learn About Topics > Cultures > Jewish Heritage Initiative > Marion DHPA Jewish Historical Resources

Marion County MapMarion County

Marion County Jewish History Indianapolis, the county city for Marion County, also serves as the State Capitol. The city has been a transportation hub since the 1850s While not the earliest settlement of Jews in Indiana, Indianapolis would become the center of the Jewish population of the state. The first Jews to the city were Alexander and Sarah Franco and Moses Woolf in 1849. By the late 1850s, there were enough families living in the city that in 1856, fourteen men approved the constitution and by-laws of the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation. The congregation met in temporary quarters for at least 2 years until they could acquire a room in the Judah Block. In 1858 the congregation moved to a rented hall in the 200 block of East Washington Street, where it remained for ten years.

Wasson's Building
Wasson's Building

Block's Building
Block's Building