© Marie Demick

Waves of immigrants increased in the 1800s, and Jewish immigrants settled here as early as the Civil War. Since 1904, Temple Ahavat Achim has been the center of Jewish life on Cape Ann, moving to this site in 1951. Shabbat morning, December 15, 2007, a fire in the apartment building, just a few feet away, killed one resident, and devastated the temple’s historic building. The community rallied, and soon broke ground for a synagogue that joins Gloucester’s legacy of distinctive buildings.

Gloucester’s First Parish Church stood on this site from 1738 until 1950, when its Unitarian congregation joined the Universalists down the street and sold the building to the Jewish community.