The Falmouth Jewish Congregation is blessed with wonderful facilities and amenities that serve both our congregation and the community.
East End Meeting House (1797)
The East End Meeting House was built in 1797, a post-and-beam building typical of meeting houses of its period. In 1840 a member of the Congregationalist community which built and owned the Meeting House offered to endow a “Preaching and Teaching Fund” with $10,000 if the congregation agreed to two conditions: 1) that the entire structure be rotated ninety-degrees so that its entrance door would face the main (Sandwich) road and 2) that a bell tower and bell be installed.
These conditions were agreed to and the changes implemented. When, in 1983, the East End Meeting House, as well as a parsonage house and the “Preaching and Teaching Fund” were given to the fledgling Falmouth Jewish Congregation, the bell was removed from the tower. Because the original Meeting House had not been designed to carry the weight of a bell tower and bell, the roof of the structure had developed a potentially dangerous sag. The bell now sits beside the Meeting House, mounted in a special garden.
When the Falmouth Jewish Congregation received the Meeting House in 1983, approximately $75,000 worth of renovations were undertaken to prepare it for use as a synagogue. A wide bimah (pulpit) was created, an aron kodesh (ark) to house the Torah scrolls was fashioned by a member of the congregation, the building was made accessible for people with disabilities, the depth of the pew seating was increased, interior decorations were refurbished and radiant heat panels were installed above the ceiling. Because the Meeting House lacks a sub-basement, this was–at the time–the only effective way to provide heat for the building. Since then the Meeting House has been equipped with an efficient forced air heating and air-conditioning system and can be used in all seasons of the year.
Like any historic structure, the East End Meeting House requires constant care and attention. In the wake of Hurricane Bob, in August, 1991, the original wooden steeple was nearly blown off. It had to be removed for safety’s sake. At that time, a significant amount of work was undertaken including the strengthening of the bell tower supports, replacement of the wooden-shingle roof, and replacement of some rotted sills. A new steeple, fabricated from aluminum, was installed in 1995. In June of 1996, new entrance doors were installed.
The building’s bicentennial was celebrated in the spring of 1997 with a service of celebration and rededication and the commissioning of a poem from Falmouth poet, Eric Edwards, in recognition of the fact that a poem had been commissioned for the building’s centennial in 1897.
The Meeting House is used regularly for worship by the congregation and is also frequently the venue for chamber music performances. Acoustically the Meeting House is a wonderful and intimate space, seating approximately 350 people, in which to enjoy performances.
Behind the Meeting House sits a cemetery, half of which is a town cemetery, the other half of which belongs to the Congregationalist community that built the Meeting House. While burials still take place there on occasion, the Falmouth Jewish Congregation has taken on the sacred obligation of maintaining this burial ground in perpetuity.
The East End Meeting House of the Falmouth Jewish Congregation is an important, and unique, example of interfaith good will. Its simple beauty continues to inspire those who gather within its walls.
Blanche & Joel D. Seifer Community Center
Completed in 1990, our community center building is the hub of congregational life. Built around a beautiful circular central courtyard, it houses Goode Chapel (our smaller worship space), administrative offices, Speen Hall, kitchen facilities, Righter Library, and the Modest-Singer Beit Sefer wing. A full array of solar panels is mounted on the roof. The name of our community center honors the generous commitment of the Seifer family. Speen Hall is available for function rentals.
Named in memory of Reva Cohen Goode, our chapel serves as our main worship space. With flexible seating and a capacity of 100, the chapel is used for a variety of lifecycle events, as well as special programs and presentations.
Membership at FJC brings the privilege of access to the many and varied materials in our Righter Library and to other resources available through FJC.
We encourage use of:
- The Righter Library (current and classic books, CDs, DVDs, magazines)
- The FJC website (including links to other organizations)
- Learning materials / handouts in the hallway outside the library
- Consultation with the Rabbi and Director of Lifelong Learning
Falmouth Jewish Cemetery: the Cape’s only free-standing Jewish cemetery
The Falmouth Jewish Cemetery adjoins the grounds of the Falmouth Jewish Congregation’s Community Center building at 7 Hatchville Road in East Falmouth.
As Cape Cod’s only freestanding Jewish cemetery, it is open to all members of the Jewish community, as well as their immediate families. The cemetery has both traditional sections and sections intended for interfaith families. Congregation membership is not required.
The spacious, peaceful, grounds are surrounded on three sides by woodlands, with wide paths for easy access to each grave-site. There is ample off-street parking. We encourage you to come by at any time to view the cemetery. If you are interested in meeting with or talking to a member of the cemetery committee regarding the purchase of plots, or if you have any questions, please call 508-540-0602, or use the contact form on this website, to schedule an appointment.
Mitzvah Day 2018
The Falmouth Jewish Congregation’s Women of Reform Judaism (Sisterhood) maintains a Judaica shop offering a small selection of mezuzot and seasonally offering a full selection of Chanukah candles, menorot and holiday items for children.
The shop, located in the Seifer Community Center building, is open during regular office hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.