A shining light of Progressive/Liberal Judaism, Bolton Street Synagogue was founded in 1986 in the Bolton Hill district of Baltimore. Led by John Franken, a Reform rabbi, BSS is known for a diverse membership, openness to inquiry and debate, culture of Jewish experimentation, commitment to social justice in the city of Baltimore, and uncommon warmth.
Outgrowing our old home, we moved into a beautiful new location in the Roland Park neighborhood of Baltimore City. The new building was dedicated on Sunday, December 7, 2003.
As a reminder of where we came from and as a symbol of our past history, a stained glass window from our old synagogue building illuminates our new lobby. The window was designed by Walter Schwarz, one of our founding members, who lived through Kristallnacht on November 9-10, 1938. Following this tragedy, Mr. Schwarz vowed that if he should escape Nazi Germany, he would learn to create and build with glass so he could help to rebuild Jewish life. The star in the window serves as a memorial to the Six Million, even as the window itself represents the enduring vitality of Judaism and the Jewish people.