Mt. Sinai’s history is a true slice of Americana. It is the story of immigrants adapting their traditions to American life, and of their children giving this handiwork a truly American form. Jews first came to Wausau in 1873, and by the turn of the century was a small, but thriving group of merchants and businessmen. Mt. Sinai Congregation, a reform synagogue, was founded in 1914 and located in the old Universalist Church on the corner of 5th and McClellan. In 1917, Beth Israel, an Orthodox synagogue, was founded nearby. Our Mt. Sinai has its roots in both institutions.
As times changed, so did the Jewish community. In 1944 the congregations took up residency together as Mt Sinai, a Conservative Congregation at 622 4th Street. In the 1960’s, Mt. Sinai became a Reform congregation.
In 1991, our modern building was constructed at 910 West Randolph Street in Wausau.
Improved roads and expanding Jewish populations in Marshfield, Stevens Point, and Minocqua have transformed this small Wausau synagogue into a North Central Wisconsin regional center for Jewish worship, education, and community. We have over 90 member families living in 7 counties. Our membership is extremely diverse including: business professionals, government employees, academics, medical personnel, musicians, teachers, and many retired individuals. An increasing number of members who have converted to Judaism have become important contributors to Mt. Sinai’s strength and energy. Mt. Sinai is affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism.
Historic Synagogue in Stevens Point
The historic Beth Israel Synagogue in Stevens Point was donated to the Portage County Historical Society in 1985. It is now a museum for display of Judaica and various aspects of local history. More information can be found at the Portage County Historical Society.