Before the turn of the century Sherman, Texas was a busier
and more populous city than Dallas. The Jewish community was already
thriving just after the Civil War with a large proportion of German
Jews who had moved west from the earlier commercial center of
Jefferson and other points in East Texas.
This cozy little temple was built in 1950 as the local air
force base swelled just prior to the Korean war. The social hall
in the rear was completed in 1989. Its architectural modesty has
preserved it from the vicissitudes of fashion which have condemned
many modernist structures of the same vintage.
Beyond the foyer/utility/wc area in the front the building
splits into a sanctuary (shown) and a lounge and kitchen divided
by a folding partition. A very pleasant side-yard surrounded by
mature trees makes this an especially attractive architectural
The congregation met in the Carnegie Library for many years,
and Ray Tillman conducted a Saturday school in her home. After
the Temple was built in 1950 the Saturday school became a Sunday
school. There was a net loss of one student, the product of a
mixed marriage, who then had to choose between Jewish and Episcopalian
These two early indicate the relative age of the Sherman community, which by Texas standards is fairly ancient. Of the many families who once resided in or passed through the town only 22 remain.