Congregation Rodeph Shalom of Philadelphia, founded in 1795, is the oldest Ashkenazic synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. It is noted historically for its leadership of the Reform movement among American Hebrew congregations, for its spiritual influence upon international Jewry, and for its unique 1927 Moorish Revival building on North Broad Street, on the National Register of Historic Places for many decades.
Rodeph Shalom Today:
In 2003-4, under Rabbi Kuhn's direction, Rodeph Shalom carried out a major restoration of its main sanctuary. The entire building was rewired for modern electricity requirements and the air conditioning and heating systems replaced with modern equipment. Lighting fixtures were removed, cleaned and restored; ceiling painted and reguilded; wallpaper cleaned; and carpeting and seats replaced. During his successful campaign for the presidency, Barack Obama spoke in the synagogue at Passover, 2008.