History of Emanuel Jacob Congregation

History of Emanuel Jacob Congregation


Emanuel Jacob, a combined name of the former Temple Emanuel and B’nai Jacob, was the result of a merger in 1987. Members of both communities worked to develop a congregation with a single purpose. Developing a philosophy of tradition and modernity, the congregation seeks to reach those new to North Central Ohio area as well as those who have not been touched by our programming.


Our building is located at the corner of Cook Road and Larchwood Road in southwest Mansfield, Ohio. Near the interstate, we can reach the larger Jewish communities in Columbus, Cleveland and Akron for additional resources.


We serve members in Ashland, Galion, Crestline, Bucyrus, Shelby and Bellville as well as the Mansfield-Lexington-Ontario area.


In 1870, a few Jewish families established Temple Emanuel in a house near what is now the central city. The congregation grew, finally building on Cook Road in 1946. In 1979, the members moved into B’nai Jacob’s building.


In 1927, another group of families organized a conservative Synagogue and built the present facility in 1958. The only full time Rabbi Temple Emanuel hired was Rabbi Milton Greenwald, an emeritus Rabbi, for just a few years. B’nai Jacob’s first Rabbi was David Rub, hired in 1927.



The Building


The dedication of the 1958 structure saw the members of B’nai Jacob move from a house into the then modern facility on Cook Road. The building went through extensive remodeling in 1991 to update the heating and air-conditioning systems, add storage, modernize the sanctuary and social halls and improve the Torah School wing. In addition, a kosher kitchen, library and Judaica shop are housed there.



Our Spiritual Leader


Morah Nancy Shimer is the spiritual leader of Emanuel Jacob Congregation (morah is Hebrew for teacher). She has been a Jewish educator for over 35 years, teaching at various times in Jewish Community Centers, and at Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Jewish congregations and schools. She has taught all ages, from preschoolers to senior citizens, and she has taught all Judaic subjects, including Torah, Jewish history, rabbinics, holidays and customs, theology, liturgy, Hebrew, and Israel. She has also been a service/song leader for many years, and she co-led the High Holy Day services at Emanuel Jacob with Rabbi Emeritus Michael Oppenheimer for 10 years, before his retirement in the summer of 2017.

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