June 18, 2007 at 1:00 am

Temple Beth El lives in Detroit landmarks

To say that there are no synagogues on Woodward misses the point.

While Judaism is no longer practiced in a shulalong the 27 miles of Woodward Avenue, Temple Beth El, the oldest Jewish congregation in Metro Detroit, lives on along the thoroughfare in different forms.

The older, former Temple Beth El, built in 1903, now serves as the Bonstelle Theatre; its impressive row of columns were removed when Woodward was widened.

The newer, former Temple Beth El is now owned by the Little Rock Baptist Church. It opened in 1922, and the last Jewish service was in 1973.

Both buildings, designed by legendary Detroit architect Albert Kahn, are considered architectural gems and reflect the growing affluence of the Jewish community amid the city's industrial boom.

Carved inside the colonnade of the younger, former Temple Beth El are the words: "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people."

Gregg Krupa

The Bonstelle Theatre was formerly the first Temple Beth El, built in 1903. (John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)