Overbrook Park is a neighborhood behind the West Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It was founded around the 1940s on the site of a former farm. For a long time, it had a large Jewish population. It used to have one Orthodox synagogue and one Conservative synagogue. Most of the Jews have moved across City Line Avenue (U.S. 1) into neighboring Penn Wynne in Lower Merion Township. The Jewish community of both sides of the border are considered to be one unit and are connected by an eruv, a wire attached to the telephone and electric poles which allows religious Jews to carry things on Shabbat. The Orthodox Congregation Beth Hamedrosh was founded in 1958 as a branch of Beth Hamedrosh HaGadol in West Philadelphia by Jews fleeing from West Philadelphia. It was first housed in a storefront on Haverford Avenue until they moved into their building of 47 years in 1960 at 7505 Brookhaven Road. In 2000, they purchased a new site in Penn Wynne. Following the sale of their property, they started to use the funds for the construction of a new building on the new site which was completed in the end of May, 2007. In the mean time, they were renting the old building from the new owner, a Black Hebrew congregation. On March 11, 2007, they moved to a temporary site in a former kosher restaurant site on Haverford Avenue where they remained until they moved into the new site in Penn Wynne on May 31, 2007.The Building that housed Beth Hamedrosh is now Temple Kefarym, A black hebrew Congregation. The Conservative Congregation Beth T'fillah, founded in 1948, closed down in the Fall of 2006 and merged with Adath Israel in Merion, Lower Merion Township due a lack of sufficient membership. The building that housed Beth T'fillah is now Overbrook Park Church of Christ. The only organized Jewish establishments in Overbrook Park that remain are a kosher pizza store, a kosher bakery, a kosher fish and produce store, and a kosher bagel store, all centered around City Line Avenue and Haverford Avenue in a shopping center and across the street. The demographic transformation in Overbrook Park over the past few decades has been astounding. In 1990, figures showed the population to be over 90% white. In the mid 1990s, the neighborhood started to become majority black. By 2000, the neighborhood's population had become nearly 60% black.
Overbrook Park West Philly
by Dave WCA August 05, 2009
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