top of page

What is the RIJM Capital Campaign?

Rhode Island is home to some of the country's oldest remaining historic synagogues, with a rich history of Jewish immigration and culture. The RIJM Capital Campaign will help to create a public showcase that preserves the exquisite Sons of Jacob synagogue, safeguarding the cultural heritage of RI Jewish immigrants. As both a museum and community center for educational and social gatherings, it is a tangible expression of our history where learners of all faiths can appreciate the past as we invest in a flourishing future. 

Letter From Our President 


The founders of the Sons of Jacob Synagogue had a vision: a soaring edifice in the North End of Providence that would be a symbol of their prosperity and place in the new world. Having fled the pogroms in Russia and Poland and unrest in Austria in the late 1800s, they were determined to prosper in Providence. I am the daughter of Jewish immigrants who found safety and religious freedom in the United States, so I have a strong firsthand connection to the plight and suffering of these brave souls.

At the time it was built, the Sons of Jacob was not the only synagogue in the neighborhood; the surrounding blocks were filled with Jewish families and businesses. My husband's family were members of this synagogue back in the 1950s, and I would sit with his mother upstairs in the women's gallery before we were married. So, for me, getting involved in this critical, timely project was an easy decision. 


This historical artifact was built by people whose names are being forgotten. If this building is gone, who will remember the countless Jewish immigrants that left their footprint for future generations? We are all descendants of immigrants, and this building is a reminder of what can be done when people just like us build their community and leave their mark. 


As you walk into the building, you sense those who worshipped here. Let them speak to you. Examine the first floor with its murals around the Ark. Look at the names inscribed on the windows and walls. How proud they were of their new-found success! Go upstairs and marvel at the ceiling medallions. View the pictures over the front bimah. Embrace the building’s beauty as you gaze up at the chandelier that adds such gravity and grace to the structure.


The Sons of Jacob synagogue is the last surviving and active synagogue of its era in Providence, but the building that has lasted for over 120 years is in trouble.  We are here to re-purpose, re-imagine and revive this symbol of the immigration experience to inform and inspire the public of all ages. History is the learning blueprint we need to build a better future - please join us in preserving this treasure to honor the voices of generations past.

Warm Regards, 

Shelley Parness 


For Prospective Donors:

A Case for Support

This document provides additional information on the Sons of Jacob Synagogue and our plans for its rehabilitation into the Rhode Island Jewish Museum. Feel free to read and share with your fellow community members who may be interested in supporting this important cause.

How to support the RIJM


You can help today by making a donation to help us achieve our goals! The Rhode Island Jewish Museum is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations in any amount are greatly appreciated and many naming and sponsorship opportunities are available to our sustaining donors.


Donations made by check should be made out to: Rhode Island Jewish Museum, or you can donate directly online using our secure PayPal link to the right. After submitting, you will be redirected to PayPal where you can pay with PayPal or use a Credit Card.


At RIJM, we are always looking for individuals to volunteer their time, expertise, ideas, or anything else you are willing to share with our organization. If you are interested in volunteering for the RIJM, click below to learn more or sign up!

Amazon Smile

If you make purchases through, you can now support the Rhode Island Jewish Museum as a non-profit charity through the Amazon Smile program. Simply click this link to get started.

Stay Connected 

Sign up for our newsletters and follow us on our Facebook page for important Capital Campaign updates, news and events, and more!

Subscribe for Updates

Thank you! You're subscribed.

The Timeline

Like the Sons of Jacob building, the RIJM won’t be built overnight. The timeline below outlines each phase of this process, culminating in a museum where the community can come together to learn, gather, and explore.



    Defining our mission and organization


    Brought in an expert to evaluate repairs and cost


    Capital campaign to complete building renovation


    Ongoing exhibits, staff, and museum programming



    In Progress!


    24 Douglas Ave, Providence, RI

    Get Involved​

    Ready to help out RIJM? Click below to volunteer or donate!

    bottom of page