Members of Congregation Bais Abraham, 6166 Delmar. By Denny Silverstein 1973 St Louis Jewish Light.
In November of 1894 Bais Abraham was chartered with a membership of twenty-five people and a place for services on 7th Street between Cole and Franklin. By 1904 the synagogue had grown and found larger quarters a few blocks west at 14th and Carr. Bais Abraham served its Orthodox community at this location for twenty-five years.As its members moved from downtown to the western parts of the city, the synagogue followed them. In 1929 Bais Abraham relocated to a building at Goodfellow and Wells. The Jewish community’s westward migration slowly and steadily continued, and by 1960 Bais Abraham had a congregation of only eleven people. In 1961 they sold the building and seriously considered dissolving the congregation. However, staunch members launched a recruitment program. About 250 families responded, and a new location was acquired at 6166 Delmar. Bais Abraham was so successful in its perseverance that in 1962 the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations awarded the synagogue the Distinguished Community Service Award as an important house of prayer.In 1973 Bais Abraham moved again, this time some eight blocks west on Delmar, to University City. The building, at 6910 Delmar, had been sold by Tpheris Israel Chevra Kadisha when TICK moved to its new synagogue in west county. At about the same time Beth Tephilah, the only Orthodox congregation in Clayton, had a declining membership and a building scheduled for demolition. The rabbi and the remaining members moved to Bais Abraham.In the late 1980s membership began to dwindle again, but since about 1995 an influx of younger families, interest from students at nearby Washington University, and the hiring of the first full-time rabbi brought about a renaissance that is affirming Bais Abraham’s future in service to both Orthodox and interfaith families and individuals in the eclectic University City neighborhood.