ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — A Las Vegas synagogue that is believed to be the first Jewish place of worship in the New Mexico Territory is back in the hands of the Jewish community.
The Albuquerque Journal reported Monday the Las Vegas Jewish Community crowd-sourced enough funds to buy Temple Montfiore last month from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
One of the oldest Catholic dioceses in the United States, it has been forced to sell properties to help pay a settlement agreement that resulted from a clergy sex abuse scandal.
The synagogue was sold to the diocese in the 1950s because there were very few Jewish people in the region. In recent years, the building has been a place of worship for Catholic college students.
When the Las Vegas Jewish Community became aware it was up for sale and that the deadline was in September, they turned to GoFundMe.
The group raised over $300,000 in just a few weeks—more money than they actually needed.
Diana Presser, a board member of the Las Vegas Jewish Community, says it was fitting the sale closed during Rosh Hashana last week.
“I led the services for the first Sabbath of the new year in a building we now own,” Presser said.