Jewish Museum & Cultural Center

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Welcome to Chevra T'helim

Chevra T'helim Synagogue is now known as the Jewish Museum & Cultural Center.

This rare surviving example of Eastern European  Jewish Orthodoxy is located at the main entrance to the City of Portsmouth, VA
It is a place where visitors from home and around the world can celebrate and learn about the Jewish history, faith, and culture.

The Jewish Museum & Cultural Center houses artifacts and exhibits that reflect the history of the Hampton Roads / Tidewater Jewish Community.

On Display is an eighteenth century Torah Scroll rescued from a synagogue in Trebic, Czechoslavakia. That synagogue was a victim of the Holocaust.

President’s Message (Summer 2016) 

We Are Moving Forward!


     The Jewish Museum and Cultural Center (JMCC) is now entering its 8th year,      and we are very active.  Our Board has recently completed a Strategic Planning  Exercise to help center our thinking for the coming years. We would like to  communicate to you in a more immediate way concerning our latest Action Items.
  So here they are:


To address the future of the JMCC via Long Range Planning

To provide marketing and special events surrounding our new Immigration Exhibit

To involve a younger segment of the population in our ongoing activities

Other news about our recent activities:

 We have recently acquired a small parcel of land, at 617 Effingham Street, immediately south of our existing historic synagogue structure. This purchase will enable us to have additional open space as a buffer on the County Street side of our existing building, as well as more exterior grounds for future outdoor programming and landscaping.

New handrails are being added to our main entry stair to make access easier for all visitors.  We will still maintain the temporary side ramp and entrance for those needing it, until such time as we can provide a permanent handicapped entrance, in conjunction with a new building addition to our north.

 Finally, we intend to make our Immigration Exhibit ready to travel by the end of this year, which has the additional benefit of raising awareness of our existence, beyond our immediate vicinity.

 Whether you have recently joined us as a member, or are a returning, long-time supporter, I thank you for your support.  You are the real reason that we exist.  Without your dedication and loyalty, there would be no historic structure, which features recurring programs to honor those who came before us. Please help us keep moving forward in any way you can. 


Richard Rivin

Richard Rivin, President

 Donations or memberships may be made payable to JMCC, P.O. Box 7962, Portsmouth, VA. 23707; or by Visa or Mastercard, or Pay Pal under donate tab or by phone                                    call: 757-391-9266, Tuesday – Thursday, 10AM to 2 PM)

President’s Message (Summer 2015)

Now You Can Help Endow Tidewater’s Jewish History

The mission of “The Friends of Chevra T’helim,” the organization responsible for preserving and enlivening the structure, now known as the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center, is: “to create an environment where visitors and members of the Hampton Roads community can celebrate and learn about Jewish history, faith, and culture. Through use of the historic and restored synagogue structure (formerly Chevra T’helim), the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center will serve as a center for educational and cultural events.”

We are a non-profit charitable organization, under the IRS designation 501 (c) 3. This means that all contributions received from donors are fully deductible on personal income tax returns. We have recently received a generous bequest, now managed by the Southeast Virginia Community Foundation (SEVACF), which has been set aside as an Endowment Fund. This Fund is sequestered, and we can only draw from the interest generated by it.

It is important to understand where we came from, and what we did along the way to now. Your additional gifts to our Endowment Fund will help us preserve our past history for future generations.  Also your gifts will save the stories which will enlighten future generations.

Please consider adding to our JMCC Endowment Fund, through outright donations to this fund, or through bequests to us, through your will or estate plan.

For more information, please contact us by phone, at 757-391-9266, by E-mail at jmccportsmouth@gmail, or by snail mail, at P.O. Box 7962, Portsmouth, VA.  23707. All inquiries are confidential and at no obligation.


Richard Rivin

Richard Rivin, President

Donations or memberships may be made payable to JMCC, P.O. Box 7962, Portsmouth, VA. 23707; or by Visa or Mastercard, or Pay Pal under donate tab or by phone                                    call: 757-391-9266, Tuesday – Thursday, 10AM to 2 PM)

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