CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 21, 2005 ᾰ Cape Girardeau’s B’Nai Israel Synagogue was recently added to the National Register of Historical Places and featured in the December 2004 issue of the National Parks magazine after a student at Southeast Missouri State University wrote the nomination for inclusion.
The original nomination for including the synagogue in the register was written by Melinda Winchester of Jackson, Mo., a student in the historic preservation program at Southeast Missouri State University. Winchester also wrote the nomination for the H & H building at Broadway and Fountain streets. The synagogue, at 126 S. Main, is one of only eight locations mentioned in the article.
Dr. Steven Hoffman, associate professor of history at Southeast, coordinates the historic preservation program. He and his students have been instrumental in local historic preservation efforts.
“There are 17 Cape Girardeau properties individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places,” Hoffman said. “Nine of them have resulted from the work of students in my classes.”
Hoffman said the addition of the B’Nai Israel Synagogue to the register occurred some time ago, but its mention in the National Parks magazine is a significant honor.
“Getting the picture and the write-up in that publication is something,” he said. “Of all the historic places, they chose to highlight eight, and it was one of the eight.”