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About Our Congregation

Committed to Jewish Enlightenment

Located in the heart of St. Louis, UCity Shul is a vibrant congregation dedicated to serving the spiritual, educational, and cultural needs of the surrounding Jewish community. Since 1996, we’ve offered the community a wide range of religious services and activities with emphasis on Orthodox Judaism. Whether you want to pray, study, or join one of our wide range of activities our doors are always open.

our services

Vibrant and uplifting nussach on Shabbos, Yom Tov or just about anytime

Whether you're a Torah Scholar or just starting your first steps into the infinite Torah wisdom The UCity Shul will always welcome you and your family joining our services. Our members and Rabbonim will always be willing to help bring your yiddishkeit to the next level, providing the support for kavanah during tefilah. 

history of the shul

Vibrant and uplifting nussach on Shabbos, Yom Tov or just about anytime

The historic roots of U. City Shul date back to 1888 when a small group of Russian immigrants established a much-needed synagogue and burial society known as the “Chesed Shel Emes Society.” The Shul was the home of the Chief Rabbis of the United Orthodox Jewish Community, Rabbis Menachem Zvi Eichenstein, OBM and Rabbi Shalom Rivkin, OBM.  Rabbi Rivkin was the last Chief Rabbi of any city in the United States.


The Shul was located on the intersection of Euclid Ave and Page Blvd in 1919, and remained there until the early 1950s.


In 1950 the Chesed Shel Emeth Society in St Louis acquires the space on 700 North and South Rd in University City to build a new synagogue. By 1958 a new wing is added to the building and membership remained steady. Many prominent St. Lousians were Bar Mitzvah and married here. But then after several decades and following a westward movement of the jewish community, membership began aging and declining rapidly. There was no longer a consistent minyan and the building itself had fallen into major disrepair. 


In 1996, through the inspiration and encouragement of Rabbi Noach Weinberg z”l, the Shul was purchased and became dedicated to outreach. Through the combined efforts of two visionary leaders, Rabbi Elazar Grunberger and Mr. Charlie Deutsch, new life was breathed into the building, re-establishing it as an outreach Shul catering to all segments of the community. The Shul became a center for outreach and changed its name to Sha’arei Chesed.


In 2006, Sha’arei Chesed merged with Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Congregation, the oldest surviving Orthodox Shul west of the Mississippi River. For several years, the Shul under the leadership and direction of Rabbi Grunberger became stabilized and is now the last “new” Shul successfully created in St. Louis. 


In 2009 Rabbi Grunberger rebranded the Shul name to become known in the community as the U.City Shul. In 2011, Rabbi Grunberger received an invitation and special offer to join the management team of Aish HaTorah International in Jerusalem, and made Aliyah with his wife Brocha and youngest son Dovid in September 2011. In 2012, Rabbi Grunberger moved to the fast growing city of Modi’in and began Lev Modi’in, an outreach/inreach program, Kollel and Shul in Modi’in, Israel.


Before making Aliyah, Rabbi Grunberger embarked on a massive campaign to renovate the Shul and at the same time, approached Rabbi Menachem Tendler, a member of the St. Louis Kollel, to assume the pulpit as Rabbi of the Shul. Rabbi Tendler accepted the offer in July 2011 and Rabbi Grunberger became officially the Rabbi Emeritus of Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Sha’arei Chesed — U.City Shul. Over time, Rabbi Tendler has risen to the occasion to assume the responsibilities of leading the Shul in new directions.


Under Rabbi Tendler’s leadership and direction, Shul involvement and membership has grown exponentially. Opportunities for learning and spiritual growth are mushrooming, the davening is infused with new energy and excitement, attendance is growing by the week as men and women of all ages and backgrounds are coming together to enjoy and experience the feeling of camaraderie and spiritual growth that permeates the Shul.


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