In 1907, Jewish inmates serving time at Eastern State had access to rabbinical council, but had no formal place of worship. By 1925, there were 34 Jewish inmates incarcerated, making them a small but growing presence in the larger prison population. In fall of 1927, construction began on the Eastern State Penitentiary Synagogue in the former exercise yards of Cellblock 7. It is believed to be the first prison synagogue in America. By 1929, the Jewish inmate population - now numbering 49 - was worshiping here.
The Synagogue has since been completely restored.