Sumter's Jewish community, dating to 1815, has long been one of the largest and most influential in inland S.C. Mark Solomons, Franklin J. Moses, and Montgomery Moses brought their families to Sumter District from the old and well-established Jewish community in Charleston. Other families, from Spain, Germany, Poland, Russia, and other European nations, followed. Two organizations founded shortly after the Civil War would later join to form a congregation.
The Hebrew Cemetery Society was founded in 1874, the Sumter Hebrew Benevolent Society was founded before 1881, and the two societies agreed to merge that year. A formal merger in 1895 created the Sumter Society of Israelites, the official name of Congregation Sinai. The first synagogue, a frame building constructed by 1900, burned. It was replaced in 1913 by this Moorish Revival brick synagogue, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.