Ohavi Zedek, established in 1876, is the oldest Jewish congregation in Vermont, initially united a group of itinerant peddlers from Cekiske, Lithuania (outside Kovno). The first synagogue Ohavi Zedek was built in 1887. The building is located at Archibald and Hyde Streets in Burlington. In 1952, the congregation moved to its present home on North Prospect Street and the old synagogue was sold to the Congregation Ahavath Gerim.
The art historian Sam Gruber described the 1952 building like this:
"The synagogue.. exemplifies many of the best characteristics of what I consider the second phase of post-war American modernism. Ohavi Zedek exhibits a fusion of European rationalism and American vernacular form and feeling. For one thing, unlike so many modern synagogues, this one has traditional roofs with sloping sides - very sensible for Vermont's snowy weather (perhaps a nod to the gable front of the congregation's previous home). The gable-fronted entrance that faces the street fits in size and style with much of the residential architecture on the street. The synagogue is one of only a handful of synagogues in the United States and in the world - designed by a woman. Ruth Reynolds Freeman, was a prominent modernist in charge of design at FFF. The synagogue resembles some schools of the period and this is not surprising since Ruth Freeman was also in charge of the FFFs work at the University of Vermont and she oversaw the firm's design of many Vermont public schools." [Sam Gruber, Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington]