The Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas (HCST) is the oldest synagogue building in continuous use under the American flag, the second oldest in the Western Hemisphere, and only one of five synagogues in the world with sand on the floor.

A truly unique congregation.     

mockup of hebrew congregation of st thomas website featuring a desktop, tablet, mobile phone and laptop

The Challenge

A information-packed, 35+ page eCommerce website. HCST and its community were hit hard by two category-5 hurricanes, just two weeks apart in 2017; followed closely by a pandemic that stopped all in-person services and life-cycle events, this synagogue needed a way to continue to perform services online. In addition, their gift shop, an integral part of how they raised money, needed to be able to sell their products online.

With members all over the world, they also needed a way for members to donate or pay their membership fees online. In planning for the post-pandemic future they also wanted to be able to have future members be able to easily access information and forms for upcoming life cycle events like weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, etc.

Finally, with local members unable to visit in person, they needed an online calendar that the Rabbi could edit from his Google calendar so members could stay informed about upcoming events.


  • eCommerce site
  • Robust Information Website
  • Payment Gateway for Donations & Memberships
  • Online form integration
  • Events calendar synced with Google calendar

The Solution

We began by focusing on the Gift Shop. With over 250 products, we built a robust eCommerce shop complete with featured and on-sale items, unique categories, tags, and payment gateway that allowed them to begin to sell products immediately at the start of the pandemic.

Then we focused on linking to weekly Zoom sessions to allow for services online as well as integrating their website calendar to sync with the Rabbi’s Gmail Calendar so the events would update automatically whenever he made changes.

We then shifted our focus to building out the remaining 30+ pages of information and integrating custom Google Forms, links within Life Cycle event pages to relevant products in the gift shop. We also packed each page with valuable information on history, the Jewish religion, resources for Shabbat at Home, a guide to services, and access to their monthly bulletin.

Are you ready to take your website to the next level?

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