Search
Print
Share
Your Selected Item:
1 \ 4
Removed
Added
Would you like to help us improving the content? Send us your suggestions

The Jewish Community of Philadelphia

Philadelphia

A city in Pennsylvania, USA.

The city of Philadelphia is the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. With a population of approximately 1.5 million people (2010), it is the fifth-most-populous city in the country. In 2009, Philadelphia was home to a Jewish population of over 215,000. In the Greater Philadelphia area are more than 115,000 Jewish households

Jews came from New Amsterdam to trade in the Delaware valley area as early as the 1650's, long before William Penn founded the colony of Pennsylvania in 1682. Permanent Jewish settlement began in 1737 with the arrival of Nathan Levy, his brother Isaac and their young cousin David Franks, and Bernard and Michael Gratz. Services were conducted early in the 1740s, but it is probable that no organizational structure existed until about 1761, when a Torah scroll was borrowed for the high holy days from Shearith Israel congregation of New York City.

A majority of Philadelphia's Jews supported the revolutionary cause, a few were Tories, among them David Franks, who was expelled by the continental authorities in 1780 for his pro-British sympathies. During the war Jews were active as suppliers of the troops, as brokers for the government (e.g., Haym Salomon), and as military figures. After the evacuation of the city by the British in 1778, Philadelphia became a center for Jewish refugees from Charleston, Savannah, and New York City. In 1790 the leaders of Mikveh Israel congregation were successful in their attempts to change the requirement in the Pennsylvania constitution of 1776 that officeholders take an oath swearing belief in both the old and new testaments.

It is estimated that at the time of the 1820 census there were about 500 Jews in Philadelphia, of whom a little less than half were immigrants. Some of these foreign born felt uncomfortable at the Sephardi services of Mikveh Israel, and in about 1795 instituted their own Ashkenazi form of worship, under the name German Hebrew society. In 1802 they formally organized themselves as Rodeph Shalom congregation. Philadelphia thus became the first city in the nation with two congregations, and the first in the entire western hemisphere to break the unitary pattern of one Minhag in each community. In 1848 there were about 4,000 Jews in the city.

Beginning with the election of Isaac Leeser to the pulpit of Mikveh Israel in 1829, and continuing until about 1906 when the American Jewish committee was formed in New York City in partnership with Philadelphia Jews, the Philadelphia Jewish community was innovating, pioneering, and, in many ways, the most influential Jewry in the U.S. Such creative religious and lay leaders of Philadelphia as Leeser, Sabato Morais, Abraham Hart, Moses Aaron Dropsie, Mayer Sulzberger, and Joseph Krauskopf were as concerned with the future and fate of Jewish life throughout the country as they were with developments on the local scene.

In 1845 Leeser organized the American Jewish publication society in Philadelphia, and, upon its failure, and that of a New York based successor organization, the present Jewish publication society was formed in 1888. Leeser's Hebrew Education Society High School, the first in the land, was founded in 1849. He also opened the first Jewish Theological Seminary in the country, Maimonides College, in Philadelphia in 1867. The first U.S. Jewish teachers' college, Gratz College, established under the provisions of the will of Hyman Gratz (1776-1857), began in 1897. In Philadelphia, too, Dropsie College (later University), the first post-graduate institution for Jewish learning in the world, was opened in 1907, bringing to Philadelphia as its president the learned Cyrus Adler, who for several decades was the representative of U.S. Jewry.

Nowhere did as wide a gulf exist as in Philadelphia between German and east European Jews, between reform and orthodox, and between Zionists and anti-Zionists. Within the field of philanthropy itself, family and business associations of the German Jews, and anti-, or at least non-Zionist views continued to dominate the federation of Jewish charities (F.J.C.) Until the end of World War II. The German Jews kept aloof from the newer immigrants. Philadelphia, essentially a conservative city, preserved traditional characteristics dating back to colonial times; it also maintained social barriers which excluded Jews longer than in most other cities. In this, perhaps, lies the explanation for its Jewish community maintaining its own exclusions and distinctions longer than in most other cities. It was probably not a coincidence that the anti-Zionist American council for Judaism (A.C.J.; 1943) was founded by Philadelphia rabbis and laymen.

In the 1930's under the impact of the depression, of overseas needs provoked by Hitlerism, and of the simultaneous rise of U.S. Anti-Semitism, the Philadelphia Jewish community had begun to coalesce. Perceptive leaders realized that organizational divisiveness was inefficient and unproductive; that coordination of effort and expertise were essential; and that professionalization required consolidation. Beginning in 1944 with the merger of several children's agencies into the association for Jewish children, there ensued in swift succession a number of three Jewish hospitals merged into the Albert Einstein Medical Center in 1951, followed by the erection of the York house residential centers for the healthy aged in 1960 and 1964; old hostilities and loyalties were overcome through the final merger of the federation of Jewish charities and the allied Jewish appeal into the federation of Jewish agencies (F.J.A.). By 1970 most of the old institutional rivalries had been forgotten. Money
For Israel was raised and bonds for Israel were sold in the very synagogues whose former rabbis had created the anti-Zionist A.C.J. Although a local synagogue council had failed in the 1950's, a flourishing board of rabbis testified to increased cooperation among conservative, orthodox, and reform rabbis. Jews were still rigorously and consciously excluded from most of the town and country clubs which represented the last strongholds of old Philadelphia "society". In 1968 the new reconstructionist rabbinical college in conjunction with Temple University was opened under the direction of Mordecai Kaplan.

There were over 100 congregations in the Philadelphia area (1970), of which approximately 50 were conservative, 45 orthodox, and 15 reform. While two of the largest reform congregations in the country are located in the Philadelphia area, the dominant religious thrust of the community is conservative. A resurgent interest in orthodoxy has been stimulated through the work of a vigorous branch of the Lubavich movement and by a nationally known Talmudic Yeshivah established in Philadelphia by students of rabbi Aaron Kotler

Early 21st Century

By the end of World War II, nearly half the Jewish population lived in the city’s center. At this time, many began to move into the suburbs. During the 1970s, the Jewish community was mainly concentrated in the neighborhoods of Center City, the Greater Northeast, Elkins Park, West Oak Lane, Mt. Airy and Wynnefield. Other communities began to develop in places such as Levittown and Norristown. Entering the 1990s, 48% of Jewish households remained in the city’s urban center, however large numbers continued to spread into suburban areas. Overbrook Park for example was once home to a large Jewish population but by 2000, many had left, leaving behind a small enclave of Orthodox Jews and a number of kosher food establishments.

Continued dispersion of Philadelphia’s Jewish community reinforced the need to establish new congregations and organizations. Throughout the Greater Philadelphia area are more than 95 different congregations representing the many movements within Judaism. There are over 30 orthodox, 25 conservative, 21 reform, 9 reconstructionist, 5 traditional and 4 independent synagogues.

All over Philadelphia are organizations which serve the needs of their respective Jewish communities. In nearly every district, from Center City to Bucks County are several organizations, committees and foundations which offer support, programs and financial aid. Some focus on local matters while others work in conjunction with national and international organizations. These include the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Labor Committee, the American Jewish Committee and the National Council of Jewish Women. There are also a number of organizations which offer services to Holocaust survivors and war veterans such as the Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, the Jewish War Veterans of the USA and the Holocaust Memorial Committee. A number of organizations such as the Jewish Relief Agency, JEVS Human Services and Social Justice, the Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia and the Chayah Mushka Gemilus Chesed Free Loan Society provide financial support to impoverished Jews as well as general services for children and families. Additionally, Philadelphia is home to two major Jewish health care facilities, the Albert Einstein Medical Center and the Abramson Center for Jewish life, a place which specializes in geriatric and home health services.

The Jewish community of Philadelphia is well known for its philanthropy and commitment to social causes. Since the 1960s, several charitable organizations were developed to fund programs which provide food, shelter, medical services and financial aid to those in need. Such charities include the Areivim Legacy Community Project, the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society, the Mitzvah Food Project, the Hebrew Free Loan Society and the Krakauer-Yampoler Beneficial Society.

While many congregations offer their own education programs, there are several Jewish schools located throughout Philadelphia. In the entire state of Pennsylvania are more than 40 private Jewish schools. In Philadelphia are approximately 6 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 3 high schools. Academic institutions with Jewish education programs are also offered at the university level. They include the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the Feinberg Center for American Jewish History at Temple and Gratz College, an institute of Jewish education founded in 1895.

Outside of academia are organizations and programs geared towards students and young adults. Among these are various social groups, both religious and secular, such as the Jewish Business Network, Jewish Social Policy Action Network, the Shalom Center, B’nai Chaim Social and the Lubavitch Center.

Found throughout the city of Philadelphia are many memorials and landmarks which commemorate the Jewish community’s long history in the area. There are also those that memorialize the Holocaust; one memorial in particular is on 17th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway –a statue in honor of the six million Jewish martyrs. Philadelphia is home to two Jewish museums, the National Museum of American Jewish History and the Holocaust Awareness Museum & Education Center. Located at the University of Pennsylvania is the Holocaust Visual History Archive, a common tourist destination. Other notable landmarks include the Beth Sholom Synagogue Foundation, the Hebrew Mutual Burial Association, the Perelman Center for Jewish Life and Congregation Mikveh Israel. Officially known as the Kahal Kadosh Mikveh Israel, it is among the oldest Jewish congregations in Philadelphia. It was established in 1740 by Jewish patriots of the American revolutionary war including Haym Solomon, Jonas Phillips and members of the Gratz Family.

Like all major cities in the United States with a substantial Jewish population, Philadelphia has its own Jewish media outlets. The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is an online volunteer-based newspaper which has served the Jewish community since 2005. The Jewish Exponent is an award-winning newspaper which has been in circulation since 1887. It is the second-oldest Jewish newspaper in the United States.

Place Type:
City
ID Number:
229544
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Nearby places:

Related items:
Goldstein, Israel (1896-1986), rabbi, author and Zionist leader, born in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Goldstein was ordained in the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1916, and then he was the rabbi of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in New York, the second oldest synagogue in the city, from 1918 until his immigration to Israel in 1960.

During his term as president of the American Jewish Congress (1951-1958) the organization vigorously opposed McCarthyism and supported equal rights for African Americans. He was head of the New York Board of Rabbis, the Jewish National Fund, and the Zionist Organization of America, and helped found the National Conference of Christians and Jews. He was one of the founders of Brandeis University. Between 1961 and 1971 Goldstein was World Chairman of Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal.

The Israel Goldstein Synagogue on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was built in his honor. The Israel Goldstein Youth Village in Jerusalem was also named for him.

Among his published works are "Century of Judaism in New York", "American Jewry Comes of Age".
Jazz saxophonist. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1942 he played with various jazz bands, including those of Stan Kenton and Jimmy Dorsey. He became famous in 1947 as a member of the “Four Brothers” group of saxophonists in the Woody Herman band. In 1949 he formed his own band and became a leading representative of Cool Jazz and the modern mainstream. In the early 1960s he promoted the bossa nova, a new style based on a blend of Brazilian melodies, American jazz and improvisation.
Blitzstein, Marc (1905-1964) , composer. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) to a wealthy family, Blitzstein studied music at the University of Pennsylvania and composition at the Curtis Institute for Music. In 1936 he went to Paris, where he studied with Nadia Boulanger, and in 1937 he furthered his studies with Arnold Schoenberg in Berlin. In 1940 he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. During World War II, Blitzstein served with the American Air Force in England. Blitzstein died of head injuries suffered in an attack by a group of sailors, while on the island of Martinique.
His works, often politically motivated, include the operas THE CRADLE WILL ROCK (1937) and NO FOR AN ANSWER (1941). He also composed the symphony FREEDOM MORNING (1945), the cantata AIRBORNE (1946), and the musical drama THE LITTLE FOXES (1949). He left an unfinished opera on the theme of Sacco and Vanzetti. Died in Port-de-France, Martinique.
Cantor. Born in Hamburg, Germany, he studied with Yossele Rosenblatt and became famous as a cantor in Berlin. He made many recordings, some of which were later destroyed by the Nazis. In 1938 he left Germany, going first to Paris and then, in 1939, to the United States. He was the great-nephew of composer Louis Lewandowski. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Ormandy, Eugene (Jeno Blau) (1899-1985), conductor, born in Budapest, Hungary (then part of Austria-Hungary). He was admitted as a pupil to the Budapest Academy at the age of five, the youngest student ever to enter that conservatory. Two years later he made his concert debut as violinist. After studying under Hubay, Ormandy graduated from the Academy with the M.A. degree. In his nineteenth year he was appointed professor of music at the Academy. He made several moderately successful tours of Europe as violinist.

In 1920 he went to the United States, and joined the orchestra of the Capitol Theatre, New York City. It was with the Capitol Theatre Orchestra that he made his official debut as conductor. For several years Ormandy appeared as a conductor of symphony concerts on the radio. In 1930 he was invited to give a guest performance with the New York Philharmonic at the Lewisohn Stadium. He made such a fine impression that one year later, he was invited to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra as a substitute for Arturo Toscanini, who had suddenly fallen ill. His subsequent rise as conductor was meteoric.

In 1931 he became permanent conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, which under his direction became one of the great orchestral organizations in the USA. After five years in Minneapolis, Ormandy was recalled to Philadelphia to succeed Leopold Stokowski as the permanent conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the fall of 1938 Ormandy was given also appointed "music director" of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which he went on to conduct for 44 years. He distinguished himself in guest performances with the Budapest Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Bruckner festivals at Linz, Austria. In 1970 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He retired from full-time music-making in 1980. His last concert was with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York, in 1984.
Ormandy combined an extraordinary memory (he invariably directed his concerts without scores) with a remarkable knowledge of orchestral resources. He was a born conductor in his capacity to dominate his players and to convey to them his slightest wishes. In a bewilderingly short time he developed maturity, discrimination. scholarship.
Ormandy did not associate with the Jewish community.
Dropsie, Moses Aaron (1821-1905), lawyer, businessman and philanthropist, born to a Dutch-Jewish father and a Christian mother. He converted to Judaism at the age of 14 and went on to become a firm advocate of traditional Judaism. He began life as a store-boy, later learned watchmaking, and afterward at the age of 28 studied law under Benjamin Harris Brewster. After his admission to the bar in 1851 he took an active interest in public affairs, was the candidate of the Whig party for mayor of the Northern Liberties district of Philadelphia, PA, in 1852, and, like most members of the party, was strongly opposed to slavery.

Dropsie was instrumental in the development of railways in Philadelphia; and after acting as president of the Lombard and South Street Passenger Railroad (1862-1882), he became in 1888 president of the Green and Coates Street Passenger Railroad. In 1870 he became chairman of the commission appointed by the legislature for the construction of a bridge over the Schuylkill River.

Dropsie took a deep interest in Jewish charitable and educational work. He was a director of the Hebrew Fuel Society, a member of the board of "adjunta" (directors) of the Sephardi Congregation Mikve Israel. He was one of the charter members, and for more than forty years, an officer of the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia. Dropsie was president of the short-lived Maimonides College, the first Jewish theological seminary in America, from 1867 to 1873. He believed that its failure was due to the refusal of the leaders of the New York Jewish Community to help to finance it. He was president of the Philadelphia branch of the Alliance Israélite Universelle from 1883 and of Gratz College, America's first Jewish college, since its foundation in 1893. He left his fortune to the creation of Dropsie College, the world's only institution exclusively dedicated to post-doctoral research on Jewish Civilization.

Owing to failing eyesight, Dropsie in 1885 retired from the practise of the law. He translated and edited Mackeldey's "Handbook of the Roman Law " (1883), and in addition published (1892) a separate work on "The Roman Law of Testaments, Codicils, and Gifts in the Event of Death” ("Mortis Causa Donationes").

Fuerst (Furst), Moritz (1782-1840), artist and engraver, born in Pezinok near Bratislava (Pressburg, in German; Pozsony, in Hungarian) Slovakia (then part of the Austrian Empire). He was hired by the American consul in Livorno, Italy. After immigrating to the United States in 1807, Fuerst worked as an engraver for the United States Mint in Philadelphia from 1812 to 1839. He received quick recognition and 33 of his patriotic commemoratives and portraits are still issued by this mint. His best-known work was struck in commemoration of the War of 1812. Fuerst produced the first recorded American Jewish medal, the homage on the death in 1816 of the patriot and religious leader Gershom Mendes Seixas (1745–1816). Official portraits were struck by him for US presidents James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Martin Van Buren.

The Hirsch Family.
Left to Right: Meyer, Bessie, Jacob Silberman
with their parents Ida and Michael Hirsch,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA c.1900.
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Marcus Solomon Goldstein, Israel)
Interior View of the Congregation 'Mikveh Israel' Synagogue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Rededicated in 1976; The Original Building was
erected in 1782.
Photo: Labron K. Shuman, USA
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Labron K. Shuman, USA)
New Year greeting card decorated with famous 'Biblical Men'
Postcard, Philadephia, Pennsylvania, USA, 1914
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Shoshana Weber, Israel)
LIGHTING THE SABBATH LIGHT ON SABBATH EVE IN
THE GOLDEN SLIPPER CLUB UPTOWN HOME FOR THE ELDERLY.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, USA 1986.
PHOTO: KAREN R. MOSES, USA
(BETH HATEFUTSOTH PHOTO ARCHIVE,
COURTESY OF KAREN R. MOSES, USA)
Jazz saxophonist. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1942 he played with various jazz bands, including those of Stan Kenton and Jimmy Dorsey. He became famous in 1947 as a member of the “Four Brothers” group of saxophonists in the Woody Herman band. In 1949 he formed his own band and became a leading representative of Cool Jazz and the modern mainstream. In the early 1960s he promoted the bossa nova, a new style based on a blend of Brazilian melodies, American jazz and improvisation.
Husic, Isaac (1876-1939), historian of Jewish philosophy, born in Vasseutinez near Kiev, Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire). In 1888 he was brought to the USA by his parents and settled in Philadelphia. As a youth he was influenced by Rabbi Sabato Morais of the local Sephardi congregation and started to prepared himself for a career as a rabbi. He dropped the idea when he started to study philosophy and law at the University of Pennsylvania.

From 1898 to 1916 he taught at the local Graetz College. In 1911 he was made a member of the faculty of Philosophy of the University of Pennsylvania and became a professor ten years later. In 1916 Husic published “A History of Medieval Jewish Philosophy", a systematic review of the development of Jewish thought throughout the Middle Ages. In 1925 he became editor of the "Jewish Publication Society of America".
Gandz, Solomon (1887–1954), Semitics scholar and historian of mathematics, in Tarnobrzeg, Poland (then in Austria-Hungary). He studied mathematics, Semitics, and rabbinics in Vienna and taught at a Viennese high school from 1915 to 1923. He emigrated to the United States in 1924 and became librarian and instructor in medieval Hebrew and Arabic at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary until 1935. From 1942 until his death he taught the history of Semitic civilization at Dropsie College in Philadelphia.

Gandz's speciality was ancient Oriental mathematics, astronomy, and science and also the Jewish studies of these fields of knowledge during the Middle Ages. Among his works is a translation of "Mishnat ha-Middot", published in 1932 in "Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik, Astronomie und Physik", a second-century Hebrew geometry and its ninth-century Arabic version. Many of his essays were collected and published in "Studies in Hebrew Astronomy and Mathematics" (1970). In Semitics, he contributed an annotated German translation of Imruh al-Qays' sixth-century poems. Gandz was associate editor of the international periodical "Osiris", he also contributed the section on public law to the second volume of "Monumenta Talmudica" (1913). Gandz translated parts of Maimonides' "Mishneh Torah" for the Yale Judaica Series English edition.
Scholar

After a thorough Jewish and general education, he went to the US in 1889. He taught at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, (professor of biblical exegesis) and University of California, Berkeley (Semitic languages). A devoted Zionist, he left Hebrew Union College largely on account of the president's anti-Zionism. From 1914-17 he was chief editor of the Jewish Publication Society of America's translation of the Bible into English. From 1909 until his death Margolis was professor of biblical philology at Dropsie College, Philadelphia. He was the author of many works, many related to the Bible and Hebrew grammar but was most popularly known for his collaboration with Alexander Marx in History of the Jewish People.
Cantor. Born in Hamburg, Germany, he studied with Yossele Rosenblatt and became famous as a cantor in Berlin. He made many recordings, some of which were later destroyed by the Nazis. In 1938 he left Germany, going first to Paris and then, in 1939, to the United States. He was the great-nephew of composer Louis Lewandowski. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Dropsie, Moses Aaron (1821-1905), lawyer, businessman and philanthropist, born to a Dutch-Jewish father and a Christian mother. He converted to Judaism at the age of 14 and went on to become a firm advocate of traditional Judaism. He began life as a store-boy, later learned watchmaking, and afterward at the age of 28 studied law under Benjamin Harris Brewster. After his admission to the bar in 1851 he took an active interest in public affairs, was the candidate of the Whig party for mayor of the Northern Liberties district of Philadelphia, PA, in 1852, and, like most members of the party, was strongly opposed to slavery.

Dropsie was instrumental in the development of railways in Philadelphia; and after acting as president of the Lombard and South Street Passenger Railroad (1862-1882), he became in 1888 president of the Green and Coates Street Passenger Railroad. In 1870 he became chairman of the commission appointed by the legislature for the construction of a bridge over the Schuylkill River.

Dropsie took a deep interest in Jewish charitable and educational work. He was a director of the Hebrew Fuel Society, a member of the board of "adjunta" (directors) of the Sephardi Congregation Mikve Israel. He was one of the charter members, and for more than forty years, an officer of the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia. Dropsie was president of the short-lived Maimonides College, the first Jewish theological seminary in America, from 1867 to 1873. He believed that its failure was due to the refusal of the leaders of the New York Jewish Community to help to finance it. He was president of the Philadelphia branch of the Alliance Israélite Universelle from 1883 and of Gratz College, America's first Jewish college, since its foundation in 1893. He left his fortune to the creation of Dropsie College, the world's only institution exclusively dedicated to post-doctoral research on Jewish Civilization.

Owing to failing eyesight, Dropsie in 1885 retired from the practise of the law. He translated and edited Mackeldey's "Handbook of the Roman Law " (1883), and in addition published (1892) a separate work on "The Roman Law of Testaments, Codicils, and Gifts in the Event of Death” ("Mortis Causa Donationes").
Goldstein, Stephen (1938-2009), professor of procedural law, born in Pennsylvania, USA, to a family of modest means. Goldstein was awarded a law scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania, without which he would not have been able to study, went on to win a succession of prizes from the faculty in recognition of the excellence of his work and graduated in 1962 with first class honours.

He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar the same year and began to practice corporate law. In 1964 Justice Arthur Goldberg of the United States Supreme Court invited him to Washington DC to be his Law Clerk. At this time the Warren Commission was still investigating the assassination of President J.F.Kennedy and Goldstein participated in some aspects of the preparation of its final report. In 1966 he was appointed Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania and by 1972 he was a full professor of procedural law at the same faculty.

In 1973, at the height of the Watergate crisis, he was approached by the Republican National Committee to give a legal opinion of the ramifications and likely procedures of a possible impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

In 1976 Goldstein family decided to make aliya to Israel where he was immediately appointed professor of Procedural Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From the first day at the Hebrew University, Goldstein insisted in giving all his lectures and seminars in Hebrew, in itself an outstanding achievement. He was the first Israeli professor in this field of law and during his career span in Israel of over thirty years he made a significant impact on this aspect of the Israeli legal system. Shortly after taking up his appointment he was requested by the legal committee of the Knesset to outline the provisions of a law for the bringing of class actions in Israel.

Between 1984 and 1987 he was director of the Sacher Institute of Legislative Research and Comparative Law. In 1987-1990 he was the Dean of the University Law Faculty. He was chairman of the Editorial Board of the Israel Law Review, and for 13 years was chairman of the United States-Israel Fulbright Commission which each year provides scholarships for senior students in different fields to spend 1-2 years in the US.

During his career Goldstein was for short periods visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley; at Cambridge University in England in 1984, and at the University of Hong Kong in 1993. In 1998 he was Visiting Professor of European and Comparative Law at the Kellogg College, University of Oxford, England, and he was Visiting Professor, Chuo University, Tokyo in 1998-1999. He was a member of the executive committee of the International Association of Procedural Law and a member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. He conducted research into various fields of law including fundamental issues in comparative procedural law and and dispute resolution structures and mechanisms, and also in class actions and derivative actions.

His many publications include “On Comparing and Unifying Civil Procedural Systems”, (1994), “The Anglo-American Jury System as Seen by an Outsider (1996), “The Role of Supreme Courts in Common Law Countries” (1998), “The Utility of the Comparative Perspective in Understanding, Analyzing and Reforming Procedural Law” (1999) and “The Development of Class actions in Israel” (2000). His last publication which appeared posthumously in 2011 was “Quick Justice: A Comparative View”.
U.S. patriot and merchant. Born in Leszno, he emigrated to America about 1785 after wandering in Europe. His linguistic talents - he was proficient in seven languages - and his financial expertise helped him make his way in the New World. During the War of Independence he worked for the Americans and had to flee from New York to Philadelphia, where he established himself as a commission merchant and bill broker. He assisted the American government financially and loaned money to delegates to the Continential Congress, including James Madison. In 1784 he extended his business to New York. Salomon invested his money in Continental stocks and bonds and died penniless.
Goldstein, Israel (1896-1986), rabbi, author and Zionist leader, born in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Goldstein was ordained in the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1916, and then he was the rabbi of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in New York, the second oldest synagogue in the city, from 1918 until his immigration to Israel in 1960.

During his term as president of the American Jewish Congress (1951-1958) the organization vigorously opposed McCarthyism and supported equal rights for African Americans. He was head of the New York Board of Rabbis, the Jewish National Fund, and the Zionist Organization of America, and helped found the National Conference of Christians and Jews. He was one of the founders of Brandeis University. Between 1961 and 1971 Goldstein was World Chairman of Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal.

The Israel Goldstein Synagogue on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was built in his honor. The Israel Goldstein Youth Village in Jerusalem was also named for him.

Among his published works are "Century of Judaism in New York", "American Jewry Comes of Age".
Patai, Raphael (born Ervin György) (1910-1996), anthropologist, biblical scholar, and editor, born in Budapest, Hungary (then part of Austria-Hungary), the son of Jozsef Patai, author, translator, and editor. In 1933 Raphael Patai settled in Palestine, where he was awarded the first Ph.D. degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1936. Returning to Budapest for a brief period, he was ordained at the rabbinical seminary.

In 1938 Patai became an instructor in Hebrew at the Hebrew University. In 1942-1943 he served as academic secretary of Haifa Technion. In 1944 Patai founded the Palestine Institute of Folklore and Ethnology in Jerusalem and served as its director of research until 1948. In 1945 he launched and edited the journal of the institute, "Edoth" ("Communities"); a Quarterly of Folklore and Ethnology. In 1949 he began editing a series of books for the institute entitled "Studies in Folklore and Ethnology" (5 vols.) and another series "Social Studies" (2 vols.).

In 1947 he went to the U.S. and from 1948 to 1957 was professor of anthropology at Dropsie College. From 1966 he was professor of anthropology at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rutherford, New Jersey. During the years 1956-1968 Patai served as president of the American Friends of the Tel Aviv University in New York, and from 1957 also editor of the Herzl Press.

His main contribution to scholarship resides in two fields – the culture of the ancient Hebrews and Jews and that of the modern Middle East including Israel. He published several hundred articles and more than two dozen books, among them: "Ha-Mayim" ("A Study in Palestinology and Palestinian Folklore", 1936); "Ha-Sappanut ha-Ivrit" ("Jewish Seafaring in Ancient Times", 1938); "Man and Earth in Hebrew Custom, Belief and Legend" (2 vols. 1942-43); "Madda ha-Adam" ("An Introduction to Anthropology", 2 vols., 1947-48); "Man and Temple in Ancient Jewish Myth and Ritual" (1947, 1967); "Israel Between East and West" (1953, 1970); "Sex and Family in the Bible and the Middle East" (1959); "Golden River to Golden Road: Society, Culture and Change in the Middle East" (1962, 1967, 1969, 1971); "Hebrew Myth" (with Robert Graves, 1964); and "The Hebrew Goddess" (1967).
Patai also edited a number of important publications, such as: "The Republic of Syria" (2 vols., 1956); "The Republic of Lebanon" (2 cols., 1956); T"he Kingdom of Jordan" (1956); "Herzl Year Book" (1958-65); "The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl" (5 vols., 1960); "Studies in Biblical and Jewish Folklore" (with Francis Lee Utley and Dov Noy, 1960); Women in the Modern World (1967); and "Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel" (2 vols., 1971).
Savage, Leon (1888- ?), lawyer, journalist and communal worker. Born in Kovno, Lithuania (then part of the Russian Empire). He was educated at Kovno and at the University of Paris.

In 1914 Savage emigrated to the USA. He served on the editorial staff of the Philadelphia Jewish World until 1916, and as city editor of the The Jewish Day, New York City, from 1917 to 1918. In 1923 Savage gained a degree in law from Columbia University.

His feature articles appeared in the Philadelphia North American and were published also by the American Alliance of Labor and Democracy. In 1916 he edited, in collaboration with B. Charney Vladeck, Fun Tiefenes mein Harz ("From the Depth of My Heart"), a two-volume anthology of social protest. In 1917, during the period of the Kerensky provisional revolutionary government in Russia, he acted as representative of the Russian press in the United States.
Savage was active in communal, civic, social and Zionist organizations. He was chairman of the public improvements committee in Washington Heights, New York, director of the Young Men's Hebrew Association and chairman of the American Jewish Congress for that section of the city. In the years 1940, 1941 he was president of the Bronx and Upper Manhattan Zionist Region. He was a member also of the National Administrative Council of the Zionist Organization of America.
Scholar

Born in Mariampole, he emigrated to the US in 1894. He was ordained a rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1904. The following year he joined the faculty of Gratz College in Philadelphia where he taught Jewish education and religion. From 1933-48 he was principal of Gratz College. From 1902, he ran a small bookstore in his home. Greenstone was one of the first in America to produce works of popular Jewish scholarship, such as The Jewish Religion. Most important was The Messiah Idea in Jewish History, the first book of its kind in English. He also wrote commentaries on biblical books and contributed to the Jewish Encyclopedia.
Mordell Phineas Pinchas (1861-1934), Hebrew grammarian, and scholar. Born in Shat, Kovno region, Lithuania (then part of Russia.) He studied in Yelizavetgrad (Elizabethgrad) in southern Russia. Following the particularly bloody pogrom that took place there in 1881, Mordell immigrated to the USA and settled in Philadelphia. During his first years there, he worked at various trades in order to maintain himself while studying the Hebrew language and grammar.

He was associated with the Wissenschaft (Science of Judaism) movement of Jewish scholars who reasoned that the continuance of anti-Semitism after the emancipation resulted from European society’s ignorance of Judaism’s history and its contribution to European culture. They aimed at showing how Jewish history formed part of general historical trends. Mordell was among the first advocates of Zionism and of the use of the Hebrew language in the USA. In 1895, he published the correct text of Sefer Yetzirah, ("Book of Creation") one of the earliest extant book on Jewish esotericism. In 1914, he wrote a comprehensive commentary of this book in English. He was greatly encouraged in his linguistic studies by Ahad Ha-Am (Asher Ginsberg), who published some of Mordell's articles in Ha-Shilo'ah - the Hebrew newspaper which Ahad Ha-Am founded in order to support literary work by Zionists. He published linguistic studies and a series of articles on the reading of Hebrew in the Hebrew periodicals Ha-Toren, (1917-18), Ha-Olam ha-Yehudi (1924); and Leshonenu, 3 (1930). Mordell's articles were also published in English and one was published in Yiddish.

Pinchas Mordell's son, Louis Joel Mordell, was professor of mathematics at Manchester and Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and for two years president of the London Mathematical Society.

Fuerst (Furst), Moritz (1782-1840), artist and engraver, born in Pezinok near Bratislava (Pressburg, in German; Pozsony, in Hungarian) Slovakia (then part of the Austrian Empire). He was hired by the American consul in Livorno, Italy. After immigrating to the United States in 1807, Fuerst worked as an engraver for the United States Mint in Philadelphia from 1812 to 1839. He received quick recognition and 33 of his patriotic commemoratives and portraits are still issued by this mint. His best-known work was struck in commemoration of the War of 1812. Fuerst produced the first recorded American Jewish medal, the homage on the death in 1816 of the patriot and religious leader Gershom Mendes Seixas (1745–1816). Official portraits were struck by him for US presidents James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Martin Van Buren.

Blitzstein, Marc (1905-1964) , composer. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) to a wealthy family, Blitzstein studied music at the University of Pennsylvania and composition at the Curtis Institute for Music. In 1936 he went to Paris, where he studied with Nadia Boulanger, and in 1937 he furthered his studies with Arnold Schoenberg in Berlin. In 1940 he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. During World War II, Blitzstein served with the American Air Force in England. Blitzstein died of head injuries suffered in an attack by a group of sailors, while on the island of Martinique.
His works, often politically motivated, include the operas THE CRADLE WILL ROCK (1937) and NO FOR AN ANSWER (1941). He also composed the symphony FREEDOM MORNING (1945), the cantata AIRBORNE (1946), and the musical drama THE LITTLE FOXES (1949). He left an unfinished opera on the theme of Sacco and Vanzetti. Died in Port-de-France, Martinique.

Hortense Powdermaker (1896-1970), anthropologist, born in Philadelphia, PA, USA, the daughter of Louis Powdermaker and Minnie nee Jacoby. The family moved to Reading, PA, in 1901. She graduated from Goucher College in Towson, MD, in 1919. For a number of years she worked as a labor organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers in New York, Cleveland, and Rochester. In 1925 she moved to England where she studied anthropology with the leading anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski at the London School of Economics earning a Ph.D. in 1928.

She started her field research by studying during ten months the society of a fishing village on the island of New Ireland aka Latangai (today in Papua New Guinea). The results of the study were published in her first book – Life in Lesu: The Study of a Melanesian Society in New Ireland, published in 1933.  From 1930 to 1937 she was associated with the Institute of Human Relations at Yale University. She continued her field research in the town of Indianola, MI, where she focused on race relations, the role of the black church, and the cultural diversity of the African-American community. Her opposition to racism, anti-Semitism, and discrimination against new immigrants in the USA were expressed in her book Probing our Prejudices: A Unit for High School Students (1944).  During the 1940s she conducted a field research at Hollywood. This time Powdermaker focused on the impact of the social structure of the film industry on the content of films. The results were published in Hollywood, the Dream Factory: An Anthropologist Studies the Movie Makers (1950), one of her most popular books. During 1953-1954 she conducted a field study of the copper workers in North Rhodesia (now Zambia). The results were published in the book Copper Town: Changing Africa, the Human Situation on the Rhodesian Copperbelt (1962). Her memoir – Stranger and Friend: The Way of an Anthropologist – was published in 1968.

Her teaching career expanded from 1938 through 1968, teaching anthropology at Queens College in New York. In addition she lectured at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology (1944-1952) and the New York College of Medicine (1958). Powdermaker served as vice president (1945-1946) and then as president (1946-1947) of the American Ethnological Society. During her last years she lived in California.

Efros, Israel Isaac (1891-1981), Israeli and American rabbi, teacher, poet and scholar in Jewish philosophy, born in the Ukraine and came to the United States in 1905. He received a doctorate from Columbia University. In 1918 he founded the Baltimore Hebrew College and the Teachers' Training School. Between 1917 and 1928 he was professor of Hebrew and taught Jewish philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, and was appointed to teach at the University of Buffalo between 1929 and 1941. He was rabbi of Temple Beth El from 1929-1935, but left the synagogue in 1935 following a dispute over organ playing during Friday night services. Between 1941 and 1955 he taught at Hunter's College in New York City. He also taught Jewish philosophy at Dropsie College in Philadelphia from 1945. Dr. Efros had been president of the Histadrut HaIvrit of America, which promotes the use of Hebrew.

In 1955, he was appointed rector of Tel Aviv University

By 1930 he had already translated some of the works of Shelley into Hebrew, had written over one hundred Hebrew poems and had written two major philosophical works, "The Problem of Space in Jewish Medieval Philosophy" (1917) and "Philosophical Terms in the Moreh Nevuchim" (1924). Altogether he was the author of nine books of poetry and scholarly works, including ''Ancient Jewish Philosophy'' and ''Silent Wigwams,'' a collection of poems based on American Indian legends and lore. Efros also translated works of Shakespeare into Hebrew and H.N.Bialik into English.
Levy, Moses (1757-1826), US judge, the first Jew to be born in America and to qualify as a lawyer there. His father, Samson Levy, was one of the few Jewish plantation owners in the entire South and owned as many as five slave ships. Despite this fact, he was also an abolitionist and published a pamphlet against slavery, during an extended stay in London.

Levy Moses was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1772. He was admitted to the bar in 1778; from 1802 to 1822 he was recorder of Philadelphia; and from 1822 to 1825, presiding judge of the district court for the city and county of Philadelphia. At one time he was a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, and he was a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania for twenty-four years. At one time he was considered for he position of Attorney General of the United States.
Ormandy, Eugene (Jeno Blau) (1899-1985), conductor, born in Budapest, Hungary (then part of Austria-Hungary). He was admitted as a pupil to the Budapest Academy at the age of five, the youngest student ever to enter that conservatory. Two years later he made his concert debut as violinist. After studying under Hubay, Ormandy graduated from the Academy with the M.A. degree. In his nineteenth year he was appointed professor of music at the Academy. He made several moderately successful tours of Europe as violinist.

In 1920 he went to the United States, and joined the orchestra of the Capitol Theatre, New York City. It was with the Capitol Theatre Orchestra that he made his official debut as conductor. For several years Ormandy appeared as a conductor of symphony concerts on the radio. In 1930 he was invited to give a guest performance with the New York Philharmonic at the Lewisohn Stadium. He made such a fine impression that one year later, he was invited to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra as a substitute for Arturo Toscanini, who had suddenly fallen ill. His subsequent rise as conductor was meteoric.

In 1931 he became permanent conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, which under his direction became one of the great orchestral organizations in the USA. After five years in Minneapolis, Ormandy was recalled to Philadelphia to succeed Leopold Stokowski as the permanent conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the fall of 1938 Ormandy was given also appointed "music director" of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which he went on to conduct for 44 years. He distinguished himself in guest performances with the Budapest Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Bruckner festivals at Linz, Austria. In 1970 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He retired from full-time music-making in 1980. His last concert was with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York, in 1984.
Ormandy combined an extraordinary memory (he invariably directed his concerts without scores) with a remarkable knowledge of orchestral resources. He was a born conductor in his capacity to dominate his players and to convey to them his slightest wishes. In a bewilderingly short time he developed maturity, discrimination. scholarship.
Ormandy did not associate with the Jewish community.
Rabbi

Born in Seredzius, he studied in various yeshivot and went to the US in 1891. He settled in Philadelphia where he was rabbi of Congregation B'nai Abraham. Levinthal headed the United Orthodox Hebrew Congregations of Philadelphia. He was responsible for the establishment of various institutions catering to the immigrant Jewish population. He was founder and first president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada (1902). Levinthal was also active in the wider community, being a founder of the American Jewish Committee and a member of the delegation sent by the American Jewish Congress to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. An active Zionist, he helped to establish the Mizrachi Organization of America.
Adler, Cyrus (1863-1940), scholar and tireless worker for the Jewish community, born in Van Buren, a small town in Arkansas, USA, the son of a cotton planter. After the death of his father Adler and his family moved to Pennsylvania, where he was influenced by his uncle and cousin and as a result came to love Jewish tradition and scholarship. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania and went on to obtain a Ph.D. Degree from John Hopkins University in 1887.

Between 1887 and 1893 he taught Semitic languages at John Hopkins becoming an assistant professor in 1890. From 1892 he was librarian at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, with a particular interest in Semitics and archeology. Between 1908 and 1940 he was president of the Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning and also Chancellor of the Theological Seminary of America and, under Solomon Schechter, he played an active part in the institution's reorganization. In 1905 he was chairman of the Board of trustees and when Schechter died in 1915, Adler became acting president of the Seminary. In 1924 he was elected full president. While insisting on the maintenance of high standards of academic excellence, he was also responsible for constructing the Seminary's new buildings.

He wrote many articles on comparative religion and Semitic languages and was a contributor to the "New International Encyclopedia", an editor of the "Jewish Encyclopedia" and a member of the committee which translated the Jewish Publication Society's version of the Hebrew Bible, published in 1917. He edited the first seven volumes of the "American Jewish Yearbook" (1899-1905). Between 1910 and 1940 he was editor of the "Jewish Quarterly Review".

Adler was one of the founders of the Jewish Welfare Board and also of the Jewish Publication Society, where he was chairman of various committees for many years. In 1892 he helped to found the Jewish Historical Society and served as its president for over 20 years. A joint founder of the American Jewish Committee in 1906, he was elected chairman of its executive board in 1915 in which capacity he represented the committee at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. In 1913 he was one of the founders of the United Synagogue of America and served as its president. Adler's views on Zionism were ambigious and this limited his relationships with the leaders of American Zionism and the leaders of American traditional Judaism.
Hackenburg, William Bower (1837-1918), silk manufacturer and philanthropist. After being elected secretary of the Hebrew Relief Society in 1858 he devoted much of his time to doing philanthropic work in Philadelphia, USA. He founded a Jewish hospital there and was personally responsible for its development into a major public institution. He was a trustee of the Baron de Hirsch Fund and also Dropsie College and was very active in relief work for the Jews of Russia. He became a vice president of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites which conducted in 1878 a statistical survey of American Jews.

Ira Samuel Einhorn ("The Unicorn Killer")(1940-2020), environmental activist and convicted murderer, born in Philadelphia, PA, USA. While attending the University of Pennsylvania, he started his activities with ecological groups and became active in various counter culture, anti-establishment and anti-war movements of the 1960s and 1970s. He started his academic career as a teaching fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

In September 1977 Einhorn's former girlfriend disappeared after returning for a visit to his apartment in Philadelphia. The following police investigation led to a dead end. However, in March 1979, a renewed police investigation resulted in discovering the discomposing body of his girlfriend in a trunk kept in Einhorn's home. Einhorn was released on bail, but in 1981, a short time before the opening of his trial, he fled to Europe. He lived in Europe for the next 17 years and even married a Swedish woman. In 1996 a Pennsylvania court convicted him in absentia for the murder of his girlfriend and sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

In 1997 Einhorn was arrested in France. During the following four years Einhorn fought against his extradition to the United States. His case reached European Court of Human Rights and involved diplomatic exchanges between members of the US Congress and the French President Jacques Chirac and French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. After four years of efforts to block his extradition, Einhorn was sent to USA in 2001. At a new trial he was convicted again in 2002 and sentenced to a mandatory life term without parole. He died in prison in 2020. His nickname "Unicorn" is the English translation of his German surname Einhorn.

Joseph Herman "Joe" Pasternak (1901-1991), film producer at Hollywood, born in Szilagy-Somlyo, Hungary (then part of Austria-Hungary, now Șimleu Silvaniei, in Romania). He immigrated to the USA in 1920 settling in Philadelphia. in 1927 and two years later began working in films. By the end of the 1920s he was a producer for Universal Pictures in Central Europe, and from 1936 he produced over 100 films in the United States, always light comedy musicals such as Three Smart Girls (1936) with Deanna Durbin – the first of ten she made for Pasternak; movies that starred Mario Lanza; and It Started with Eve (1941); Destry Rides Again (1939), with Marlene Dietrich; Spinout (1966), with Elvis Presley; and Sweet Ride (1968). Pasternak wrote an autobiography, Easy the Hard Way (1956), and a cookbook, Cooking with Love and Paprika (1966).

Vineland

City in Cumberland county, southern New Jersey, United States, about 30 miles (50 km.) from Philadelphia.

21st CENTURY

The Jewish population of Vineland in 2005 was 1,800.

The Jewish community is served by the Jewish Federation of Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties. It promotes Jewish culture and heritage in the region.

The Beth Israel Congregation of Vineland, Cumberland county’s largest and oldest conservative synagogue celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015, issuing a pictorial history to commemorate the event. The Beth Israel Community Library has a circulating and reference collection of Judaica.  Its Holocaust Collection includes over 900 print and non-print items- books, videos, photographs and posters.

The community is also home to a Chabad synagogue, Sons of Jacob Congregation.

In 2007, 600 people, many of them descendants of the settlers of the agricultural colonies of the area with which Vineland’s Jewish community originated, returned for a 125th anniversary celebration.

There is a movement at present to reanimate Jewish farming in the area, building a bridge between the past and the present.  In 2014 William and Malya Levin conceived the project Alliance Community Reboot (ACRe). They spent about $500,000 to acquire approximately 50 acres along Gershal Avenue in Pittsfield Township for cultivation. William Levin grew up in Vineland and his great grandfather Moses Bayuk was one of the 43 original Alliance farmers.

 

HISTORY

The Jewish community of Vineland originated with immigrant colonies that were established within the area’s rural setting. The first such colony was Alliance, founded in 1882 in Salem County three miles outside of the town of Vineland itself.  Forty-three families who had fled the pogroms of Russia were settled there in that year by the Alliance Universelle of France and the Baron de Hirsch Fund of Belgium. Other colonies established in the neighborhood included Carmel (with 17 families settled in 1882), Rosenhayn (with 6 families settled in 1883), Norma, and Brotmanville.  Woodbine was established in Cape May county in 1891 by the Baron de Hirsch Fund, and was incorporated in 1903 as an all-Jewish borough. Land around Vineland was relatively cheap and was near the markets of New York and Philadelphia.

Some of the settlers were inspired by the ideology of the Am Olam movement that began in Odessa in 1881. It fostered the belief that an agricultural life or return to the soil would provide a haven for the oppressed Jews of Russia providing them with the means to support themselves and live in community with their fellow Jews. Men like Moshe Herder, H.L. Sabsovich, Sidney Bailey, and Moses Bayuk considered farming the most useful and honest kind of labor, envisioning in rural communities the basis for a creative life.  Other settlers were more concerned with economic opportunity and the advantages offered by a free society.

Philanthropic organizations in western Europe and the United States– Alliance Israelite Universelle, the Hebrew Emigrant Society, and the Baron de Hirsch Fund – as well as American Jewish leaders such as Jacob Schiff and Myer S. Isaacs provided funds to purchase land for colonization and leadership to organize  and settle the immigrants in their new homes. They also saw this as a way of countering anti-semitism by showing how the members of the Jewish community could lead productive lives, in defiance of stereotypes.  A major goal was to Americanize the immigrants, creating viable communities based on the principles of self-help.

Each colony developed a social life with an orthodox synagogue, religious school, and an array of clubs, fraternal orders, debating and athletic groups.

A Chevra Kedisha (burial society) was organized to serve the cluster of communities and in 1891 Alliance Cemetery was incorporated.

Most of the immigrants had been tradesmen or scholars in Europe and had no practical knowledge of farming when they came.  They were assisted by the locals, some of whom were Quakers.

It soon became a necessity to supplement farm incomes with manufacturing. The soil was poor and the 10-15 acre lots were inadequate. Markets were not accessible enough. The settlers came to depend on their sewing machines to support themselves especially in Carmel, Rosenhayn, Norma and Brotmanville. In Woodbine industry was subsidized from the outset.

Abraham Brotman established a clothing factory that gave the settlers work in the winter.  Vineland Kosher Poultry was established which slaughtered chickens raised in neighborhood coops. In the spring of 1900 a canning factory opened in the area that provided farmers with a local market. The Allvine Company that owned the canning factory provided lessons in farming practices on its own model farm.

The Jewish population grew slowly to about 3,500 in 1901.  By 1919 it had dropped to 2,700, reflecting the growing American urbanization, and the pursuit of better educational and economic opportunities by the second generation.

Some moved to New York or Philadelphia, but others settled in Vineland proper, operating stores or small factories. Arthur Goldhaft, a distinguished veterinarian, founded the Vineland Poultry Laboratories in 1916. He is credited with “putting a chicken in every pot” because he developed the fowl pox chicken vaccine that protected the world supply of chickens from fowl pox disease. His son Dr. Tevis Goldhaft continued his work.

Among the other children of the settlers who achieved prominence were Jacob G. Lipman, an agronomist and dean of Rutgers’ College of Agriculture; Gilbert Seldes, author, critic, and dean of the School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania; and Benjamin M. Golder, Philadelphia congressman. Samuel Gassel served as borough commissioner and became mayor of Vineland in 1929. I. Harry Levin became a municipal judge.

The Jewish Community Council, today the Jewish Federation of Cumberland County, was established in 1924.

Between 1946 and 1952, several hundred Holocaust survivors were settled in the Vineland area by the Jewish Agricultural Society and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.  They established poultry farms that required a relatively small amount of land and physical labor that was not overly strenuous. These enterprises were designed to provide a regular and immediate income.

The Jewish farmers prospered in the 1950’s and five new synagogues were built in the area. The community formed the Jewish Poultry Farmers’ Association and a Free Loan Society.  A Jewish day school was founded in 1953, supplementing the established congregational religious schools.  There were Zionist organizations, B’nai Brith, and Associations of Jewish War Veterans. Jews participated in all civic and political activities.

In 1960 there were 1,200 Jewish families in the Vineland area, and three synagogues in the city itself.

During the course of the 1960s and 1970s, there was a downturn in economic conditions for the Jewish poultry farmers.  The price of eggs dropped due to automation, mechanization and competition from the south.  At the same time there was a rise in the cost of labor and the price of feed grains.

The community members moved to the nearby towns and cities and went into manufacturing, building trades, real estate, small businesses and the professions.

United States of America (USA)

A country in North America

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: 5,700,000 out of 325,000,000 (1.7%). United States is the home of the second largest Jewish population in the world. 

Community life is organized in more than 2,000 organizations and 700 federations. Each of the main religious denominators – Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist – has its own national association of synagogues and rabbis. 

American cities (greater area) with largest Jewish populations in 2018:

New York City, NY: 2,000,000
Los Angeles, CA: 662,000
Miami, FL: 555,000
Philadelphia, PA: 275,000
Chicago, IL: 294,000
Boston, MA: 250,000
San Francisco, CA: 304,000
Washington, DC & Baltimore, MY: 217,000

States with largest proportion of Jewish population in 2018 (Percentage of Total Population):

New York: 8.9
New Jersey: 5.8
Florida: 3.3
District of Columbia: 4.3
Massachusetts: 4.1
Maryland: 4
Connecticut: 3.3
California: 3.2
Pennsylvania: 2.3
Illinois: 2.3

Scranton

A city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, USA.

21ST CENTURY

The Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Scranton offers a variety of community, social, and fitness programs for both Jews and non-Jews of all ages.

Synagogues in Scranton include Congregation Machzikeh Hadas and Beth Shalom (Orthodox), Temple Israel (Conservative), and Temple Hesed (Reform). There is also a Chabad of Scranton, which is affiliated with the Lubavitch branch of Chasidism.  

In 2005 Scranton’s Jewish population was about 3,000, almost half of whom were Orthodox Jews.

 

HISTORY

Scranton’s first Jews were German immigrants who came to the area before the Civil War (1861-1865), many of whom were drawn by the growth of coal mining in the area. By 1859 there were about a dozen Jewish merchants living in Scranton, and eventually the city’s needlework and silk industries became largely Jewish-owned.

At first, Jews traveled from Scranton to nearby Wilkes-Barre for High Holiday services. Scranton’s first congregation, Ansche Chesed, was established by a group of 16 men in 1860. Ansche Chesed received its charter in 1862, and in 1867 the congregation purchased land for a synagogue building, which was dedicated just before Passover, 1867. Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise, who would soon become one of the leaders of the Reform movement in America, spoke at the synagogue’s dedication, and Ansche Chesed eventually became one of the first congregations to affiliate with the Reform movement. As the Reform community began moving to the Hills section of the city, they built a new synagogue, Temple Hesed, and sold the original synagogue building to an Orthodox congregation, which renamed the synagogue the Linden Street Synagogue.

Two Orthodox synagogues would be established later, the first by Hungarian Jews in 1886, and the next by Lithuanian and Russian Jews around 1895. The Hungarians established their synagogue in an area known as the “Flats,” which became a center for the Jewish community until 1956.

Other Jewish institutions that were established during the second half of the 19th century included the Amos lodge of B’nai B’rith. The JCC was later established in 1909.

A Conservative synagogue, Temple Israel, was established in Scranton in 1921. Temple Israel became a center for Jewish education with its subsequent creation of an afternoon Hebrew School. In 1966  the Yeshiva Bais Moshe (also known as Yeshivath Beth Moshe, Yeshiva Beth Moshe, Scranton Yeshiva, or Milton Eisner Yeshiva High School) was opened in Scranton by Roshei HaYeshiva - Rabbi Chaim Bressler and Rabbi Yaakov Schnaidman who were students of Rabbi Aaron Kotler, founder and Rosh HaYeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ.  The Scranton Yeshiva has produced thousands of students who have become successful business people and hundreds of rabbis who hold positions all over the world.

The Jewish population grew substantially at the turn of the 20th century, with a wave of immigrants from Eastern Europe increasing the Jewish population to about 5,000 in 1904. This population growth continued through the early 1930s, when the Jewish population reached 8,000. As time went on, however, the Jewish population began to decline. By 1970 the Jewish population had dropped to 5,170, and by 1994 the Jewish population was 3,200.

Notable members of the community include the academic Harry Wolfson (1887-1974), who became the first chairman of a Judaic Studies Center in the United States. Rabbi Wolf Gold, who served the Linden Street Synagogue, immigrated to Israel in the 1930s and was one of two Americans who signed Israel’s Declaration of Independence (the other was Golda Meir). Ralph Levy (1920-2001) was a producer and television and film director who won an Emmy in 1960 for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy for The Jack Benny Program.

Elkins Park

A town in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA. 

In 1655, when Peter Stuyvesant conquered the Swedish colonies on the Delaware River, three Jews, Abraham de Lucena, Salvator Dandrade and Jacob Coen, asked permission to trade along the Delaware River (November 29, 1655). Initially the permission was denied but in June of the following year directors of the powerful West India Company wrote to Stuyvesant requesting that the Jews be permitted to trade along the Delaware River. From that time on, Jews had equal privileges as other traders.

Beth Sholom (Hebrew for ‘House of Peace), was originally an Orthodox community founded in the Logan section of Philadelphia, in 1918. Its name was in commemoration of the end of World War I. The synagogue moved to the Philadelphia suburb, Elkins Park, shortly after World War II. The Beth Sholom Center moved to its present site in 1951. Two years later, Rabbi Cohen persuaded Frank Lloyd Wright to accept the commission to design the new Elkins Park synagogue. This was to be the only synagogue Wright ever designed in his long and prestigious career, although it did lead him to design other religious buildings. The synagogue was dedicated on September 20, 1959, five months after Wright passed away. Within a few years after its completion, Beth Sholom Synagogue was selected by the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Preservation as one of the seventeen Wright buildings most worthy of preservation. In 2007, Beth Sholom was declared to be a National Historic Landmark. The synagogue is also a part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic Society, and as a result, no work can be performed on the building, without the Society’s permission.

New York City

The largest urban Jewish community in history; metropolitan area population 11,448,480 (1970), metropolitan area Jewish population 2,381,000 (1968), of which 1,836,000 live in the city itself.

The New York Jewish settlement began in 1654 with the arrival of 23 Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews from Recife, Brazil (a Dutch possession) who were defending the city from Portuguese attack. The director general of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant, did not welcome the Jews. They protested to their coreligionists in the Dutch West India company and privileges were granted them. However, they were not allowed to build a synagogue.

The surrender of New Amsterdam to the British in 1664 brought a number of changes to the Jewish settlement.

Generally, civil and religious rights were widened, Jews were permitted to hold and be elected to public office, and restrictions on the building of a synagogue were lifted.

"Shearit Israel", the first congregation in New York, was probably organized in 1706. Between 1729 and 1730, the congregation erected the first synagogue. During this period, the Jewish merchant took a major interest in the business of overseas trade. Jews were the first to introduce cocoa and chocolate to England and were heavily engaged in the coral, textile, and slave trades, and at times had virtual monopolies in the ginger trade.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Jews represented between 1% and 2% of the total New York City population and in 1701, it is estimated that Jews comprised 12% of all businessmen who engaged in foreign trade.

The advent of the American revolution found the Jewish community divided. Some were supporters of the American cause, while others supported the British. The end of the revolution brought many distinct changes. Civil liberties, which were often a matter of governmental whim under the English, became part of the New York State constitution. Opportunities were expanded and new fields opened. One of the distinctive changes in post-war New York was Jewish involvement in the political life of the community, perhaps best seen in the career of Mordecai Manuel Noah, who was High Sheriff of New York in 1821.

The period after the revolutionary war also saw the proliferation of congregational organizations and divisions within the Jewish community as well as mutual aid societies and Landsmannshaften. There were also numerous fraternal orders founded, the most important being the independent order B'nai B'rith, founded in 1843. In 1852, "Jews' hospital" was founded, which later became known as Mount Sinai.

Beginning in the 1870's and continuing for half a century, great migration from Eastern Europe radically altered the demography, social structure, cultural life, and communal order of New York Jewry. During this period, more than 1,000,000 Jews settled in the city. They were overwhelmingly Yiddish speaking and impoverished. On their arrival, East European Jews found a Jewish settlement dominated by a group strikingly different in its cultural background, social standing, and communal outlook. By the 1870's, this older settlement had become middle class in outlook, mercantile in its economic base, and reform in group identity. In 1870, the less affluent and those whose occupations required it lived in the Southern Ward of the Lower East Side, while the German Jews moved half way up the East Side of Manhattan. The relocation of synagogues and the establishment of other Jewish institutions underscored this process of removal and social differentiation, thus dividing the Jewish populace into "uptown" and "downtown" Jews.

In the decade after the civil war, fathers and sons entered the dry-goods business and transformed their establishments Bloomingdale's, Altman's, Macy's, Stern's, Gimbel's, and Abraham and Strauss. A significant number of German Jews entered the field of investment banking. They also played a central role as entrepreneurs in the city's growing ready-made clothing industry. In 1888, of 241 such clothing manufacturers, 234 were Jewish. The immigrant Jews entered the apparel trade in great numbers because it was close at hand, required little training, and allowed the congeniality of working with one's own kind.

During the 1901-1909 period, the groundwork was laid for the emergence of an aggressive, responsible, and progressive Jewish labor movement. The socialist newspaper, "Forward", was developing into the most widely read Yiddish daily and became a major educational medium for the Jewish working class. The "uprising of the 20,000" - a strike of the waistmakers, mostly young women - in the fall of 1909, was followed by the "great revolt" of the cloakmakers a half year later. These strikes increased the numbers and stability of the international ladies garment workers' union (I.L.G.W.U.).

During the last third of the 19th century, the established community built - in addition to imposing temples - a number of large and progressive philanthropic institutions.

Two developments of major significance for the future course of orthodoxy in New York took place between 1910 and movement and in the year 1915 Yeshivat Etz Chaim and the Rabbi Elchanan theological seminary united.

The sharp rise in immigration after 1903 underscored the need for more rational use of the resources and communal wealth which the community possessed. Some downtown leaders recognized the ineffectualness of their own institutions.

In both sectors of the community, the alienation of the younger generation from Judaism and Jewish life was viewed with alarm. These concerns led to the development of the short-lived New York Kehillah, an attempt to create a united community structure. The immediate catalyst was the accusation of the New York police commissioner in 1908 that 50% of the criminals in the city were Jews. Led by Judah Magnus, a coalition of representative leaders established the Kehillah as a federation of Jewish organizations in 1909. Magnus served as chairman until its demise in 1922. The establishment in 1917 of the federation for the support of Jewish philanthropies proved more lasting than the Kehillah.

The Yiddish speaking masses who settled in New York created a rich and varied cultural life. Between 1872 and 1917, 150 journals in Yiddish appeared. The Yiddish theater reinforced the press.

During the 1920's, the New York Jewish unions entered areas of activity never previously known to U.S. trade unions. They conducted large scale adult education, health clinics, a bank, summer resorts, built modern urban housing, and generously subsidized struggling trade unions.

Jews constituted 51% of enrollment in the city's academic high schools in 1931, and 49.6% of the city's college and university students in 1935. Also by the 1930's, over half the city's doctors, lawyers, dentists, and public school teachers were Jews.

As the largest single ethnic group, Jews were a highly important factor in the political life of the city. In no other city could Jews as a group weigh so heavily in politics or were real or alleged Jewish political interest reckoned with so carefully.

In 1967, there were 539 orthodox, 184 conservative, 93 reform, and five unclassified synagogues known in Greater New York; all but 163 of the total were within the city's boundaries. Actual synagogue affiliation tended to be low, however. The city's conservative congregations leaned close to orthodoxy in which most of their members and leaders, at least before 1950, had been raised. The Jewish Theological Seminary is the focal institution of the conservatives and exercised broad spiritual influence in the Jewish and general community. Jewish education in New York followed nationwide trends in the slow disappearance of the Cheder, the rise and decline of the communal Talmud Torahs, and Yiddish schools in the period from 1915 to 1950.

The city of New York is home to the largest Jewish population in the entire United States. Behind the central districts of Israel, New York City has the highest number of Jews in any metropolitan area in the world. By 2013 there was approximately 1.5 – 1.7 million Jews living throughout New York City, accounting for nearly 18% of the city’s total population (8.3 million).

Serving the Jewish people of New York City are several organizations. Many of these focus on Jewish religious practice, healthcare, education and family services. Throughout the city’s five boroughs are many foundations which support local communities and advocate for Jewish and Israeli causes. Some of the major organizations include UJA Federation of New York, The Jewish Communal Fund, The World Jewish Congress, The American Jewish Congress, AJC (Global Jewish Advocacy), The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and COJECO, the Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations. There are additionally many local organizations that specialize in the needs of their respective communities, such as the Bensonhurst Council of Jewish Organizations, which is the oldest in New York City, the Bronx Jewish Community Council, the Crown Heights Community Council, the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, and the Boro Park Community council.

Found across New York City are hundreds of synagogues, representing nearly every movement within Judaism. While the majority of these are in permanent buildings, some are held in temporary places. Many of these are not found in directories. There is an estimated 50 Orthodox synagogues, 8 Conservative, 17 Reform, 2 Reconstructionist and 5-7 which are unaffiliated with any particular movement. Among the wide range of Jewish educational services, are more than 350 private Jewish day schools which serve over 140,000 students. These include 191 high schools, 247 elementary schools and 159 preschools. Outside of school are many programs for Jewish youth, such as the Bnei Akiva Religious Zionist Youth Movement, Friends of Israel Scouts (Tzofim) and Young Judea.

New York City is well known for its numerous cultural institutions and museums. Many are internationally known and visited by thousands every year. Among those of which are culturally focused, are several Jewish museums and Holocaust memorials, such as the Anne Frank Center (USA), Bernard Museum of Judaica, and The Center for Jewish History. Other museums include the Derfner Judaica Museum, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Jewish Museum (New York), Living Torah Museum, Yeshiva University Museum and the Jewish Children’s Museum. New York City also has many Jewish cultural centers including the JCC Manhattan, YIVO (Institute for Jewish Research), the Leo Baeck Institute, the American Jewish Historical Society and the American Sephardi Federation.

Significant Jewish immigration began in the late 1800s with major waves taking place between 1881 and 1945. Additional waves of Jewish immigration began following the establishment of the State of Israel. During the 1950s and 1960s as many as 300,000 Israelis immigrated to the United States. Israeli Immigration continued throughout the 1970s and has ever since. By 2000, approximately 30,000 Israeli Jews were living in New York City. The Israeli community is well known for its entrepreneurship, having opened many startups and branches of existing Israeli businesses. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, new waves of Jewish immigrants began arriving to New York City. In the 1980s and 1990s, the city’s Jewish population was greatly augmented by the Jews of Eastern and Central Europe and the Caucasus region. These included the Georgian and Bukharian communities as well as Ashkenazi Jews from the Baltic Republics, Moldova and the Ukraine. In 2012, the more than 350,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union in New York City were Jewish.

Over generations, Jews have developed various communities throughout New York City creating several Jewish enclaves. Boro Park in Brooklyn for example is home to the largest Orthodox community in the world. Other notable Jewish neighborhoods include Crown Heights, Flatbush, Williamsburg and Midwood Brooklyn, Forest Hills and Fresh Meadows Queens, the Upper East and Upper West Side as well as Lower East Side in Manhattan, and the predominantly Hasidic neighborhoods of Willowbrook, New Springville, Eltingville and New Brighton.

Serving these neighborhoods as well as the rest of New York are several hospitals and health care facilities which were established by the Jewish community. In addition to Mount Sinai, one of New York’s oldest and largest hospitals, are several medical centers including Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, the Montefiore Medical Center, Beth Israel Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, the Sephardic Bikur Holim, Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Jewish Home Life Care, and the Hebrew Home for the aged. Found throughout these Jewish neighborhoods are many historic landmarks. In some cases, the neighborhoods themselves are the landmarks. The Lower East Side is a perfect example. Others include historic synagogues such as the Kehila Kedosha Janina, the only Romaniote (Greek) synagogue in the entire western hemisphere, or the Eldridge Street Synagogue, the first Eastern European Orthodox synagogue. Another group of landmarks include famous restaurants like Katz’s Delicatessen and Streit’s Matzo Company.

Since early Jewish immigration, New York City’s Jewish leaders developed foundations to keep medical centers like communal organizations alive. A number of Jewish Federations are overseen by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Other funding and support come from organizations like the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, the Jewish Communal Fund, Hadassah, Yeshiva University and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Being a community that numbers nearly 2 million, the Jews of New York City enjoy several Jewish media outlets, including radio and print news. Notable periodicals include the Jewish Week and the Jewish Post of New York. Others include the Manhattan Jewish Sentinel, the Long Island Jewish World and Five Towns Jewish Times. There is even a Yiddish language newspaper known as The Jewish Daily Forward.   

Washington, DC

Often referred to as "Washington," the District," or "D.C."

Capital of the United States

Washington D.C is located on the East Coast, along the Potomac River. It is not part of any state, but is bordered by Maryland and Virginia. Washington D.C was designated as the Federal District in 1791, and the capital was officially relocated to Washington D.C from Philadelphia in 1800.

 

HISTORY

In 2005 there were 215,000 Jews living in greater Washington, 83% of whom lived in the suburbs of Maryland and Northern Virginia; indeed, the Jewish population of Northern Virginia grew by 111% between 1983 and 2003. Community institutions that serve the greater D.C area include over 70 synagogues, three JCCs, and a number of day schools: Hebrew Academy, which moved from 16th Street in Washington to Silver Spring, and then to Kemp Mill, Maryland; Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, which was founded in 1972 and is located in Rockville Maryland; the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital which became an independent day school in 1987; and Gesher, a community day school in Northern Virginia. In addition to a Hebrew School, Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, Virginia (established in 1962) hosts a renowned summer day camp, Camp Rodef Shalom, which has operated for over 30 years.

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington is made up of over 200 organizations. It functions as a central agency of D.C's Jewish community. The JCRC works with its affiliated synagogues, organizations, and agencies to determine a consensus on issues that are relevant for the Jewish community. It then advocates for that position among government officials, the media, and interfaith leaders. The JCRC of Greater Washington tends to focus on government relations, Israel advocacy, inter-group relations, and social justice.

The Lillian and Albert Small Jewish Museum is located in the building that once housed the first synagogue in D.C. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is maintained by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.

A major cultural institution is Sixth & I, which describes itself as a "historic, multi-denominational, and non-membership synagogue.' Located in the building that housed Adas Israel Congregation before it moved to upper Northwest, Sixth & I offers arts and culture events and programs for young Jews, as well as the wider D.C community.

Washington is home to the headquarters of a number of national Jewish organizations, including the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Jewish War Veterans, the Religious Action Center of the Union of Reform Judaism, Bnai Brith International, and the campus organization Hillel.

HISTORY

While other cities in the United States attracted Sephardic Jews, who arrived during the 17th and 18th centuries, there were few Jewish families living in D.C until the 1840s.

Isaac Polock arrived in D.C in 1795, making him one of the District's first Jewish residents. Polock, who was the grandson of one of the founders of America's first synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, came from Savannah, Georgia and built the "Six Buildings," which eventually housed the U.S State Department and the Secretary of the Navy.

Captain Alfred Mordecai, a southern Jew, settled in D.C in 1828 after being assigned to the Washington Arsenal. He rose to the rank of major in the army and became superintendent of the D.C weapons arsenal until his resignation from the army at the beginning of the Civil War so as not to fight against his native south. His daughter Rosa, who was born in 1839, has the distinction of being the first (known) Jewish child to be born in D.C.

WASHINGTON HEBREW CONGREGATION

The wave of German immigration during the 1840s brought a small group of young Jews to D.C; many of those who arrived had family ties with the rapidly growing Jewish community of Baltimore. Twenty-one of these newly-arrived residents came together and founded the Washington Hebrew Congregation in 1852. Four years later, with the assistance of Captain Jonas P. Levy, they successfully lobbied Congress to pass legislation ensuring their right to own property in the capital; President Franklin Pierce signed the legislation, "An Act for the Benefit of the Hebrew Congregation in the City of Washington" on June 2, 1856, making Washington Hebrew the only congregation in the United States with its own Congressional charter. The synagogue's original building was completed in 1898; in 1952 a new building was constructed on Massachusetts Avenue and Macomb Street N.W, where it has remained through the 21st century.

In 1869 a group of members left Washington Hebrew and founded Adas Israel Congregation; they were upset by changes to the liturgy and the installation of a melodeon (an instrument similar to an organ). Adas Israel's construction was completed in 1876, and President Ulysses S. Grant attended the dedication. Adas Israel would later build a new synagogue building on the corner of Sixth and I Streets, Northwest; the new synagogue building was consecrated in 1908.

Washington Hebrew established D.C's first Jewish school. Its elementary school functioned until 1870, when a new public school system was put into place.

CIVIL WAR

The Civil War (1861-1865) brought a large influx of Jewish residents to the capital; the District's Jewish population grew from 200 to nearly 2,000 during the war and newspapers reported that six kosher restaurants opened in the District during this period. Many of those who arrived during the war worked as merchants and hoped to profit from the economic growth prompted by the war. They organized cultural and fraternal groups such as Bnai Brith's Elijah lodge, which was established in 1864. The women of Washington Hebrew congregation raised money for the U.S Sanitary commission, with the congregation's visiting nursing corps took care of injured soldiers. Leopold Karpeles was among those wounded during the war, and received a Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Battle of the Wilderness. He subsequently married his nurse from Washington Hebrew.

POST-CIVIL WAR

Many of those who had come to D.C to serve in the army or for work during the Civil War ultimately decided to stay in the District, and by 1880 D.C's Jewish population had reached approximately 1,500. Most were second-generation Americans who worked as shopkeepers, clerks, and merchants. One area that had a particularly high concentration of Jewish residents was Seventh Street NW, a major business district. By the early 20th century enough Jews lived in the area that there were three synagogues located on as many blocks: Washington Hebrew Congregation, Adas Israel Congregation, and Ohev Sholom Congregation, the latter of which was founded in 1886 by Russian Jews.

The Georgetown and Southwest Washington neighborhoods also had significant Jewish populations, which established a number of religious and cultural organizations. The Mount Sinai Society was established in Georgetown during the 1860s by German Jews (it would later be absorbed into Washington Hebrew). Jews in Southwest Washington established the Talmud Torah Congregation in 1887. Moshe Yoelson served as the cantor, mohel, and shochet (kosher butcher) at Talmud Torah; he is perhaps best known for being the father of the singer and actor Al Jolson (born Asa Yoelson).

20TH CENTURY

By the turn of the 20th century a wave of immigration from Eastern Europe increased the Jewish population to 4,000. Russian immigrants founded the Orthodox synagogue, Kesher Israel, in Georgetown in 1910, and Jews in Southwest D.C founded Voliner Anshe Sfard in 1908.

Many of these new immigrants were poor, and a number of organizations were established for their aid. Local charity needs were met by the Hebrew Relief Society (established in 1882 and later renamed the United Hebrew Relief Society), the D.C chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women (1895), the Jewish Foster Home (1908), the Hebrew Free Loan Society (1909), and the Hebrew Home for the Aged(1914). Minnie Lansburgh Goldsmith (1871-1971), the daughter of the department store owner Gustav Lansburgh, was a major philanthropist and active in many of D.C's new charity organizations. Among other activities, she was among the founders of Washington's Community Chest, which would eventually become United Way. Attempts to create a community Hebrew School in 1910 failed due to a lack of financial support. A Young Men's Hebrew Association (YMHA) was founded in 1911 and the Young Women's Hebrew Association was founded in 1913.

As the capital, the city attracted Zionist leaders whose visits stimulated the formation of local groups. For example, D.C's first chapter of Hadassah was established in 1919, shortly after the organization's founder, Henrietta Szold, visited the District. However, D.C's Jews were already active Zionists by that time; Zionist organizations that were founded at the turn of the 20th century include the Washington Zionist Organization, a chapter of the Zionist Organization of America, and the Washington Poale Zion Society. Since 1948 the presence of the Israel embassy helped to reinforce the community's strong Zionist leanings.

World War I brought another tide of servicemen and government workers to Washington, and many in the Jewish community worked to meet these newcomers' needs. Those who had formed the YMHA organized activities for new government workers, and established the United States' first servicemen's club. Both the YMHA and the YWHA hosted dances, services, and social events for service members who were posted in Washington during the war. These activities eventually led to the postwar creation of the Jewish Community Center (JCC), which was established in 1926 and located on 16th Street, one mile (1.6km) from the White House. The National Jewish Ledger, which was eventually renamed the Washington Jewish Week, began to be published in 1930. In 1938 D.C residents organized the Jewish Community Council, in order to have a centralized organization to represent and advocate for community organizations.

THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND WORLD WAR II

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal insulated D.C's Jews from the worst of the Great Depression. Nonetheless, the Hebrew Sheltering Society, as well as other social service organizations, worked to provide kosher food, clothing, and housing for those arriving in D.C and looking for work. During this period the District's Jewish population more than doubled; Jews from all over the country arrived to work on the New Deal projects, as well as in the expanding civil service. Many Jews began moving to neighborhoods in north D.C and to suburbs in Maryland.

Zionism became particularly active during the 1930s, as Washington became a center for efforts to rescue European Jewry. The Jewish community rallied and signed petitions seeking to pressure the British government to allow Jews to immigrate to Palestine; one protest, in 1938, drew 4,000 Jews. Various organizations raised money on behalf of European Jewish refugees. Justice Louis D. Brandeis, who served on the Supreme Court, hosted a salon at his apartment for local and national Zionist leaders.

Additionally, as the nation prepared for war thousands of Jews came to Washington to work in the government or to serve in the military. So many people were streaming in that in 1941 alone the JCC was responsible for finding housing for 4,000 Jews. Synagogues and other local organizations sponsored religious, social, and cultural activities for those serving in the armed forces. At the same time, Washington Jews continued their efforts to build up their own community institutions. In 1944 the Hebrew Academy, the area's first day school opened, which offered an alternative to congregational Hebrew and Sunday Schools.

POSTWAR

After World War II the Jewish community of D.C continued their work to support the Zionist movement. Many of the community's most prominent and influential members were involved in a secret campaign to raise funds for the Haganah, as well as in raising funds to support illegal immigration to Palestine. After the establishment of the State of Israel, which was widely celebrated by D.C's Jews, local Jews purchased the new country's embassy near Embassy Row.

The Jewish population rose from about 20,000 in 1945 to an estimated 110,000 in 1970, and began expanding outward to the suburbs; indeed, by 1956 half of the 81,000 Jews in the area lived in the suburbs and not in D.C proper. Congregations began to be established in these new suburban enclaves: the Arlington Fairfax Jewish Center (later renamed Etz Hayim) was founded in Arlington, VA during the early 40s; the Montgomery County Jewish Center (later renamed Ohr Kodesh, was founded in Maryland in 1947. The Beth Jacob School and a yeshiva high school opened in the D.C area and ran during the 1950s and 1960s. Community organizations that were based in D.C migrated along with the Jewish residents; the JCC, the Hebrew Home for the Aged, the Jewish Social Services Agency, and later the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) and the Jewish Community Council relocated to a centralized campus in Rockville, Maryland.

The original JCC building located near the White House was bought back, restored, and reopened by the local Jewish community during the 1990s.

In 1997 there were 165,000 Jews living in Greater Washington.

POLITICS

Not surprisingly, the Jews living in D.C and its suburbs have been politically involved throughout the community's history. The publisher and bookstore owner Adolphus Solomons (1826-1910) served in the House of Delegates in 1871 and later turned down the opportunity to act as governor of the District so that he would not have to work on the Sabbath.

During the 50s and 60s many of D.C's Jews were active in the civil rights movement. Later, during the 70s and 80s the community organized and participated in large demonstrations on the Mall protesting the treatment of Soviet Jewry; between 1970 and 1991 a daily vigil was maintained outside of the Soviet Embassy (church groups participated in the vigil as well, and took over for the Jewish groups on Sabbaths and holidays).

A number of Jews have served in D.C as elected officials or in government service. Some of the most well-known include Louis Brandeis, the first Jew to serve on the Supreme Court; his tenure lasted from 1916 until 1939. Brandeis is widely regarded as one of the most well-known and influential figures to serve the Supreme Court. In 2015 three of the Supreme Courth's 9 justices were Jewish.

In 2000 Joseph Lieberman, the senator from Connecticut and member of the Kesher Israel Congregation in Georgetown, became the first Jewish candidate for vice president.

our Open Databases
Jewish Genealogy
Family Names
Jewish Communities
Visual Documentation
Jewish Music Center
Place
אA
אA
אA
Would you like to help us improving the content? Send us your suggestions
The Jewish Community of Philadelphia

Philadelphia

A city in Pennsylvania, USA.

The city of Philadelphia is the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. With a population of approximately 1.5 million people (2010), it is the fifth-most-populous city in the country. In 2009, Philadelphia was home to a Jewish population of over 215,000. In the Greater Philadelphia area are more than 115,000 Jewish households

Jews came from New Amsterdam to trade in the Delaware valley area as early as the 1650's, long before William Penn founded the colony of Pennsylvania in 1682. Permanent Jewish settlement began in 1737 with the arrival of Nathan Levy, his brother Isaac and their young cousin David Franks, and Bernard and Michael Gratz. Services were conducted early in the 1740s, but it is probable that no organizational structure existed until about 1761, when a Torah scroll was borrowed for the high holy days from Shearith Israel congregation of New York City.

A majority of Philadelphia's Jews supported the revolutionary cause, a few were Tories, among them David Franks, who was expelled by the continental authorities in 1780 for his pro-British sympathies. During the war Jews were active as suppliers of the troops, as brokers for the government (e.g., Haym Salomon), and as military figures. After the evacuation of the city by the British in 1778, Philadelphia became a center for Jewish refugees from Charleston, Savannah, and New York City. In 1790 the leaders of Mikveh Israel congregation were successful in their attempts to change the requirement in the Pennsylvania constitution of 1776 that officeholders take an oath swearing belief in both the old and new testaments.

It is estimated that at the time of the 1820 census there were about 500 Jews in Philadelphia, of whom a little less than half were immigrants. Some of these foreign born felt uncomfortable at the Sephardi services of Mikveh Israel, and in about 1795 instituted their own Ashkenazi form of worship, under the name German Hebrew society. In 1802 they formally organized themselves as Rodeph Shalom congregation. Philadelphia thus became the first city in the nation with two congregations, and the first in the entire western hemisphere to break the unitary pattern of one Minhag in each community. In 1848 there were about 4,000 Jews in the city.

Beginning with the election of Isaac Leeser to the pulpit of Mikveh Israel in 1829, and continuing until about 1906 when the American Jewish committee was formed in New York City in partnership with Philadelphia Jews, the Philadelphia Jewish community was innovating, pioneering, and, in many ways, the most influential Jewry in the U.S. Such creative religious and lay leaders of Philadelphia as Leeser, Sabato Morais, Abraham Hart, Moses Aaron Dropsie, Mayer Sulzberger, and Joseph Krauskopf were as concerned with the future and fate of Jewish life throughout the country as they were with developments on the local scene.

In 1845 Leeser organized the American Jewish publication society in Philadelphia, and, upon its failure, and that of a New York based successor organization, the present Jewish publication society was formed in 1888. Leeser's Hebrew Education Society High School, the first in the land, was founded in 1849. He also opened the first Jewish Theological Seminary in the country, Maimonides College, in Philadelphia in 1867. The first U.S. Jewish teachers' college, Gratz College, established under the provisions of the will of Hyman Gratz (1776-1857), began in 1897. In Philadelphia, too, Dropsie College (later University), the first post-graduate institution for Jewish learning in the world, was opened in 1907, bringing to Philadelphia as its president the learned Cyrus Adler, who for several decades was the representative of U.S. Jewry.

Nowhere did as wide a gulf exist as in Philadelphia between German and east European Jews, between reform and orthodox, and between Zionists and anti-Zionists. Within the field of philanthropy itself, family and business associations of the German Jews, and anti-, or at least non-Zionist views continued to dominate the federation of Jewish charities (F.J.C.) Until the end of World War II. The German Jews kept aloof from the newer immigrants. Philadelphia, essentially a conservative city, preserved traditional characteristics dating back to colonial times; it also maintained social barriers which excluded Jews longer than in most other cities. In this, perhaps, lies the explanation for its Jewish community maintaining its own exclusions and distinctions longer than in most other cities. It was probably not a coincidence that the anti-Zionist American council for Judaism (A.C.J.; 1943) was founded by Philadelphia rabbis and laymen.

In the 1930's under the impact of the depression, of overseas needs provoked by Hitlerism, and of the simultaneous rise of U.S. Anti-Semitism, the Philadelphia Jewish community had begun to coalesce. Perceptive leaders realized that organizational divisiveness was inefficient and unproductive; that coordination of effort and expertise were essential; and that professionalization required consolidation. Beginning in 1944 with the merger of several children's agencies into the association for Jewish children, there ensued in swift succession a number of three Jewish hospitals merged into the Albert Einstein Medical Center in 1951, followed by the erection of the York house residential centers for the healthy aged in 1960 and 1964; old hostilities and loyalties were overcome through the final merger of the federation of Jewish charities and the allied Jewish appeal into the federation of Jewish agencies (F.J.A.). By 1970 most of the old institutional rivalries had been forgotten. Money
For Israel was raised and bonds for Israel were sold in the very synagogues whose former rabbis had created the anti-Zionist A.C.J. Although a local synagogue council had failed in the 1950's, a flourishing board of rabbis testified to increased cooperation among conservative, orthodox, and reform rabbis. Jews were still rigorously and consciously excluded from most of the town and country clubs which represented the last strongholds of old Philadelphia "society". In 1968 the new reconstructionist rabbinical college in conjunction with Temple University was opened under the direction of Mordecai Kaplan.

There were over 100 congregations in the Philadelphia area (1970), of which approximately 50 were conservative, 45 orthodox, and 15 reform. While two of the largest reform congregations in the country are located in the Philadelphia area, the dominant religious thrust of the community is conservative. A resurgent interest in orthodoxy has been stimulated through the work of a vigorous branch of the Lubavich movement and by a nationally known Talmudic Yeshivah established in Philadelphia by students of rabbi Aaron Kotler

Early 21st Century

By the end of World War II, nearly half the Jewish population lived in the city’s center. At this time, many began to move into the suburbs. During the 1970s, the Jewish community was mainly concentrated in the neighborhoods of Center City, the Greater Northeast, Elkins Park, West Oak Lane, Mt. Airy and Wynnefield. Other communities began to develop in places such as Levittown and Norristown. Entering the 1990s, 48% of Jewish households remained in the city’s urban center, however large numbers continued to spread into suburban areas. Overbrook Park for example was once home to a large Jewish population but by 2000, many had left, leaving behind a small enclave of Orthodox Jews and a number of kosher food establishments.

Continued dispersion of Philadelphia’s Jewish community reinforced the need to establish new congregations and organizations. Throughout the Greater Philadelphia area are more than 95 different congregations representing the many movements within Judaism. There are over 30 orthodox, 25 conservative, 21 reform, 9 reconstructionist, 5 traditional and 4 independent synagogues.

All over Philadelphia are organizations which serve the needs of their respective Jewish communities. In nearly every district, from Center City to Bucks County are several organizations, committees and foundations which offer support, programs and financial aid. Some focus on local matters while others work in conjunction with national and international organizations. These include the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Labor Committee, the American Jewish Committee and the National Council of Jewish Women. There are also a number of organizations which offer services to Holocaust survivors and war veterans such as the Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, the Jewish War Veterans of the USA and the Holocaust Memorial Committee. A number of organizations such as the Jewish Relief Agency, JEVS Human Services and Social Justice, the Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia and the Chayah Mushka Gemilus Chesed Free Loan Society provide financial support to impoverished Jews as well as general services for children and families. Additionally, Philadelphia is home to two major Jewish health care facilities, the Albert Einstein Medical Center and the Abramson Center for Jewish life, a place which specializes in geriatric and home health services.

The Jewish community of Philadelphia is well known for its philanthropy and commitment to social causes. Since the 1960s, several charitable organizations were developed to fund programs which provide food, shelter, medical services and financial aid to those in need. Such charities include the Areivim Legacy Community Project, the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society, the Mitzvah Food Project, the Hebrew Free Loan Society and the Krakauer-Yampoler Beneficial Society.

While many congregations offer their own education programs, there are several Jewish schools located throughout Philadelphia. In the entire state of Pennsylvania are more than 40 private Jewish schools. In Philadelphia are approximately 6 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 3 high schools. Academic institutions with Jewish education programs are also offered at the university level. They include the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the Feinberg Center for American Jewish History at Temple and Gratz College, an institute of Jewish education founded in 1895.

Outside of academia are organizations and programs geared towards students and young adults. Among these are various social groups, both religious and secular, such as the Jewish Business Network, Jewish Social Policy Action Network, the Shalom Center, B’nai Chaim Social and the Lubavitch Center.

Found throughout the city of Philadelphia are many memorials and landmarks which commemorate the Jewish community’s long history in the area. There are also those that memorialize the Holocaust; one memorial in particular is on 17th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway –a statue in honor of the six million Jewish martyrs. Philadelphia is home to two Jewish museums, the National Museum of American Jewish History and the Holocaust Awareness Museum & Education Center. Located at the University of Pennsylvania is the Holocaust Visual History Archive, a common tourist destination. Other notable landmarks include the Beth Sholom Synagogue Foundation, the Hebrew Mutual Burial Association, the Perelman Center for Jewish Life and Congregation Mikveh Israel. Officially known as the Kahal Kadosh Mikveh Israel, it is among the oldest Jewish congregations in Philadelphia. It was established in 1740 by Jewish patriots of the American revolutionary war including Haym Solomon, Jonas Phillips and members of the Gratz Family.

Like all major cities in the United States with a substantial Jewish population, Philadelphia has its own Jewish media outlets. The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is an online volunteer-based newspaper which has served the Jewish community since 2005. The Jewish Exponent is an award-winning newspaper which has been in circulation since 1887. It is the second-oldest Jewish newspaper in the United States.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Washington, DC
New York City
Elkins Park, PA
Scranton, PA
United States of America (USA)
Vineland, NJ

Washington, DC

Often referred to as "Washington," the District," or "D.C."

Capital of the United States

Washington D.C is located on the East Coast, along the Potomac River. It is not part of any state, but is bordered by Maryland and Virginia. Washington D.C was designated as the Federal District in 1791, and the capital was officially relocated to Washington D.C from Philadelphia in 1800.

 

HISTORY

In 2005 there were 215,000 Jews living in greater Washington, 83% of whom lived in the suburbs of Maryland and Northern Virginia; indeed, the Jewish population of Northern Virginia grew by 111% between 1983 and 2003. Community institutions that serve the greater D.C area include over 70 synagogues, three JCCs, and a number of day schools: Hebrew Academy, which moved from 16th Street in Washington to Silver Spring, and then to Kemp Mill, Maryland; Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, which was founded in 1972 and is located in Rockville Maryland; the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital which became an independent day school in 1987; and Gesher, a community day school in Northern Virginia. In addition to a Hebrew School, Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, Virginia (established in 1962) hosts a renowned summer day camp, Camp Rodef Shalom, which has operated for over 30 years.

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington is made up of over 200 organizations. It functions as a central agency of D.C's Jewish community. The JCRC works with its affiliated synagogues, organizations, and agencies to determine a consensus on issues that are relevant for the Jewish community. It then advocates for that position among government officials, the media, and interfaith leaders. The JCRC of Greater Washington tends to focus on government relations, Israel advocacy, inter-group relations, and social justice.

The Lillian and Albert Small Jewish Museum is located in the building that once housed the first synagogue in D.C. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is maintained by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.

A major cultural institution is Sixth & I, which describes itself as a "historic, multi-denominational, and non-membership synagogue.' Located in the building that housed Adas Israel Congregation before it moved to upper Northwest, Sixth & I offers arts and culture events and programs for young Jews, as well as the wider D.C community.

Washington is home to the headquarters of a number of national Jewish organizations, including the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Jewish War Veterans, the Religious Action Center of the Union of Reform Judaism, Bnai Brith International, and the campus organization Hillel.

HISTORY

While other cities in the United States attracted Sephardic Jews, who arrived during the 17th and 18th centuries, there were few Jewish families living in D.C until the 1840s.

Isaac Polock arrived in D.C in 1795, making him one of the District's first Jewish residents. Polock, who was the grandson of one of the founders of America's first synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, came from Savannah, Georgia and built the "Six Buildings," which eventually housed the U.S State Department and the Secretary of the Navy.

Captain Alfred Mordecai, a southern Jew, settled in D.C in 1828 after being assigned to the Washington Arsenal. He rose to the rank of major in the army and became superintendent of the D.C weapons arsenal until his resignation from the army at the beginning of the Civil War so as not to fight against his native south. His daughter Rosa, who was born in 1839, has the distinction of being the first (known) Jewish child to be born in D.C.

WASHINGTON HEBREW CONGREGATION

The wave of German immigration during the 1840s brought a small group of young Jews to D.C; many of those who arrived had family ties with the rapidly growing Jewish community of Baltimore. Twenty-one of these newly-arrived residents came together and founded the Washington Hebrew Congregation in 1852. Four years later, with the assistance of Captain Jonas P. Levy, they successfully lobbied Congress to pass legislation ensuring their right to own property in the capital; President Franklin Pierce signed the legislation, "An Act for the Benefit of the Hebrew Congregation in the City of Washington" on June 2, 1856, making Washington Hebrew the only congregation in the United States with its own Congressional charter. The synagogue's original building was completed in 1898; in 1952 a new building was constructed on Massachusetts Avenue and Macomb Street N.W, where it has remained through the 21st century.

In 1869 a group of members left Washington Hebrew and founded Adas Israel Congregation; they were upset by changes to the liturgy and the installation of a melodeon (an instrument similar to an organ). Adas Israel's construction was completed in 1876, and President Ulysses S. Grant attended the dedication. Adas Israel would later build a new synagogue building on the corner of Sixth and I Streets, Northwest; the new synagogue building was consecrated in 1908.

Washington Hebrew established D.C's first Jewish school. Its elementary school functioned until 1870, when a new public school system was put into place.

CIVIL WAR

The Civil War (1861-1865) brought a large influx of Jewish residents to the capital; the District's Jewish population grew from 200 to nearly 2,000 during the war and newspapers reported that six kosher restaurants opened in the District during this period. Many of those who arrived during the war worked as merchants and hoped to profit from the economic growth prompted by the war. They organized cultural and fraternal groups such as Bnai Brith's Elijah lodge, which was established in 1864. The women of Washington Hebrew congregation raised money for the U.S Sanitary commission, with the congregation's visiting nursing corps took care of injured soldiers. Leopold Karpeles was among those wounded during the war, and received a Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Battle of the Wilderness. He subsequently married his nurse from Washington Hebrew.

POST-CIVIL WAR

Many of those who had come to D.C to serve in the army or for work during the Civil War ultimately decided to stay in the District, and by 1880 D.C's Jewish population had reached approximately 1,500. Most were second-generation Americans who worked as shopkeepers, clerks, and merchants. One area that had a particularly high concentration of Jewish residents was Seventh Street NW, a major business district. By the early 20th century enough Jews lived in the area that there were three synagogues located on as many blocks: Washington Hebrew Congregation, Adas Israel Congregation, and Ohev Sholom Congregation, the latter of which was founded in 1886 by Russian Jews.

The Georgetown and Southwest Washington neighborhoods also had significant Jewish populations, which established a number of religious and cultural organizations. The Mount Sinai Society was established in Georgetown during the 1860s by German Jews (it would later be absorbed into Washington Hebrew). Jews in Southwest Washington established the Talmud Torah Congregation in 1887. Moshe Yoelson served as the cantor, mohel, and shochet (kosher butcher) at Talmud Torah; he is perhaps best known for being the father of the singer and actor Al Jolson (born Asa Yoelson).

20TH CENTURY

By the turn of the 20th century a wave of immigration from Eastern Europe increased the Jewish population to 4,000. Russian immigrants founded the Orthodox synagogue, Kesher Israel, in Georgetown in 1910, and Jews in Southwest D.C founded Voliner Anshe Sfard in 1908.

Many of these new immigrants were poor, and a number of organizations were established for their aid. Local charity needs were met by the Hebrew Relief Society (established in 1882 and later renamed the United Hebrew Relief Society), the D.C chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women (1895), the Jewish Foster Home (1908), the Hebrew Free Loan Society (1909), and the Hebrew Home for the Aged(1914). Minnie Lansburgh Goldsmith (1871-1971), the daughter of the department store owner Gustav Lansburgh, was a major philanthropist and active in many of D.C's new charity organizations. Among other activities, she was among the founders of Washington's Community Chest, which would eventually become United Way. Attempts to create a community Hebrew School in 1910 failed due to a lack of financial support. A Young Men's Hebrew Association (YMHA) was founded in 1911 and the Young Women's Hebrew Association was founded in 1913.

As the capital, the city attracted Zionist leaders whose visits stimulated the formation of local groups. For example, D.C's first chapter of Hadassah was established in 1919, shortly after the organization's founder, Henrietta Szold, visited the District. However, D.C's Jews were already active Zionists by that time; Zionist organizations that were founded at the turn of the 20th century include the Washington Zionist Organization, a chapter of the Zionist Organization of America, and the Washington Poale Zion Society. Since 1948 the presence of the Israel embassy helped to reinforce the community's strong Zionist leanings.

World War I brought another tide of servicemen and government workers to Washington, and many in the Jewish community worked to meet these newcomers' needs. Those who had formed the YMHA organized activities for new government workers, and established the United States' first servicemen's club. Both the YMHA and the YWHA hosted dances, services, and social events for service members who were posted in Washington during the war. These activities eventually led to the postwar creation of the Jewish Community Center (JCC), which was established in 1926 and located on 16th Street, one mile (1.6km) from the White House. The National Jewish Ledger, which was eventually renamed the Washington Jewish Week, began to be published in 1930. In 1938 D.C residents organized the Jewish Community Council, in order to have a centralized organization to represent and advocate for community organizations.

THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND WORLD WAR II

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal insulated D.C's Jews from the worst of the Great Depression. Nonetheless, the Hebrew Sheltering Society, as well as other social service organizations, worked to provide kosher food, clothing, and housing for those arriving in D.C and looking for work. During this period the District's Jewish population more than doubled; Jews from all over the country arrived to work on the New Deal projects, as well as in the expanding civil service. Many Jews began moving to neighborhoods in north D.C and to suburbs in Maryland.

Zionism became particularly active during the 1930s, as Washington became a center for efforts to rescue European Jewry. The Jewish community rallied and signed petitions seeking to pressure the British government to allow Jews to immigrate to Palestine; one protest, in 1938, drew 4,000 Jews. Various organizations raised money on behalf of European Jewish refugees. Justice Louis D. Brandeis, who served on the Supreme Court, hosted a salon at his apartment for local and national Zionist leaders.

Additionally, as the nation prepared for war thousands of Jews came to Washington to work in the government or to serve in the military. So many people were streaming in that in 1941 alone the JCC was responsible for finding housing for 4,000 Jews. Synagogues and other local organizations sponsored religious, social, and cultural activities for those serving in the armed forces. At the same time, Washington Jews continued their efforts to build up their own community institutions. In 1944 the Hebrew Academy, the area's first day school opened, which offered an alternative to congregational Hebrew and Sunday Schools.

POSTWAR

After World War II the Jewish community of D.C continued their work to support the Zionist movement. Many of the community's most prominent and influential members were involved in a secret campaign to raise funds for the Haganah, as well as in raising funds to support illegal immigration to Palestine. After the establishment of the State of Israel, which was widely celebrated by D.C's Jews, local Jews purchased the new country's embassy near Embassy Row.

The Jewish population rose from about 20,000 in 1945 to an estimated 110,000 in 1970, and began expanding outward to the suburbs; indeed, by 1956 half of the 81,000 Jews in the area lived in the suburbs and not in D.C proper. Congregations began to be established in these new suburban enclaves: the Arlington Fairfax Jewish Center (later renamed Etz Hayim) was founded in Arlington, VA during the early 40s; the Montgomery County Jewish Center (later renamed Ohr Kodesh, was founded in Maryland in 1947. The Beth Jacob School and a yeshiva high school opened in the D.C area and ran during the 1950s and 1960s. Community organizations that were based in D.C migrated along with the Jewish residents; the JCC, the Hebrew Home for the Aged, the Jewish Social Services Agency, and later the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) and the Jewish Community Council relocated to a centralized campus in Rockville, Maryland.

The original JCC building located near the White House was bought back, restored, and reopened by the local Jewish community during the 1990s.

In 1997 there were 165,000 Jews living in Greater Washington.

POLITICS

Not surprisingly, the Jews living in D.C and its suburbs have been politically involved throughout the community's history. The publisher and bookstore owner Adolphus Solomons (1826-1910) served in the House of Delegates in 1871 and later turned down the opportunity to act as governor of the District so that he would not have to work on the Sabbath.

During the 50s and 60s many of D.C's Jews were active in the civil rights movement. Later, during the 70s and 80s the community organized and participated in large demonstrations on the Mall protesting the treatment of Soviet Jewry; between 1970 and 1991 a daily vigil was maintained outside of the Soviet Embassy (church groups participated in the vigil as well, and took over for the Jewish groups on Sabbaths and holidays).

A number of Jews have served in D.C as elected officials or in government service. Some of the most well-known include Louis Brandeis, the first Jew to serve on the Supreme Court; his tenure lasted from 1916 until 1939. Brandeis is widely regarded as one of the most well-known and influential figures to serve the Supreme Court. In 2015 three of the Supreme Courth's 9 justices were Jewish.

In 2000 Joseph Lieberman, the senator from Connecticut and member of the Kesher Israel Congregation in Georgetown, became the first Jewish candidate for vice president.

New York City

The largest urban Jewish community in history; metropolitan area population 11,448,480 (1970), metropolitan area Jewish population 2,381,000 (1968), of which 1,836,000 live in the city itself.

The New York Jewish settlement began in 1654 with the arrival of 23 Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews from Recife, Brazil (a Dutch possession) who were defending the city from Portuguese attack. The director general of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant, did not welcome the Jews. They protested to their coreligionists in the Dutch West India company and privileges were granted them. However, they were not allowed to build a synagogue.

The surrender of New Amsterdam to the British in 1664 brought a number of changes to the Jewish settlement.

Generally, civil and religious rights were widened, Jews were permitted to hold and be elected to public office, and restrictions on the building of a synagogue were lifted.

"Shearit Israel", the first congregation in New York, was probably organized in 1706. Between 1729 and 1730, the congregation erected the first synagogue. During this period, the Jewish merchant took a major interest in the business of overseas trade. Jews were the first to introduce cocoa and chocolate to England and were heavily engaged in the coral, textile, and slave trades, and at times had virtual monopolies in the ginger trade.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Jews represented between 1% and 2% of the total New York City population and in 1701, it is estimated that Jews comprised 12% of all businessmen who engaged in foreign trade.

The advent of the American revolution found the Jewish community divided. Some were supporters of the American cause, while others supported the British. The end of the revolution brought many distinct changes. Civil liberties, which were often a matter of governmental whim under the English, became part of the New York State constitution. Opportunities were expanded and new fields opened. One of the distinctive changes in post-war New York was Jewish involvement in the political life of the community, perhaps best seen in the career of Mordecai Manuel Noah, who was High Sheriff of New York in 1821.

The period after the revolutionary war also saw the proliferation of congregational organizations and divisions within the Jewish community as well as mutual aid societies and Landsmannshaften. There were also numerous fraternal orders founded, the most important being the independent order B'nai B'rith, founded in 1843. In 1852, "Jews' hospital" was founded, which later became known as Mount Sinai.

Beginning in the 1870's and continuing for half a century, great migration from Eastern Europe radically altered the demography, social structure, cultural life, and communal order of New York Jewry. During this period, more than 1,000,000 Jews settled in the city. They were overwhelmingly Yiddish speaking and impoverished. On their arrival, East European Jews found a Jewish settlement dominated by a group strikingly different in its cultural background, social standing, and communal outlook. By the 1870's, this older settlement had become middle class in outlook, mercantile in its economic base, and reform in group identity. In 1870, the less affluent and those whose occupations required it lived in the Southern Ward of the Lower East Side, while the German Jews moved half way up the East Side of Manhattan. The relocation of synagogues and the establishment of other Jewish institutions underscored this process of removal and social differentiation, thus dividing the Jewish populace into "uptown" and "downtown" Jews.

In the decade after the civil war, fathers and sons entered the dry-goods business and transformed their establishments Bloomingdale's, Altman's, Macy's, Stern's, Gimbel's, and Abraham and Strauss. A significant number of German Jews entered the field of investment banking. They also played a central role as entrepreneurs in the city's growing ready-made clothing industry. In 1888, of 241 such clothing manufacturers, 234 were Jewish. The immigrant Jews entered the apparel trade in great numbers because it was close at hand, required little training, and allowed the congeniality of working with one's own kind.

During the 1901-1909 period, the groundwork was laid for the emergence of an aggressive, responsible, and progressive Jewish labor movement. The socialist newspaper, "Forward", was developing into the most widely read Yiddish daily and became a major educational medium for the Jewish working class. The "uprising of the 20,000" - a strike of the waistmakers, mostly young women - in the fall of 1909, was followed by the "great revolt" of the cloakmakers a half year later. These strikes increased the numbers and stability of the international ladies garment workers' union (I.L.G.W.U.).

During the last third of the 19th century, the established community built - in addition to imposing temples - a number of large and progressive philanthropic institutions.

Two developments of major significance for the future course of orthodoxy in New York took place between 1910 and movement and in the year 1915 Yeshivat Etz Chaim and the Rabbi Elchanan theological seminary united.

The sharp rise in immigration after 1903 underscored the need for more rational use of the resources and communal wealth which the community possessed. Some downtown leaders recognized the ineffectualness of their own institutions.

In both sectors of the community, the alienation of the younger generation from Judaism and Jewish life was viewed with alarm. These concerns led to the development of the short-lived New York Kehillah, an attempt to create a united community structure. The immediate catalyst was the accusation of the New York police commissioner in 1908 that 50% of the criminals in the city were Jews. Led by Judah Magnus, a coalition of representative leaders established the Kehillah as a federation of Jewish organizations in 1909. Magnus served as chairman until its demise in 1922. The establishment in 1917 of the federation for the support of Jewish philanthropies proved more lasting than the Kehillah.

The Yiddish speaking masses who settled in New York created a rich and varied cultural life. Between 1872 and 1917, 150 journals in Yiddish appeared. The Yiddish theater reinforced the press.

During the 1920's, the New York Jewish unions entered areas of activity never previously known to U.S. trade unions. They conducted large scale adult education, health clinics, a bank, summer resorts, built modern urban housing, and generously subsidized struggling trade unions.

Jews constituted 51% of enrollment in the city's academic high schools in 1931, and 49.6% of the city's college and university students in 1935. Also by the 1930's, over half the city's doctors, lawyers, dentists, and public school teachers were Jews.

As the largest single ethnic group, Jews were a highly important factor in the political life of the city. In no other city could Jews as a group weigh so heavily in politics or were real or alleged Jewish political interest reckoned with so carefully.

In 1967, there were 539 orthodox, 184 conservative, 93 reform, and five unclassified synagogues known in Greater New York; all but 163 of the total were within the city's boundaries. Actual synagogue affiliation tended to be low, however. The city's conservative congregations leaned close to orthodoxy in which most of their members and leaders, at least before 1950, had been raised. The Jewish Theological Seminary is the focal institution of the conservatives and exercised broad spiritual influence in the Jewish and general community. Jewish education in New York followed nationwide trends in the slow disappearance of the Cheder, the rise and decline of the communal Talmud Torahs, and Yiddish schools in the period from 1915 to 1950.

The city of New York is home to the largest Jewish population in the entire United States. Behind the central districts of Israel, New York City has the highest number of Jews in any metropolitan area in the world. By 2013 there was approximately 1.5 – 1.7 million Jews living throughout New York City, accounting for nearly 18% of the city’s total population (8.3 million).

Serving the Jewish people of New York City are several organizations. Many of these focus on Jewish religious practice, healthcare, education and family services. Throughout the city’s five boroughs are many foundations which support local communities and advocate for Jewish and Israeli causes. Some of the major organizations include UJA Federation of New York, The Jewish Communal Fund, The World Jewish Congress, The American Jewish Congress, AJC (Global Jewish Advocacy), The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and COJECO, the Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations. There are additionally many local organizations that specialize in the needs of their respective communities, such as the Bensonhurst Council of Jewish Organizations, which is the oldest in New York City, the Bronx Jewish Community Council, the Crown Heights Community Council, the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, and the Boro Park Community council.

Found across New York City are hundreds of synagogues, representing nearly every movement within Judaism. While the majority of these are in permanent buildings, some are held in temporary places. Many of these are not found in directories. There is an estimated 50 Orthodox synagogues, 8 Conservative, 17 Reform, 2 Reconstructionist and 5-7 which are unaffiliated with any particular movement. Among the wide range of Jewish educational services, are more than 350 private Jewish day schools which serve over 140,000 students. These include 191 high schools, 247 elementary schools and 159 preschools. Outside of school are many programs for Jewish youth, such as the Bnei Akiva Religious Zionist Youth Movement, Friends of Israel Scouts (Tzofim) and Young Judea.

New York City is well known for its numerous cultural institutions and museums. Many are internationally known and visited by thousands every year. Among those of which are culturally focused, are several Jewish museums and Holocaust memorials, such as the Anne Frank Center (USA), Bernard Museum of Judaica, and The Center for Jewish History. Other museums include the Derfner Judaica Museum, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Jewish Museum (New York), Living Torah Museum, Yeshiva University Museum and the Jewish Children’s Museum. New York City also has many Jewish cultural centers including the JCC Manhattan, YIVO (Institute for Jewish Research), the Leo Baeck Institute, the American Jewish Historical Society and the American Sephardi Federation.

Significant Jewish immigration began in the late 1800s with major waves taking place between 1881 and 1945. Additional waves of Jewish immigration began following the establishment of the State of Israel. During the 1950s and 1960s as many as 300,000 Israelis immigrated to the United States. Israeli Immigration continued throughout the 1970s and has ever since. By 2000, approximately 30,000 Israeli Jews were living in New York City. The Israeli community is well known for its entrepreneurship, having opened many startups and branches of existing Israeli businesses. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, new waves of Jewish immigrants began arriving to New York City. In the 1980s and 1990s, the city’s Jewish population was greatly augmented by the Jews of Eastern and Central Europe and the Caucasus region. These included the Georgian and Bukharian communities as well as Ashkenazi Jews from the Baltic Republics, Moldova and the Ukraine. In 2012, the more than 350,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union in New York City were Jewish.

Over generations, Jews have developed various communities throughout New York City creating several Jewish enclaves. Boro Park in Brooklyn for example is home to the largest Orthodox community in the world. Other notable Jewish neighborhoods include Crown Heights, Flatbush, Williamsburg and Midwood Brooklyn, Forest Hills and Fresh Meadows Queens, the Upper East and Upper West Side as well as Lower East Side in Manhattan, and the predominantly Hasidic neighborhoods of Willowbrook, New Springville, Eltingville and New Brighton.

Serving these neighborhoods as well as the rest of New York are several hospitals and health care facilities which were established by the Jewish community. In addition to Mount Sinai, one of New York’s oldest and largest hospitals, are several medical centers including Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, the Montefiore Medical Center, Beth Israel Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, the Sephardic Bikur Holim, Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Jewish Home Life Care, and the Hebrew Home for the aged. Found throughout these Jewish neighborhoods are many historic landmarks. In some cases, the neighborhoods themselves are the landmarks. The Lower East Side is a perfect example. Others include historic synagogues such as the Kehila Kedosha Janina, the only Romaniote (Greek) synagogue in the entire western hemisphere, or the Eldridge Street Synagogue, the first Eastern European Orthodox synagogue. Another group of landmarks include famous restaurants like Katz’s Delicatessen and Streit’s Matzo Company.

Since early Jewish immigration, New York City’s Jewish leaders developed foundations to keep medical centers like communal organizations alive. A number of Jewish Federations are overseen by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Other funding and support come from organizations like the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, the Jewish Communal Fund, Hadassah, Yeshiva University and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Being a community that numbers nearly 2 million, the Jews of New York City enjoy several Jewish media outlets, including radio and print news. Notable periodicals include the Jewish Week and the Jewish Post of New York. Others include the Manhattan Jewish Sentinel, the Long Island Jewish World and Five Towns Jewish Times. There is even a Yiddish language newspaper known as The Jewish Daily Forward.   

Elkins Park

A town in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA. 

In 1655, when Peter Stuyvesant conquered the Swedish colonies on the Delaware River, three Jews, Abraham de Lucena, Salvator Dandrade and Jacob Coen, asked permission to trade along the Delaware River (November 29, 1655). Initially the permission was denied but in June of the following year directors of the powerful West India Company wrote to Stuyvesant requesting that the Jews be permitted to trade along the Delaware River. From that time on, Jews had equal privileges as other traders.

Beth Sholom (Hebrew for ‘House of Peace), was originally an Orthodox community founded in the Logan section of Philadelphia, in 1918. Its name was in commemoration of the end of World War I. The synagogue moved to the Philadelphia suburb, Elkins Park, shortly after World War II. The Beth Sholom Center moved to its present site in 1951. Two years later, Rabbi Cohen persuaded Frank Lloyd Wright to accept the commission to design the new Elkins Park synagogue. This was to be the only synagogue Wright ever designed in his long and prestigious career, although it did lead him to design other religious buildings. The synagogue was dedicated on September 20, 1959, five months after Wright passed away. Within a few years after its completion, Beth Sholom Synagogue was selected by the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Preservation as one of the seventeen Wright buildings most worthy of preservation. In 2007, Beth Sholom was declared to be a National Historic Landmark. The synagogue is also a part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic Society, and as a result, no work can be performed on the building, without the Society’s permission.

Scranton

A city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, USA.

21ST CENTURY

The Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Scranton offers a variety of community, social, and fitness programs for both Jews and non-Jews of all ages.

Synagogues in Scranton include Congregation Machzikeh Hadas and Beth Shalom (Orthodox), Temple Israel (Conservative), and Temple Hesed (Reform). There is also a Chabad of Scranton, which is affiliated with the Lubavitch branch of Chasidism.  

In 2005 Scranton’s Jewish population was about 3,000, almost half of whom were Orthodox Jews.

 

HISTORY

Scranton’s first Jews were German immigrants who came to the area before the Civil War (1861-1865), many of whom were drawn by the growth of coal mining in the area. By 1859 there were about a dozen Jewish merchants living in Scranton, and eventually the city’s needlework and silk industries became largely Jewish-owned.

At first, Jews traveled from Scranton to nearby Wilkes-Barre for High Holiday services. Scranton’s first congregation, Ansche Chesed, was established by a group of 16 men in 1860. Ansche Chesed received its charter in 1862, and in 1867 the congregation purchased land for a synagogue building, which was dedicated just before Passover, 1867. Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise, who would soon become one of the leaders of the Reform movement in America, spoke at the synagogue’s dedication, and Ansche Chesed eventually became one of the first congregations to affiliate with the Reform movement. As the Reform community began moving to the Hills section of the city, they built a new synagogue, Temple Hesed, and sold the original synagogue building to an Orthodox congregation, which renamed the synagogue the Linden Street Synagogue.

Two Orthodox synagogues would be established later, the first by Hungarian Jews in 1886, and the next by Lithuanian and Russian Jews around 1895. The Hungarians established their synagogue in an area known as the “Flats,” which became a center for the Jewish community until 1956.

Other Jewish institutions that were established during the second half of the 19th century included the Amos lodge of B’nai B’rith. The JCC was later established in 1909.

A Conservative synagogue, Temple Israel, was established in Scranton in 1921. Temple Israel became a center for Jewish education with its subsequent creation of an afternoon Hebrew School. In 1966  the Yeshiva Bais Moshe (also known as Yeshivath Beth Moshe, Yeshiva Beth Moshe, Scranton Yeshiva, or Milton Eisner Yeshiva High School) was opened in Scranton by Roshei HaYeshiva - Rabbi Chaim Bressler and Rabbi Yaakov Schnaidman who were students of Rabbi Aaron Kotler, founder and Rosh HaYeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ.  The Scranton Yeshiva has produced thousands of students who have become successful business people and hundreds of rabbis who hold positions all over the world.

The Jewish population grew substantially at the turn of the 20th century, with a wave of immigrants from Eastern Europe increasing the Jewish population to about 5,000 in 1904. This population growth continued through the early 1930s, when the Jewish population reached 8,000. As time went on, however, the Jewish population began to decline. By 1970 the Jewish population had dropped to 5,170, and by 1994 the Jewish population was 3,200.

Notable members of the community include the academic Harry Wolfson (1887-1974), who became the first chairman of a Judaic Studies Center in the United States. Rabbi Wolf Gold, who served the Linden Street Synagogue, immigrated to Israel in the 1930s and was one of two Americans who signed Israel’s Declaration of Independence (the other was Golda Meir). Ralph Levy (1920-2001) was a producer and television and film director who won an Emmy in 1960 for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy for The Jack Benny Program.

United States of America (USA)

A country in North America

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: 5,700,000 out of 325,000,000 (1.7%). United States is the home of the second largest Jewish population in the world. 

Community life is organized in more than 2,000 organizations and 700 federations. Each of the main religious denominators – Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist – has its own national association of synagogues and rabbis. 

American cities (greater area) with largest Jewish populations in 2018:

New York City, NY: 2,000,000
Los Angeles, CA: 662,000
Miami, FL: 555,000
Philadelphia, PA: 275,000
Chicago, IL: 294,000
Boston, MA: 250,000
San Francisco, CA: 304,000
Washington, DC & Baltimore, MY: 217,000

States with largest proportion of Jewish population in 2018 (Percentage of Total Population):

New York: 8.9
New Jersey: 5.8
Florida: 3.3
District of Columbia: 4.3
Massachusetts: 4.1
Maryland: 4
Connecticut: 3.3
California: 3.2
Pennsylvania: 2.3
Illinois: 2.3

Vineland

City in Cumberland county, southern New Jersey, United States, about 30 miles (50 km.) from Philadelphia.

21st CENTURY

The Jewish population of Vineland in 2005 was 1,800.

The Jewish community is served by the Jewish Federation of Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties. It promotes Jewish culture and heritage in the region.

The Beth Israel Congregation of Vineland, Cumberland county’s largest and oldest conservative synagogue celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015, issuing a pictorial history to commemorate the event. The Beth Israel Community Library has a circulating and reference collection of Judaica.  Its Holocaust Collection includes over 900 print and non-print items- books, videos, photographs and posters.

The community is also home to a Chabad synagogue, Sons of Jacob Congregation.

In 2007, 600 people, many of them descendants of the settlers of the agricultural colonies of the area with which Vineland’s Jewish community originated, returned for a 125th anniversary celebration.

There is a movement at present to reanimate Jewish farming in the area, building a bridge between the past and the present.  In 2014 William and Malya Levin conceived the project Alliance Community Reboot (ACRe). They spent about $500,000 to acquire approximately 50 acres along Gershal Avenue in Pittsfield Township for cultivation. William Levin grew up in Vineland and his great grandfather Moses Bayuk was one of the 43 original Alliance farmers.

 

HISTORY

The Jewish community of Vineland originated with immigrant colonies that were established within the area’s rural setting. The first such colony was Alliance, founded in 1882 in Salem County three miles outside of the town of Vineland itself.  Forty-three families who had fled the pogroms of Russia were settled there in that year by the Alliance Universelle of France and the Baron de Hirsch Fund of Belgium. Other colonies established in the neighborhood included Carmel (with 17 families settled in 1882), Rosenhayn (with 6 families settled in 1883), Norma, and Brotmanville.  Woodbine was established in Cape May county in 1891 by the Baron de Hirsch Fund, and was incorporated in 1903 as an all-Jewish borough. Land around Vineland was relatively cheap and was near the markets of New York and Philadelphia.

Some of the settlers were inspired by the ideology of the Am Olam movement that began in Odessa in 1881. It fostered the belief that an agricultural life or return to the soil would provide a haven for the oppressed Jews of Russia providing them with the means to support themselves and live in community with their fellow Jews. Men like Moshe Herder, H.L. Sabsovich, Sidney Bailey, and Moses Bayuk considered farming the most useful and honest kind of labor, envisioning in rural communities the basis for a creative life.  Other settlers were more concerned with economic opportunity and the advantages offered by a free society.

Philanthropic organizations in western Europe and the United States– Alliance Israelite Universelle, the Hebrew Emigrant Society, and the Baron de Hirsch Fund – as well as American Jewish leaders such as Jacob Schiff and Myer S. Isaacs provided funds to purchase land for colonization and leadership to organize  and settle the immigrants in their new homes. They also saw this as a way of countering anti-semitism by showing how the members of the Jewish community could lead productive lives, in defiance of stereotypes.  A major goal was to Americanize the immigrants, creating viable communities based on the principles of self-help.

Each colony developed a social life with an orthodox synagogue, religious school, and an array of clubs, fraternal orders, debating and athletic groups.

A Chevra Kedisha (burial society) was organized to serve the cluster of communities and in 1891 Alliance Cemetery was incorporated.

Most of the immigrants had been tradesmen or scholars in Europe and had no practical knowledge of farming when they came.  They were assisted by the locals, some of whom were Quakers.

It soon became a necessity to supplement farm incomes with manufacturing. The soil was poor and the 10-15 acre lots were inadequate. Markets were not accessible enough. The settlers came to depend on their sewing machines to support themselves especially in Carmel, Rosenhayn, Norma and Brotmanville. In Woodbine industry was subsidized from the outset.

Abraham Brotman established a clothing factory that gave the settlers work in the winter.  Vineland Kosher Poultry was established which slaughtered chickens raised in neighborhood coops. In the spring of 1900 a canning factory opened in the area that provided farmers with a local market. The Allvine Company that owned the canning factory provided lessons in farming practices on its own model farm.

The Jewish population grew slowly to about 3,500 in 1901.  By 1919 it had dropped to 2,700, reflecting the growing American urbanization, and the pursuit of better educational and economic opportunities by the second generation.

Some moved to New York or Philadelphia, but others settled in Vineland proper, operating stores or small factories. Arthur Goldhaft, a distinguished veterinarian, founded the Vineland Poultry Laboratories in 1916. He is credited with “putting a chicken in every pot” because he developed the fowl pox chicken vaccine that protected the world supply of chickens from fowl pox disease. His son Dr. Tevis Goldhaft continued his work.

Among the other children of the settlers who achieved prominence were Jacob G. Lipman, an agronomist and dean of Rutgers’ College of Agriculture; Gilbert Seldes, author, critic, and dean of the School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania; and Benjamin M. Golder, Philadelphia congressman. Samuel Gassel served as borough commissioner and became mayor of Vineland in 1929. I. Harry Levin became a municipal judge.

The Jewish Community Council, today the Jewish Federation of Cumberland County, was established in 1924.

Between 1946 and 1952, several hundred Holocaust survivors were settled in the Vineland area by the Jewish Agricultural Society and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.  They established poultry farms that required a relatively small amount of land and physical labor that was not overly strenuous. These enterprises were designed to provide a regular and immediate income.

The Jewish farmers prospered in the 1950’s and five new synagogues were built in the area. The community formed the Jewish Poultry Farmers’ Association and a Free Loan Society.  A Jewish day school was founded in 1953, supplementing the established congregational religious schools.  There were Zionist organizations, B’nai Brith, and Associations of Jewish War Veterans. Jews participated in all civic and political activities.

In 1960 there were 1,200 Jewish families in the Vineland area, and three synagogues in the city itself.

During the course of the 1960s and 1970s, there was a downturn in economic conditions for the Jewish poultry farmers.  The price of eggs dropped due to automation, mechanization and competition from the south.  At the same time there was a rise in the cost of labor and the price of feed grains.

The community members moved to the nearby towns and cities and went into manufacturing, building trades, real estate, small businesses and the professions.

Joseph Pasternak
Ira Einhorn
Hackenburg, William Bower
Adler, Cyrus
Levinthal, Bernard Louis
Levy, Moses
Efros, Israel Isaac
Hortense Powdermaker
Mordell, Phineas Pinchas
Greenstone, Julius Hillel
Savage, Leon
Patai, Raphael
Salomon, Haym
Goldstein, Stephen
Margolis, Max Leopold
Gandz, Solomon
Husic, Isaac
Fuerst, Moritz
Dropsie, Moses Aaron
Ormandy, Eugene
Lewandowski, Manfred
Hamburg, Jeff
Raskin, David
Blitzstein, Marc
Getz, Stan
Goldstein, Israel
Amram, David
Elman, Ziggy
Cook, Ray M.

Joseph Herman "Joe" Pasternak (1901-1991), film producer at Hollywood, born in Szilagy-Somlyo, Hungary (then part of Austria-Hungary, now Șimleu Silvaniei, in Romania). He immigrated to the USA in 1920 settling in Philadelphia. in 1927 and two years later began working in films. By the end of the 1920s he was a producer for Universal Pictures in Central Europe, and from 1936 he produced over 100 films in the United States, always light comedy musicals such as Three Smart Girls (1936) with Deanna Durbin – the first of ten she made for Pasternak; movies that starred Mario Lanza; and It Started with Eve (1941); Destry Rides Again (1939), with Marlene Dietrich; Spinout (1966), with Elvis Presley; and Sweet Ride (1968). Pasternak wrote an autobiography, Easy the Hard Way (1956), and a cookbook, Cooking with Love and Paprika (1966).

Ira Samuel Einhorn ("The Unicorn Killer")(1940-2020), environmental activist and convicted murderer, born in Philadelphia, PA, USA. While attending the University of Pennsylvania, he started his activities with ecological groups and became active in various counter culture, anti-establishment and anti-war movements of the 1960s and 1970s. He started his academic career as a teaching fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

In September 1977 Einhorn's former girlfriend disappeared after returning for a visit to his apartment in Philadelphia. The following police investigation led to a dead end. However, in March 1979, a renewed police investigation resulted in discovering the discomposing body of his girlfriend in a trunk kept in Einhorn's home. Einhorn was released on bail, but in 1981, a short time before the opening of his trial, he fled to Europe. He lived in Europe for the next 17 years and even married a Swedish woman. In 1996 a Pennsylvania court convicted him in absentia for the murder of his girlfriend and sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

In 1997 Einhorn was arrested in France. During the following four years Einhorn fought against his extradition to the United States. His case reached European Court of Human Rights and involved diplomatic exchanges between members of the US Congress and the French President Jacques Chirac and French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. After four years of efforts to block his extradition, Einhorn was sent to USA in 2001. At a new trial he was convicted again in 2002 and sentenced to a mandatory life term without parole. He died in prison in 2020. His nickname "Unicorn" is the English translation of his German surname Einhorn.

Hackenburg, William Bower (1837-1918), silk manufacturer and philanthropist. After being elected secretary of the Hebrew Relief Society in 1858 he devoted much of his time to doing philanthropic work in Philadelphia, USA. He founded a Jewish hospital there and was personally responsible for its development into a major public institution. He was a trustee of the Baron de Hirsch Fund and also Dropsie College and was very active in relief work for the Jews of Russia. He became a vice president of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites which conducted in 1878 a statistical survey of American Jews.
Adler, Cyrus (1863-1940), scholar and tireless worker for the Jewish community, born in Van Buren, a small town in Arkansas, USA, the son of a cotton planter. After the death of his father Adler and his family moved to Pennsylvania, where he was influenced by his uncle and cousin and as a result came to love Jewish tradition and scholarship. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania and went on to obtain a Ph.D. Degree from John Hopkins University in 1887.

Between 1887 and 1893 he taught Semitic languages at John Hopkins becoming an assistant professor in 1890. From 1892 he was librarian at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, with a particular interest in Semitics and archeology. Between 1908 and 1940 he was president of the Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning and also Chancellor of the Theological Seminary of America and, under Solomon Schechter, he played an active part in the institution's reorganization. In 1905 he was chairman of the Board of trustees and when Schechter died in 1915, Adler became acting president of the Seminary. In 1924 he was elected full president. While insisting on the maintenance of high standards of academic excellence, he was also responsible for constructing the Seminary's new buildings.

He wrote many articles on comparative religion and Semitic languages and was a contributor to the "New International Encyclopedia", an editor of the "Jewish Encyclopedia" and a member of the committee which translated the Jewish Publication Society's version of the Hebrew Bible, published in 1917. He edited the first seven volumes of the "American Jewish Yearbook" (1899-1905). Between 1910 and 1940 he was editor of the "Jewish Quarterly Review".

Adler was one of the founders of the Jewish Welfare Board and also of the Jewish Publication Society, where he was chairman of various committees for many years. In 1892 he helped to found the Jewish Historical Society and served as its president for over 20 years. A joint founder of the American Jewish Committee in 1906, he was elected chairman of its executive board in 1915 in which capacity he represented the committee at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. In 1913 he was one of the founders of the United Synagogue of America and served as its president. Adler's views on Zionism were ambigious and this limited his relationships with the leaders of American Zionism and the leaders of American traditional Judaism.
Rabbi

Born in Seredzius, he studied in various yeshivot and went to the US in 1891. He settled in Philadelphia where he was rabbi of Congregation B'nai Abraham. Levinthal headed the United Orthodox Hebrew Congregations of Philadelphia. He was responsible for the establishment of various institutions catering to the immigrant Jewish population. He was founder and first president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada (1902). Levinthal was also active in the wider community, being a founder of the American Jewish Committee and a member of the delegation sent by the American Jewish Congress to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. An active Zionist, he helped to establish the Mizrachi Organization of America.
Levy, Moses (1757-1826), US judge, the first Jew to be born in America and to qualify as a lawyer there. His father, Samson Levy, was one of the few Jewish plantation owners in the entire South and owned as many as five slave ships. Despite this fact, he was also an abolitionist and published a pamphlet against slavery, during an extended stay in London.

Levy Moses was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1772. He was admitted to the bar in 1778; from 1802 to 1822 he was recorder of Philadelphia; and from 1822 to 1825, presiding judge of the district court for the city and county of Philadelphia. At one time he was a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, and he was a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania for twenty-four years. At one time he was considered for he position of Attorney General of the United States.
Efros, Israel Isaac (1891-1981), Israeli and American rabbi, teacher, poet and scholar in Jewish philosophy, born in the Ukraine and came to the United States in 1905. He received a doctorate from Columbia University. In 1918 he founded the Baltimore Hebrew College and the Teachers' Training School. Between 1917 and 1928 he was professor of Hebrew and taught Jewish philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, and was appointed to teach at the University of Buffalo between 1929 and 1941. He was rabbi of Temple Beth El from 1929-1935, but left the synagogue in 1935 following a dispute over organ playing during Friday night services. Between 1941 and 1955 he taught at Hunter's College in New York City. He also taught Jewish philosophy at Dropsie College in Philadelphia from 1945. Dr. Efros had been president of the Histadrut HaIvrit of America, which promotes the use of Hebrew.

In 1955, he was appointed rector of Tel Aviv University

By 1930 he had already translated some of the works of Shelley into Hebrew, had written over one hundred Hebrew poems and had written two major philosophical works, "The Problem of Space in Jewish Medieval Philosophy" (1917) and "Philosophical Terms in the Moreh Nevuchim" (1924). Altogether he was the author of nine books of poetry and scholarly works, including ''Ancient Jewish Philosophy'' and ''Silent Wigwams,'' a collection of poems based on American Indian legends and lore. Efros also translated works of Shakespeare into Hebrew and H.N.Bialik into English.

Hortense Powdermaker (1896-1970), anthropologist, born in Philadelphia, PA, USA, the daughter of Louis Powdermaker and Minnie nee Jacoby. The family moved to Reading, PA, in 1901. She graduated from Goucher College in Towson, MD, in 1919. For a number of years she worked as a labor organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers in New York, Cleveland, and Rochester. In 1925 she moved to England where she studied anthropology with the leading anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski at the London School of Economics earning a Ph.D. in 1928.

She started her field research by studying during ten months the society of a fishing village on the island of New Ireland aka Latangai (today in Papua New Guinea). The results of the study were published in her first book – Life in Lesu: The Study of a Melanesian Society in New Ireland, published in 1933.  From 1930 to 1937 she was associated with the Institute of Human Relations at Yale University. She continued her field research in the town of Indianola, MI, where she focused on race relations, the role of the black church, and the cultural diversity of the African-American community. Her opposition to racism, anti-Semitism, and discrimination against new immigrants in the USA were expressed in her book Probing our Prejudices: A Unit for High School Students (1944).  During the 1940s she conducted a field research at Hollywood. This time Powdermaker focused on the impact of the social structure of the film industry on the content of films. The results were published in Hollywood, the Dream Factory: An Anthropologist Studies the Movie Makers (1950), one of her most popular books. During 1953-1954 she conducted a field study of the copper workers in North Rhodesia (now Zambia). The results were published in the book Copper Town: Changing Africa, the Human Situation on the Rhodesian Copperbelt (1962). Her memoir – Stranger and Friend: The Way of an Anthropologist – was published in 1968.

Her teaching career expanded from 1938 through 1968, teaching anthropology at Queens College in New York. In addition she lectured at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology (1944-1952) and the New York College of Medicine (1958). Powdermaker served as vice president (1945-1946) and then as president (1946-1947) of the American Ethnological Society. During her last years she lived in California.

Mordell Phineas Pinchas (1861-1934), Hebrew grammarian, and scholar. Born in Shat, Kovno region, Lithuania (then part of Russia.) He studied in Yelizavetgrad (Elizabethgrad) in southern Russia. Following the particularly bloody pogrom that took place there in 1881, Mordell immigrated to the USA and settled in Philadelphia. During his first years there, he worked at various trades in order to maintain himself while studying the Hebrew language and grammar.

He was associated with the Wissenschaft (Science of Judaism) movement of Jewish scholars who reasoned that the continuance of anti-Semitism after the emancipation resulted from European society’s ignorance of Judaism’s history and its contribution to European culture. They aimed at showing how Jewish history formed part of general historical trends. Mordell was among the first advocates of Zionism and of the use of the Hebrew language in the USA. In 1895, he published the correct text of Sefer Yetzirah, ("Book of Creation") one of the earliest extant book on Jewish esotericism. In 1914, he wrote a comprehensive commentary of this book in English. He was greatly encouraged in his linguistic studies by Ahad Ha-Am (Asher Ginsberg), who published some of Mordell's articles in Ha-Shilo'ah - the Hebrew newspaper which Ahad Ha-Am founded in order to support literary work by Zionists. He published linguistic studies and a series of articles on the reading of Hebrew in the Hebrew periodicals Ha-Toren, (1917-18), Ha-Olam ha-Yehudi (1924); and Leshonenu, 3 (1930). Mordell's articles were also published in English and one was published in Yiddish.

Pinchas Mordell's son, Louis Joel Mordell, was professor of mathematics at Manchester and Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and for two years president of the London Mathematical Society.
Scholar

Born in Mariampole, he emigrated to the US in 1894. He was ordained a rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1904. The following year he joined the faculty of Gratz College in Philadelphia where he taught Jewish education and religion. From 1933-48 he was principal of Gratz College. From 1902, he ran a small bookstore in his home. Greenstone was one of the first in America to produce works of popular Jewish scholarship, such as The Jewish Religion. Most important was The Messiah Idea in Jewish History, the first book of its kind in English. He also wrote commentaries on biblical books and contributed to the Jewish Encyclopedia.
Savage, Leon (1888- ?), lawyer, journalist and communal worker. Born in Kovno, Lithuania (then part of the Russian Empire). He was educated at Kovno and at the University of Paris.

In 1914 Savage emigrated to the USA. He served on the editorial staff of the Philadelphia Jewish World until 1916, and as city editor of the The Jewish Day, New York City, from 1917 to 1918. In 1923 Savage gained a degree in law from Columbia University.

His feature articles appeared in the Philadelphia North American and were published also by the American Alliance of Labor and Democracy. In 1916 he edited, in collaboration with B. Charney Vladeck, Fun Tiefenes mein Harz ("From the Depth of My Heart"), a two-volume anthology of social protest. In 1917, during the period of the Kerensky provisional revolutionary government in Russia, he acted as representative of the Russian press in the United States.
Savage was active in communal, civic, social and Zionist organizations. He was chairman of the public improvements committee in Washington Heights, New York, director of the Young Men's Hebrew Association and chairman of the American Jewish Congress for that section of the city. In the years 1940, 1941 he was president of the Bronx and Upper Manhattan Zionist Region. He was a member also of the National Administrative Council of the Zionist Organization of America.
Patai, Raphael (born Ervin György) (1910-1996), anthropologist, biblical scholar, and editor, born in Budapest, Hungary (then part of Austria-Hungary), the son of Jozsef Patai, author, translator, and editor. In 1933 Raphael Patai settled in Palestine, where he was awarded the first Ph.D. degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1936. Returning to Budapest for a brief period, he was ordained at the rabbinical seminary.

In 1938 Patai became an instructor in Hebrew at the Hebrew University. In 1942-1943 he served as academic secretary of Haifa Technion. In 1944 Patai founded the Palestine Institute of Folklore and Ethnology in Jerusalem and served as its director of research until 1948. In 1945 he launched and edited the journal of the institute, "Edoth" ("Communities"); a Quarterly of Folklore and Ethnology. In 1949 he began editing a series of books for the institute entitled "Studies in Folklore and Ethnology" (5 vols.) and another series "Social Studies" (2 vols.).

In 1947 he went to the U.S. and from 1948 to 1957 was professor of anthropology at Dropsie College. From 1966 he was professor of anthropology at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rutherford, New Jersey. During the years 1956-1968 Patai served as president of the American Friends of the Tel Aviv University in New York, and from 1957 also editor of the Herzl Press.

His main contribution to scholarship resides in two fields – the culture of the ancient Hebrews and Jews and that of the modern Middle East including Israel. He published several hundred articles and more than two dozen books, among them: "Ha-Mayim" ("A Study in Palestinology and Palestinian Folklore", 1936); "Ha-Sappanut ha-Ivrit" ("Jewish Seafaring in Ancient Times", 1938); "Man and Earth in Hebrew Custom, Belief and Legend" (2 vols. 1942-43); "Madda ha-Adam" ("An Introduction to Anthropology", 2 vols., 1947-48); "Man and Temple in Ancient Jewish Myth and Ritual" (1947, 1967); "Israel Between East and West" (1953, 1970); "Sex and Family in the Bible and the Middle East" (1959); "Golden River to Golden Road: Society, Culture and Change in the Middle East" (1962, 1967, 1969, 1971); "Hebrew Myth" (with Robert Graves, 1964); and "The Hebrew Goddess" (1967).
Patai also edited a number of important publications, such as: "The Republic of Syria" (2 vols., 1956); "The Republic of Lebanon" (2 cols., 1956); T"he Kingdom of Jordan" (1956); "Herzl Year Book" (1958-65); "The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl" (5 vols., 1960); "Studies in Biblical and Jewish Folklore" (with Francis Lee Utley and Dov Noy, 1960); Women in the Modern World (1967); and "Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel" (2 vols., 1971).
U.S. patriot and merchant. Born in Leszno, he emigrated to America about 1785 after wandering in Europe. His linguistic talents - he was proficient in seven languages - and his financial expertise helped him make his way in the New World. During the War of Independence he worked for the Americans and had to flee from New York to Philadelphia, where he established himself as a commission merchant and bill broker. He assisted the American government financially and loaned money to delegates to the Continential Congress, including James Madison. In 1784 he extended his business to New York. Salomon invested his money in Continental stocks and bonds and died penniless.
Goldstein, Stephen (1938-2009), professor of procedural law, born in Pennsylvania, USA, to a family of modest means. Goldstein was awarded a law scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania, without which he would not have been able to study, went on to win a succession of prizes from the faculty in recognition of the excellence of his work and graduated in 1962 with first class honours.

He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar the same year and began to practice corporate law. In 1964 Justice Arthur Goldberg of the United States Supreme Court invited him to Washington DC to be his Law Clerk. At this time the Warren Commission was still investigating the assassination of President J.F.Kennedy and Goldstein participated in some aspects of the preparation of its final report. In 1966 he was appointed Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania and by 1972 he was a full professor of procedural law at the same faculty.

In 1973, at the height of the Watergate crisis, he was approached by the Republican National Committee to give a legal opinion of the ramifications and likely procedures of a possible impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

In 1976 Goldstein family decided to make aliya to Israel where he was immediately appointed professor of Procedural Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From the first day at the Hebrew University, Goldstein insisted in giving all his lectures and seminars in Hebrew, in itself an outstanding achievement. He was the first Israeli professor in this field of law and during his career span in Israel of over thirty years he made a significant impact on this aspect of the Israeli legal system. Shortly after taking up his appointment he was requested by the legal committee of the Knesset to outline the provisions of a law for the bringing of class actions in Israel.

Between 1984 and 1987 he was director of the Sacher Institute of Legislative Research and Comparative Law. In 1987-1990 he was the Dean of the University Law Faculty. He was chairman of the Editorial Board of the Israel Law Review, and for 13 years was chairman of the United States-Israel Fulbright Commission which each year provides scholarships for senior students in different fields to spend 1-2 years in the US.

During his career Goldstein was for short periods visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley; at Cambridge University in England in 1984, and at the University of Hong Kong in 1993. In 1998 he was Visiting Professor of European and Comparative Law at the Kellogg College, University of Oxford, England, and he was Visiting Professor, Chuo University, Tokyo in 1998-1999. He was a member of the executive committee of the International Association of Procedural Law and a member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. He conducted research into various fields of law including fundamental issues in comparative procedural law and and dispute resolution structures and mechanisms, and also in class actions and derivative actions.

His many publications include “On Comparing and Unifying Civil Procedural Systems”, (1994), “The Anglo-American Jury System as Seen by an Outsider (1996), “The Role of Supreme Courts in Common Law Countries” (1998), “The Utility of the Comparative Perspective in Understanding, Analyzing and Reforming Procedural Law” (1999) and “The Development of Class actions in Israel” (2000). His last publication which appeared posthumously in 2011 was “Quick Justice: A Comparative View”.
Scholar

After a thorough Jewish and general education, he went to the US in 1889. He taught at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, (professor of biblical exegesis) and University of California, Berkeley (Semitic languages). A devoted Zionist, he left Hebrew Union College largely on account of the president's anti-Zionism. From 1914-17 he was chief editor of the Jewish Publication Society of America's translation of the Bible into English. From 1909 until his death Margolis was professor of biblical philology at Dropsie College, Philadelphia. He was the author of many works, many related to the Bible and Hebrew grammar but was most popularly known for his collaboration with Alexander Marx in History of the Jewish People.
Gandz, Solomon (1887–1954), Semitics scholar and historian of mathematics, in Tarnobrzeg, Poland (then in Austria-Hungary). He studied mathematics, Semitics, and rabbinics in Vienna and taught at a Viennese high school from 1915 to 1923. He emigrated to the United States in 1924 and became librarian and instructor in medieval Hebrew and Arabic at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary until 1935. From 1942 until his death he taught the history of Semitic civilization at Dropsie College in Philadelphia.

Gandz's speciality was ancient Oriental mathematics, astronomy, and science and also the Jewish studies of these fields of knowledge during the Middle Ages. Among his works is a translation of "Mishnat ha-Middot", published in 1932 in "Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik, Astronomie und Physik", a second-century Hebrew geometry and its ninth-century Arabic version. Many of his essays were collected and published in "Studies in Hebrew Astronomy and Mathematics" (1970). In Semitics, he contributed an annotated German translation of Imruh al-Qays' sixth-century poems. Gandz was associate editor of the international periodical "Osiris", he also contributed the section on public law to the second volume of "Monumenta Talmudica" (1913). Gandz translated parts of Maimonides' "Mishneh Torah" for the Yale Judaica Series English edition.
Husic, Isaac (1876-1939), historian of Jewish philosophy, born in Vasseutinez near Kiev, Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire). In 1888 he was brought to the USA by his parents and settled in Philadelphia. As a youth he was influenced by Rabbi Sabato Morais of the local Sephardi congregation and started to prepared himself for a career as a rabbi. He dropped the idea when he started to study philosophy and law at the University of Pennsylvania.

From 1898 to 1916 he taught at the local Graetz College. In 1911 he was made a member of the faculty of Philosophy of the University of Pennsylvania and became a professor ten years later. In 1916 Husic published “A History of Medieval Jewish Philosophy", a systematic review of the development of Jewish thought throughout the Middle Ages. In 1925 he became editor of the "Jewish Publication Society of America".

Fuerst (Furst), Moritz (1782-1840), artist and engraver, born in Pezinok near Bratislava (Pressburg, in German; Pozsony, in Hungarian) Slovakia (then part of the Austrian Empire). He was hired by the American consul in Livorno, Italy. After immigrating to the United States in 1807, Fuerst worked as an engraver for the United States Mint in Philadelphia from 1812 to 1839. He received quick recognition and 33 of his patriotic commemoratives and portraits are still issued by this mint. His best-known work was struck in commemoration of the War of 1812. Fuerst produced the first recorded American Jewish medal, the homage on the death in 1816 of the patriot and religious leader Gershom Mendes Seixas (1745–1816). Official portraits were struck by him for US presidents James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Martin Van Buren.

Dropsie, Moses Aaron (1821-1905), lawyer, businessman and philanthropist, born to a Dutch-Jewish father and a Christian mother. He converted to Judaism at the age of 14 and went on to become a firm advocate of traditional Judaism. He began life as a store-boy, later learned watchmaking, and afterward at the age of 28 studied law under Benjamin Harris Brewster. After his admission to the bar in 1851 he took an active interest in public affairs, was the candidate of the Whig party for mayor of the Northern Liberties district of Philadelphia, PA, in 1852, and, like most members of the party, was strongly opposed to slavery.

Dropsie was instrumental in the development of railways in Philadelphia; and after acting as president of the Lombard and South Street Passenger Railroad (1862-1882), he became in 1888 president of the Green and Coates Street Passenger Railroad. In 1870 he became chairman of the commission appointed by the legislature for the construction of a bridge over the Schuylkill River.

Dropsie took a deep interest in Jewish charitable and educational work. He was a director of the Hebrew Fuel Society, a member of the board of "adjunta" (directors) of the Sephardi Congregation Mikve Israel. He was one of the charter members, and for more than forty years, an officer of the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia. Dropsie was president of the short-lived Maimonides College, the first Jewish theological seminary in America, from 1867 to 1873. He believed that its failure was due to the refusal of the leaders of the New York Jewish Community to help to finance it. He was president of the Philadelphia branch of the Alliance Israélite Universelle from 1883 and of Gratz College, America's first Jewish college, since its foundation in 1893. He left his fortune to the creation of Dropsie College, the world's only institution exclusively dedicated to post-doctoral research on Jewish Civilization.

Owing to failing eyesight, Dropsie in 1885 retired from the practise of the law. He translated and edited Mackeldey's "Handbook of the Roman Law " (1883), and in addition published (1892) a separate work on "The Roman Law of Testaments, Codicils, and Gifts in the Event of Death” ("Mortis Causa Donationes").
Ormandy, Eugene (Jeno Blau) (1899-1985), conductor, born in Budapest, Hungary (then part of Austria-Hungary). He was admitted as a pupil to the Budapest Academy at the age of five, the youngest student ever to enter that conservatory. Two years later he made his concert debut as violinist. After studying under Hubay, Ormandy graduated from the Academy with the M.A. degree. In his nineteenth year he was appointed professor of music at the Academy. He made several moderately successful tours of Europe as violinist.

In 1920 he went to the United States, and joined the orchestra of the Capitol Theatre, New York City. It was with the Capitol Theatre Orchestra that he made his official debut as conductor. For several years Ormandy appeared as a conductor of symphony concerts on the radio. In 1930 he was invited to give a guest performance with the New York Philharmonic at the Lewisohn Stadium. He made such a fine impression that one year later, he was invited to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra as a substitute for Arturo Toscanini, who had suddenly fallen ill. His subsequent rise as conductor was meteoric.

In 1931 he became permanent conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, which under his direction became one of the great orchestral organizations in the USA. After five years in Minneapolis, Ormandy was recalled to Philadelphia to succeed Leopold Stokowski as the permanent conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the fall of 1938 Ormandy was given also appointed "music director" of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which he went on to conduct for 44 years. He distinguished himself in guest performances with the Budapest Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Bruckner festivals at Linz, Austria. In 1970 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He retired from full-time music-making in 1980. His last concert was with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York, in 1984.
Ormandy combined an extraordinary memory (he invariably directed his concerts without scores) with a remarkable knowledge of orchestral resources. He was a born conductor in his capacity to dominate his players and to convey to them his slightest wishes. In a bewilderingly short time he developed maturity, discrimination. scholarship.
Ormandy did not associate with the Jewish community.
Cantor. Born in Hamburg, Germany, he studied with Yossele Rosenblatt and became famous as a cantor in Berlin. He made many recordings, some of which were later destroyed by the Nazis. In 1938 he left Germany, going first to Paris and then, in 1939, to the United States. He was the great-nephew of composer Louis Lewandowski. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Blitzstein, Marc (1905-1964) , composer. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) to a wealthy family, Blitzstein studied music at the University of Pennsylvania and composition at the Curtis Institute for Music. In 1936 he went to Paris, where he studied with Nadia Boulanger, and in 1937 he furthered his studies with Arnold Schoenberg in Berlin. In 1940 he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. During World War II, Blitzstein served with the American Air Force in England. Blitzstein died of head injuries suffered in an attack by a group of sailors, while on the island of Martinique.
His works, often politically motivated, include the operas THE CRADLE WILL ROCK (1937) and NO FOR AN ANSWER (1941). He also composed the symphony FREEDOM MORNING (1945), the cantata AIRBORNE (1946), and the musical drama THE LITTLE FOXES (1949). He left an unfinished opera on the theme of Sacco and Vanzetti. Died in Port-de-France, Martinique.
Jazz saxophonist. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1942 he played with various jazz bands, including those of Stan Kenton and Jimmy Dorsey. He became famous in 1947 as a member of the “Four Brothers” group of saxophonists in the Woody Herman band. In 1949 he formed his own band and became a leading representative of Cool Jazz and the modern mainstream. In the early 1960s he promoted the bossa nova, a new style based on a blend of Brazilian melodies, American jazz and improvisation.
Goldstein, Israel (1896-1986), rabbi, author and Zionist leader, born in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Goldstein was ordained in the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1916, and then he was the rabbi of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in New York, the second oldest synagogue in the city, from 1918 until his immigration to Israel in 1960.

During his term as president of the American Jewish Congress (1951-1958) the organization vigorously opposed McCarthyism and supported equal rights for African Americans. He was head of the New York Board of Rabbis, the Jewish National Fund, and the Zionist Organization of America, and helped found the National Conference of Christians and Jews. He was one of the founders of Brandeis University. Between 1961 and 1971 Goldstein was World Chairman of Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal.

The Israel Goldstein Synagogue on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was built in his honor. The Israel Goldstein Youth Village in Jerusalem was also named for him.

Among his published works are "Century of Judaism in New York", "American Jewry Comes of Age".
Adler, Cyrus
Adler, Cyrus (1863-1940), scholar and tireless worker for the Jewish community, born in Van Buren, a small town in Arkansas, USA, the son of a cotton planter. After the death of his father Adler and his family moved to Pennsylvania, where he was influenced by his uncle and cousin and as a result came to love Jewish tradition and scholarship. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania and went on to obtain a Ph.D. Degree from John Hopkins University in 1887.

Between 1887 and 1893 he taught Semitic languages at John Hopkins becoming an assistant professor in 1890. From 1892 he was librarian at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, with a particular interest in Semitics and archeology. Between 1908 and 1940 he was president of the Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning and also Chancellor of the Theological Seminary of America and, under Solomon Schechter, he played an active part in the institution's reorganization. In 1905 he was chairman of the Board of trustees and when Schechter died in 1915, Adler became acting president of the Seminary. In 1924 he was elected full president. While insisting on the maintenance of high standards of academic excellence, he was also responsible for constructing the Seminary's new buildings.

He wrote many articles on comparative religion and Semitic languages and was a contributor to the "New International Encyclopedia", an editor of the "Jewish Encyclopedia" and a member of the committee which translated the Jewish Publication Society's version of the Hebrew Bible, published in 1917. He edited the first seven volumes of the "American Jewish Yearbook" (1899-1905). Between 1910 and 1940 he was editor of the "Jewish Quarterly Review".

Adler was one of the founders of the Jewish Welfare Board and also of the Jewish Publication Society, where he was chairman of various committees for many years. In 1892 he helped to found the Jewish Historical Society and served as its president for over 20 years. A joint founder of the American Jewish Committee in 1906, he was elected chairman of its executive board in 1915 in which capacity he represented the committee at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. In 1913 he was one of the founders of the United Synagogue of America and served as its president. Adler's views on Zionism were ambigious and this limited his relationships with the leaders of American Zionism and the leaders of American traditional Judaism.
Sabbath Candles in "Golden Slipper" Club, Philadelphia, 1986
New Year Greeting Card. Postcard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 1914
'Mikveh Israel' Synagogue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1976
The Hirsch Family, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania c. 1900
LIGHTING THE SABBATH LIGHT ON SABBATH EVE IN
THE GOLDEN SLIPPER CLUB UPTOWN HOME FOR THE ELDERLY.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, USA 1986.
PHOTO: KAREN R. MOSES, USA
(BETH HATEFUTSOTH PHOTO ARCHIVE,
COURTESY OF KAREN R. MOSES, USA)
New Year greeting card decorated with famous 'Biblical Men'
Postcard, Philadephia, Pennsylvania, USA, 1914
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Shoshana Weber, Israel)
Interior View of the Congregation 'Mikveh Israel' Synagogue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Rededicated in 1976; The Original Building was
erected in 1782.
Photo: Labron K. Shuman, USA
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Labron K. Shuman, USA)
The Hirsch Family.
Left to Right: Meyer, Bessie, Jacob Silberman
with their parents Ida and Michael Hirsch,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA c.1900.
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Marcus Solomon Goldstein, Israel)
Fuerst, Moritz
Dropsie, Moses Aaron
Ormandy, Eugene
Lewandowski, Manfred

Fuerst (Furst), Moritz (1782-1840), artist and engraver, born in Pezinok near Bratislava (Pressburg, in German; Pozsony, in Hungarian) Slovakia (then part of the Austrian Empire). He was hired by the American consul in Livorno, Italy. After immigrating to the United States in 1807, Fuerst worked as an engraver for the United States Mint in Philadelphia from 1812 to 1839. He received quick recognition and 33 of his patriotic commemoratives and portraits are still issued by this mint. His best-known work was struck in commemoration of the War of 1812. Fuerst produced the first recorded American Jewish medal, the homage on the death in 1816 of the patriot and religious leader Gershom Mendes Seixas (1745–1816). Official portraits were struck by him for US presidents James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Martin Van Buren.

Dropsie, Moses Aaron (1821-1905), lawyer, businessman and philanthropist, born to a Dutch-Jewish father and a Christian mother. He converted to Judaism at the age of 14 and went on to become a firm advocate of traditional Judaism. He began life as a store-boy, later learned watchmaking, and afterward at the age of 28 studied law under Benjamin Harris Brewster. After his admission to the bar in 1851 he took an active interest in public affairs, was the candidate of the Whig party for mayor of the Northern Liberties district of Philadelphia, PA, in 1852, and, like most members of the party, was strongly opposed to slavery.

Dropsie was instrumental in the development of railways in Philadelphia; and after acting as president of the Lombard and South Street Passenger Railroad (1862-1882), he became in 1888 president of the Green and Coates Street Passenger Railroad. In 1870 he became chairman of the commission appointed by the legislature for the construction of a bridge over the Schuylkill River.

Dropsie took a deep interest in Jewish charitable and educational work. He was a director of the Hebrew Fuel Society, a member of the board of "adjunta" (directors) of the Sephardi Congregation Mikve Israel. He was one of the charter members, and for more than forty years, an officer of the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia. Dropsie was president of the short-lived Maimonides College, the first Jewish theological seminary in America, from 1867 to 1873. He believed that its failure was due to the refusal of the leaders of the New York Jewish Community to help to finance it. He was president of the Philadelphia branch of the Alliance Israélite Universelle from 1883 and of Gratz College, America's first Jewish college, since its foundation in 1893. He left his fortune to the creation of Dropsie College, the world's only institution exclusively dedicated to post-doctoral research on Jewish Civilization.

Owing to failing eyesight, Dropsie in 1885 retired from the practise of the law. He translated and edited Mackeldey's "Handbook of the Roman Law " (1883), and in addition published (1892) a separate work on "The Roman Law of Testaments, Codicils, and Gifts in the Event of Death” ("Mortis Causa Donationes").
Ormandy, Eugene (Jeno Blau) (1899-1985), conductor, born in Budapest, Hungary (then part of Austria-Hungary). He was admitted as a pupil to the Budapest Academy at the age of five, the youngest student ever to enter that conservatory. Two years later he made his concert debut as violinist. After studying under Hubay, Ormandy graduated from the Academy with the M.A. degree. In his nineteenth year he was appointed professor of music at the Academy. He made several moderately successful tours of Europe as violinist.

In 1920 he went to the United States, and joined the orchestra of the Capitol Theatre, New York City. It was with the Capitol Theatre Orchestra that he made his official debut as conductor. For several years Ormandy appeared as a conductor of symphony concerts on the radio. In 1930 he was invited to give a guest performance with the New York Philharmonic at the Lewisohn Stadium. He made such a fine impression that one year later, he was invited to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra as a substitute for Arturo Toscanini, who had suddenly fallen ill. His subsequent rise as conductor was meteoric.

In 1931 he became permanent conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, which under his direction became one of the great orchestral organizations in the USA. After five years in Minneapolis, Ormandy was recalled to Philadelphia to succeed Leopold Stokowski as the permanent conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the fall of 1938 Ormandy was given also appointed "music director" of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which he went on to conduct for 44 years. He distinguished himself in guest performances with the Budapest Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Bruckner festivals at Linz, Austria. In 1970 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He retired from full-time music-making in 1980. His last concert was with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York, in 1984.
Ormandy combined an extraordinary memory (he invariably directed his concerts without scores) with a remarkable knowledge of orchestral resources. He was a born conductor in his capacity to dominate his players and to convey to them his slightest wishes. In a bewilderingly short time he developed maturity, discrimination. scholarship.
Ormandy did not associate with the Jewish community.
Cantor. Born in Hamburg, Germany, he studied with Yossele Rosenblatt and became famous as a cantor in Berlin. He made many recordings, some of which were later destroyed by the Nazis. In 1938 he left Germany, going first to Paris and then, in 1939, to the United States. He was the great-nephew of composer Louis Lewandowski. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Hamburg, Jeff
Raskin, David
Blitzstein, Marc
Getz, Stan
Goldstein, Israel
Amram, David
Elman, Ziggy
Cook, Ray M.
Blitzstein, Marc (1905-1964) , composer. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) to a wealthy family, Blitzstein studied music at the University of Pennsylvania and composition at the Curtis Institute for Music. In 1936 he went to Paris, where he studied with Nadia Boulanger, and in 1937 he furthered his studies with Arnold Schoenberg in Berlin. In 1940 he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. During World War II, Blitzstein served with the American Air Force in England. Blitzstein died of head injuries suffered in an attack by a group of sailors, while on the island of Martinique.
His works, often politically motivated, include the operas THE CRADLE WILL ROCK (1937) and NO FOR AN ANSWER (1941). He also composed the symphony FREEDOM MORNING (1945), the cantata AIRBORNE (1946), and the musical drama THE LITTLE FOXES (1949). He left an unfinished opera on the theme of Sacco and Vanzetti. Died in Port-de-France, Martinique.
Jazz saxophonist. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1942 he played with various jazz bands, including those of Stan Kenton and Jimmy Dorsey. He became famous in 1947 as a member of the “Four Brothers” group of saxophonists in the Woody Herman band. In 1949 he formed his own band and became a leading representative of Cool Jazz and the modern mainstream. In the early 1960s he promoted the bossa nova, a new style based on a blend of Brazilian melodies, American jazz and improvisation.
Goldstein, Israel (1896-1986), rabbi, author and Zionist leader, born in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Goldstein was ordained in the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1916, and then he was the rabbi of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in New York, the second oldest synagogue in the city, from 1918 until his immigration to Israel in 1960.

During his term as president of the American Jewish Congress (1951-1958) the organization vigorously opposed McCarthyism and supported equal rights for African Americans. He was head of the New York Board of Rabbis, the Jewish National Fund, and the Zionist Organization of America, and helped found the National Conference of Christians and Jews. He was one of the founders of Brandeis University. Between 1961 and 1971 Goldstein was World Chairman of Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal.

The Israel Goldstein Synagogue on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was built in his honor. The Israel Goldstein Youth Village in Jerusalem was also named for him.

Among his published works are "Century of Judaism in New York", "American Jewry Comes of Age".