26 April 2007

St. Louis: Meet me at the (Gen) Fair May 5

The St. Louis Genealogical Society will host its 37th fair on May 5. Among the sessions is "Beginning Genealogy" with Ilene Murray of the Jewish Special Interest group (J-SIG).

To see the other conference sessions, click here

J-SIG began in June 2005 as a revival of the Jewish Genealogical Society of St. Louis. Click here for more information on location, meetings and resources.

The group's next meeting is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, when Ilene Murray will speak on mailing lists and e-mail, covering subscribing to and managing Internet resources.

According to J-SIG's site, Jews have been living in St. Louis since 1807 (when merchant Joseph Philipson arrived from Pennsylvania), and the first recorded prayer session with a minyan was in 1836. By 1850, there were some 50 Jews in the city and land was purchased outside the city for a cemetery. Today, that land is midtown and the cemetery has been relocated.

In 1841, the first synagogue was organized. Another congregation and a second cemetery followed. In 1854, there were enough Jews to require a rabbi, and the first synagogue was constructed in 1855.

By 1900, there were some 40,000 Jews, four cemeteries, four newspapers, two funeral homes, a Hebrew Free School and many Jewish organizations. Today there are more than 60,000 Jews, with many congregations, cemeteries, Holocaust museum, theater, charities, schools and nationally-known hospital.

A bibliography on the site lists five books about the community. Resources include a cemetery index. The St. Louis Public Library's includes Jewish books, periodicals, Yizkor books, maps and gazetteers. The Missouri Historical Society's Research Library holds business records, Jewish newspapers and more. Click here for a timeline of St. Louis Jewish history.

No comments:

Post a Comment