20 September 2009

Ohio: Wooster synagogue remembers its history

In Ohio, Wooster's Knesseth Israel Temple members celebrate the High Holy Days while they also remember their history.

The Daily Record article details the city's Jewish community and also mentions the Wayne County Public Library:

Ed Abramson, the congregation's historian, learned a great deal about his heritage and that of the Jewish community in Wooster when he retired in 1992 and began volunteering in the genealogy department of the Wayne County Public Library.

In studying newspapers on microfilm back to the 1820s, Abramson "became quite surprised how far back the Jewish presence was in Wooster," he said.

According to Abramson's research, Abraham Greenbaum, a merchant, was the first Jewish resident, arriving in 1841. The first Jewish birth is recorded in 1848 in Reedsburg.

"By the 1880s, we had a small little community in Wooster," populated by merchants and peddlers, Abramson said, adding, the Freedlanders settled here during that time.

Abramson's ancestors on his mother's side, the Brenners, "got here in 1904," he said, having immigrated to the United States from an area that was at various times in history either Russia, Poland or Lithuania.

Abramson's own father arrived in 1917, fleeing the Russian army during the Russian Revolution and arriving in America during the Great Flu Epidemic.

The story details the first synagogue, the first rabbi and more of the first families, as well as the synagogue's memorabilia, including a Holocaust Torah. on permanent loan from a Czech museum.

Read the complete story at the link above.

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