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KehilaLinks Home Page for

Paterson, NJ

"The Silk City"

Lat: 40°55' N (40.91676), Long: 74°10' W (-74.17181)

WELCOME to this website that is dedicated to our ancestors, who, in search of a better life, bravely crossed an ocean to face uncertain futures in the America. Here we remember the golden age in the history of Paterson Jewry -- 150 years of struggle, achievement, happiness, and heartache.

We tell the story of the first Jewish settlers of Paterson -- the merchants and tailors from Germany, Bohemia, and Hungary who came in the 1840's, followed by the Russian, Polish, and Lithuanian Jews who came in the 1880's, and finally the immigrants from the textile centers of Lodz and Bialystok who came in the 1900's. Fleeing the pogroms and the persecutions prevalent in Europe in the 19th Century, they came to America in search of the "Goldena Medina." They brought with them an age-old religion and built a new life around it. Many found ways to hold tight to their Jewish beliefs and customs. They rose from poverty and deprivation to positions of influence. They created agencies and organizations which helped to make the new life bearable. And they helped to build a city.

[The above is a paraphrase of the Introduction from "Our Paterson Jewish Heritage," a pamphlet published by the Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey, 2nd edition, October 1987;see Bibliography for details.]

Are you looking for your Jewish Roots in Paterson?

For help in researching the genealogy and history of Jewish families that lived in Paterson, see this website's section on Family Research. There you will find how to search the JewishGen USA Database for Paterson, how to find others researching their roots in Paterson using the JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF), how to find out more about your ancestors from Bialystok and Lodz, and other resources for researching your family history and genealogy in Paterson. Also, the JewishGen InfoFiles provide information at your fingertips on topics of relevance to Jewish genealogical research, including "How To" files and links to many Jewish genealogical resources. 

In addition, much information can be found on the website of The Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey, including documents with names of members of the synagogues and landsmanshaften in Paterson.

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This site compiled by Roni Seibel Liebowitz & Mark Halpern
with the help of the following contributors:

Jerry Nathans, Founder and President Emeritus of
The Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey

Technical Support:
Jerry Liebowitz

Site Last Updated: August 19, 2013