Jeannette Religious

~ Religious Life ~

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When the community numbered only 40 families, an orthodox congregation was formed. By 1917, the congregation had a Rabbi to conduct the services of the congregation. The first rabbi was Rabbi Herman COHEN and in 1919, he was succeeded by Rabbi N. B. JABLOMSKY. While the congregation had no synagogue, on special occasions, holidays and the like, it met at the home of the Rabbi. The community eventually erected a synagogue.

former Jewish Synagogue
Photo: Copyright ©2014 Marshall J. KATZ, USA

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~ Jewish Organizations ~

B'nai Brith

There is also a branch of the well-known B'nai Brith fraternal order, which one finds in every small town as well as in every large city in the country. It has enormous membership and probably the largest Jewish fraternal order in the United States. The members of the Jeannette Lodge meet with their Greensburg brethren in the synagogue at Greensburg, and thus unite their efforts and strengthen the link in the chain. This order cares for the needy.

During the great wars, the Jeannette Jewish community rose to the occasion. They did their share and contributed their quota, not merely in money, but in service to all the various patriotic enterprises that have been sponsored by our government. But like others, the greatest contribution the Jeannette Jews gave to their country was the group of young men who went into service and whose names grace the honor roll of the community.

The Ladies' Aid Society

That there is a note of progress in the community as evidenced by the fact that, in 1919, a Jewish Ladies Aid Society was formed for the purpose of aiding any needy local family as well as extending its activities to broader fields in the community.

For example, at the theatrical presented by the society and the work done entirely by its members, some $400 dollars was raised for war sufferers. But, in addition this band of 30 women help in other war activities, not alone Jewish but non-Jewish as well.

The society met the first Sunday of each month to consider any cases that require attention. The officers were Mrs. Joseph FINKELHOR (President), Mrs. A.. LaVICTORE (Vice-president), Mrs. A. OWARNOFF (Secretary) and Mrs. J. CAPLAN (Treasurer).

In connection with the war activities, is not a amiss to note that the Jewish residents of Jeannette, as a whole, took an active interest and perform their duty in the matter of promoting all of the various activities in connection with the Liberty Bond, the Red Cross, United War Work and in other campaigns.

House of Shelter

Another organization they came into existence in 1919 was a House of Shelter. The spirit that promotes a house of shelter is essentially Jewish, but they have always cared for the stranger within their gates. This society tries to take care of any needy coreligionists who requires lodging or shelter.

The same group of earnest Jewish women from Jeannette are behind the splendid movement and the officers were Mrs. A. OWARNOFF (President), Mrs. Joseph FINKELHOR (Secretary).and Mrs. A.. LaVICTORE (Treasurer).

~ Summary ~

This small, but enterprising community, kept in touch with Jewish leaders in Greensburg as well as in Pittsburgh and in every way, contributed to the values in advancing the cause of Jews and Judaism. By their initiative in creating organizations and societies—that show their appreciation of the value of the spiritual side of their faith— the Jewish community of Jeannette was commended for their progress developing the right kind of Jewish community.

Sources (portions):
Rauh Jewish Archives at the Heinz History Center
The Jewish Criterion - Vol. 51 No. 22 - 25 July 1919
Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project, Carnegie Mellon University Libraries

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Created and Compiled by:
Marshall J. KATZ, USA
with assistance from:

The Jewish Criterion - Vol. 51 No. 22 - 25 July 1919
Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project, Carnegie Mellon University Libraries
and the following

JewishGen members/descendants and
contributors of Jeannette Jewish families:


Updated: 07 October 2020

Copyright ©
2015 Marshall J. Katz
All rights reserved

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