Freehold Jewish Center – Wikipedia

| May 29, 2023

Early historyEdit In July 1911, a charter was drawn up for the formation of an Orthodox synagogue named Congregation Agudath Achim Anshai.[1][2][3][4] Many of the founders had immigrated to the United States from Russia and Poland.[1][2] Raphael Riemer, who immigrated to Freehold from Russia in 1906, was the synagogues first rabbi and cantor.[4] Louis Finegold, a local merchant, was the first President of the synagogue.[1][3] In 1911, the synagogue had a membership of 40 families.[4] The synagogue was first built at a land and construction cost of approximately $1,000, as a 32 by 50 feet (9.8m 15.2m)[5][6] wooden structure on the corner of First Street and Center Street in Freehold between 1911 and 1916, by the Freehold Hebrew Association, which had been established in 1894.[1][3][7][8] The synagogue's religious school started at that location in September 1914.[6] Dues were $6 ($160 today).[4] The synagogue added a second floor to the building in 1916.[8] The synagogue formed a sisterhood in 1920, and that year a mikva was constructed below the synagogue.[4][6] The synagogue also established a cemetery on Route 33 in Freehold, which it has maintained for more than 90 years.[9] In the 1940s, the Ku Klux Klan became active in the Howell Township area, and members of the synagogue regularly patrolled the synagogue grounds armed with shotguns to protect it against Klan members.[4] An old Torah on display in the synagogue was rescued from a ruined synagogue in Italy by World War II veteran Jack Steinberg and later restored.[10][11] Synagogue membership had grown to 100 families by 1943,[4][6] and 184 families by 1950.[6] During the 1950s and 1960s, synagogue membership in the synagogue reached 400.[4] It changed its name to Freehold Jewish Center in the 1960s.[4] Rabbi Eli Fishman was the synagogue's rabbi from 1970 until his retirement in 1997.[1][3] He was succeeded by Rabbi Kenneth Greene, who retired in 2011. In 2011, the synagogue was led by Rabbi Dr

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