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A Brief History of the Welland Jewish Community

Dedication Book to commemorate the opening of the new Anshe Yosher Synagogue and Centre. Summit Avenue West Welland, Ontario Canada

June fifth , Nineteen Hundred and Fifty-five.  (1955)

As far as can be determined, the history of the Welland Jewish Community begins some 45 years ago, when in 1909 our surviving senior member, Mr Albert  Many, arrived here to establish a grocery business. In the space of the next few years, enough Jews settled here to form a “minyan” when one was required. Prominent families of the congregation in those years were Henry Shapiro, Joseph Solomon, Joe and Paul Adelman, M. Diamond, Frank and Sam Fishman, Issie Semel, Max Burger, Jacob Lubin, Joe Benjamin, Sam Sugarman, all of revered memory; and also Morris Semel, M. Scheinzinger, I. and Z. Gottesman, Charlie Cohen, I. Adelman, the Gibbs, Blugerman and Shaletzky families. Of all these families, only the descendants of the Fishman and Adelman family reside in Welland today.

In 1914, a building was bought on Fifth St. in Crowland and this was converted into a Synagogue. This was duly dedicated in 1917, and a semblance of Jewish communal life came into existence, with the synagogue and rituals of Jewish observance acting as the rallying point for the community. Thus, a “schoichet” was retained when available, a “mikvah” was erected adjacent to the Shul, and a plot of land for a cemetery was even obtained.

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