CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY

Congregation Beth Israel
205 North 28th Street
315 Grand Avenue

Camden is well known for its ethnic communities. The large Polish, Italian, Irish, German, and Jewish communities played a great role in Camden's history in the 19th and first part of the 20th century, while Black and Puerto Rican families have given the city much of its recent flavor. There are other, lesser known ethnic groups that have made up the fabric of the city's life over the years. Greeks, Armenians, and Ukrainians  grouped together in the city in Camden's growth years. More recently, Mexicans, Vietnamese, Jamaicans, Dominicans, Haitians, and Koreans have come to the city to live and seek the American dream. 

Congregation Beth Israel was organized in 1929 and to my knowledge was the first synagogue to be built in East Camden. By the early 1920s the Kotlikoff family was doing business along Federal Street, the Zeff's owned the Rosedale Inn at 36th and Federal, and the were some other families, but the real Jewish migration to East Camden came when the area along Baird Boulevard and south of Marlton Pike was developed in the 1920s and 1930s. I'm not sure if Congregation Beth Israel predated that, but the building at 208 North 28th Street certainly did. It was used, according the 1929 Camden City Directory, as the home of the Washington Camp No. 27 of the Patriotic Sons of America (P.O.S.A.). City directories also show this address for  the Socialist Library Society in 1924 and 1929.

Founding members of Beth Israel included the Kotlikoff family and Mr. and Mrs. Samuel and Mayme Rosen.

By 1956 Congregation Beth Israel erected a new, modern synagogue at 315 Grand Avenue, the corner of Grand and Benson Street, just off of Marlton Avenue.

When I moved to East Camden in the mid 1970s, most Jewish families had left the city and the building had been long closed, but the signs of its use as a synagogue were obvious. A Christian group acquired the property on North 28th Street in the 1980s, and efforts to rehab the building have continued in fits and starts. The newer building on Grand Avenue has been used as a Christian school and as a day care center at various times since Beth Israel left Camden.

Phil Cohen
December 2005

Camden Courier-Post - June 13, 1933

Beth-Israel Sisters Hold Last Card Party 

The last of a series of charity card parties will be given by the Beth­Israel Sisterhood in the Beth-Israel Synagogue, 205 North 28th Street, tonight, at 8 o'clock. 

The committee in charge includes Mrs. Samuel C. Rosen, Mrs. David Esterman, Mrs. Morris Josselson and Mrs. Albert Taylor.

Camden Courier-Post - June 15, 1933
CAMDEN JEWS PICK CAPTAINS FOR DRIVE
Committee to Raise $10,000 for Aid, Told of Hardships in Germany

At an executive meeting of the United Committee for Relief of German Jews, held at Beth El Synagogue last night, the captains who will be in charge of teams for the purpose of raising $10,000 for relief of German Jews, were announced by Leon H. Rose, general chairman. In urging the appointees to intensive efforts, Rose said: 

"Six hundred thousand Jews are in distress. They are ousted from office, discharged from employment, denied civil and economic rights, persecuted and systematically forced to starve to death.

"There is raging in Germany one of the coldest and cruelest pogroms against the Jews ever known to history.

"We must help. We must rescue those helpless ones. Our weapon for immediate retaliation is money, and we must supply those arms. By the widest stretch of the imagination, it is inconceivable how any Jew in this community can exclude himself from this cause. 

"Thousands of German Jews, especially among the young, see a prospect of restarting their lives in Palestine to which some of them already have made their way. Determined, concerted Jewish effort can make it capable of providing a permanent home for a considerable part of German Jewry to whom the rest of the world, with few exceptions, is closed. 

"Immediate funds are needed. I appeal to you as self-respecting Jews who understand the suffering of your own race to come to the aid of your stricken brothers and sisters. Give them all you can." 

Those named and the organizations they represent are: Jacob Leventon, Congregation Beth El; David Lefkowitz, congregation Sons of Israel; Morris Josselson, Congregation Beth Israel; Benjamin Friedman, B'nai Brith; Mrs. I.S. Siris, Hadassah; Philip Miller, Hebrew Parent Teachers Association; Herman Odlen, Federation of Jewish Charities; Mrs. Rose Goldstein, Independent Social; Harry W. Markowich, Zionist Organization; Norman Heine, Junior 
Council; Julius Samson, Upsilon Lambda Phi. 

Mrs. William Laub, Council of Jewish Women; A. David Epstein, Sigma Alpha Rho; Mrs. Aaron Heine, Beth El Sisterhood; Samuel Shane, Talmud Torah; M. Snyder, Workmen's Circle; M. Bard, F. of S. U.; Louis Tarter, Independent Progress Lodge; Mrs. Zelda Lutz, Jacob J. Hernfeld Link; Dr. I.S. Siris, Jewish Welfare Society; Mrs. M. Shapiro, Hebrew Ladies Charities. 

Saul Lippman, Mizrachi; Mrs. Samuel Litow, Welfare Social Club; D. Breslow, Gordonia.; Dr. Reuben Cutler, Mizpah Lodge No. 245; F. & A. M.; Meyer Adelman, Camden Level Club; Mrs. Etta Rosen, B'nai Brith Auxiliary; Mrs. L. Weiss, Ladies Auxlliary of Progress Lodge; Miriam Morris, Junior 
Charity Workers; Mrs. A. Stoolman, Deborah Society; Mrs. M. Leider, Welfare Social.

Moses Bord was appointed captain of the workers. A mass meeting will be held June 20, at the Talmud Torah building, Seventh Street and Kaighn Avenue, and will be addressed by members of national, state and municipal governments, as well as outstanding Jewish leaders from New York and Philadelphia. 

Camden Courier-Post - June 23, 1933

21 RECEIVE DIPLOMAS AT BETH ISRAEL SCHOOL

Twenty-one students of the school of Beth Israel Congregation were graduated last night at exercises in the school at North 28th Street and High streets. 

Diplomas were presented by Morris Josselson, president of the synagogue and prizes were awarded by Herman Kessler, a member of the faculty. 

Addresses were given by the honor students, Irving Sackoff, Harry Gartzman, Bernard Adler and Paul Rothman. 

February 21, 1943

At 2:00 PM on February 21, 1943 a service flag was raised at Westfield Acres to honor the many men who had already gone off to serve in America's armed forces.
     Attendees of the day's events included Camden Mayor George E. Brunner, Camden County Clerk Frank J. Suttill, Rabbi F.D. Plotke of Congregation Beth Israel, a small synagogue located at 205 North 28th Street in Camden, and the Reverend Francis J. Hagerty of St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Federal Street.

Below - The program of the day's events

Congregation Beth Israel

Mayme Rosen

circa 1930

Samuel & Mayme Rosen
at the wedding
of their son
Leonard
about 1940

Samuel Rosen
Obituary
Camden Courier-Post
June 14, 1944

The Rosen Boys
(sons and nephews of Dr. Leonard Rosen)

Sam (Sandy), Jerry, Elliott, Howard, Steve

1950s

Beth Israel Graduating Class - circa 1969

From Left to Right- . Seated: Dale Ross, Debbie ??, Monica Davis, Julie ??, Enid Lotstein, Roberta Rose. Row 2: Rabbi Max Weine, Michael ??, Phillip Davis, ??, Steve ??, Billy Gelernt, Michael Danziger, Cantor Mordechai Goldstein . Back: ??, Gershon ??, Joel Brady, Howie ??, Stuart Novack.

Click on Image to Enlarge - Click Here To Supersize


A Tribute to Rabbi Max Weine * April 30, 1972

 

"It has been said that every man should step to the music of his own drummer. Such a man is Rabbi Weine. He has an abiding love of learning and compassion for all men.

He epitomizes the word "rabbi" in its true meaning - a man whose unassuming, soft-spoken manner belies his firm conviction, his steadfast adherence to the principles which guide his beliefs and action.

In the confusion of our times, Rabbi Weine has set his sights on the path most closely aligned with his own "drumbeat." In a period when integrity and humility are rare qualities, he has become, quite unintentionally a man unique in his time.

Rabbi Weine has kept pace the issues of our time, serving his urban community in the interests of equality and the tranquil coexistence of races and religions based on education and understanding.

While his gentle ways and humble concern for the welfare of others might seem out of step among today's clerical masters of oratory bonvivant personalities and astute businessmen, this man is consummately respected by his peers and well loved by his friends and congregants."

Alice Bellitz

The Crown of a Good Name Exceeds All Others. (Pirke Avot)

GUESTS

Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Adleman
Mr. and Mrs. Meyer Adleman
Mr. Stanley Adleman and Guest
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Adleman
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Albert
Reverand Samuel Appel
Mr. and Mrs. James Artz
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Asbell
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Back
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Becker
Mrs. Jeanette Bell and Escort
Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Bellitz
Mrs. Samuel Bellitz
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Berlin
Dr. and Mrs. Harold Berlin
Mrs. Miriam Bitman
Cantor and Mrs. Philip Blackman
Mrs. Sigmund Blass
Dr. and Mrs. Albert Bonier
Mr. and Mrs. William Bryen
Dr. and Mrs. Stephen H. Davis
Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Denbo
Monsignor Joseph W. Devline
Mr. and Mrs. Allen Dolgin
Dr. Jacob Drossner
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Drourr
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Drourr
Mr. Bernard Dubin
Dr. and Mrs. I. Eisenberg
Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Eisenberg
Mr. and Mrs. Max Gerald Elkins
Mr. A. David Epstein
Mr. Irving Epstein
Mr. and Mrs. Sig Ettinger
Mrs. Bernice Fein
Mrs. Elizabeth Feinstein
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Feinstein
Mr. Leonard Feldman
Mr. Morris Baer Finkelstein
Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Fleigleman
Mr. and Mrs. Russel Forman
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Fox
Mr. Philip Fox
Rabbi and Mrs. Isaac Furman
Miss Ellen Gartzman
Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Gartzman
Dr. and Mrs. N. Harry Gartzman
Dr. Joel Geffen
Mr. Irving Gitomer
Cantor Mordecai Goldstein
Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Goodwin
Mr. William Gordon
Mr. and Mrs. Leon Gottlieb
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Gould
Mr. and Mrs. Barry Gratz
Rabbi William Greenburg
Mr. and Mrs. Al Haiken
Rabbi and Mrs. Lester Hering
Mrs. Minna Harris
Rabbi and Mrs. Arthur Haselkorn
Cantor and Mrs. Louis Herman
Mr. Russel Janoff
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Josselson
Rabbi and Mrs. Howard Kahn
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Katman
Mrs. David Kaufman
Dr. and Mrs. Mark Kauffman
Rabbi Harry B. Kellman
Dr. and Mrs. Harold Kirsh
Judge and Mrs. Albert Klein
Mr. James Klein and Guest
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Koche
Mr. and Mrs. Ike Koff
Mr. Kotlikoff
Mr. and Mrs. Max Kramer
Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Kress
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Krouse
Mr. Louis Kushner
Mrs. Morris Kutner
Mr. Moses Lavinsky
Rabbi and Mrs. Robert Layman
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Leonard
Rabbi and Mrs. Albert L. Lewis
Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Levin
Mr. Sidney Levy
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Lieberman
Rabbi Louis Lieberworth
Mr. Leslie Lipschutz
Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Mazo
Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Mandel
Mr. and Mrs. Max Milask
Mrs. Harold Miller
Mr. Joseph Miller
Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Miller
Miss Judith H. Moore
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Naden
Mayor and Mrs. Joseph M. Nardi, Jr.
Mr. Irving Natkow
Rabbi and Mrs. Fred Neulander
Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Norwitz
Mr. and Mrs. David Novack
Mr. and Mrs. Morris Novack
Mr. and Mrs. Martin Odlen
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Paul
Dr. and Mrs. Harry Pinsky
Mrs. Yetta Pinsky
Mrs. Mary Plasky
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Plasky
Mr. and Mrs. Y. D. Plotnick
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Reichman
Mrs. Dora Rose
Dr. and Mrs. Leonard Rosen
Mr. and Mrs. Leon Roseman
Mr. and Mrs. Morris Liebman
Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Roseman
Mr. and Mrs. Martin Rosner
Mr. and Mrs. David Rosoff
Mr. Larry Rosoff
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Ross
Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Ross
Mr. and Mrs. Milton Ross
Mr. and Mrs. Milton Rothbaum
Mr. and Mrs. Julius Rothlander
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Rothman
Mrs. Jennie Rothschild
Mr. and Mrs. Leon Savage
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sbar
Miss Malkah Sbar
Mr. and Mrs. Abe Schnapf
Dr. and Mrs. Norman Shaen
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Shefsky
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Shensa
Dr. Harold Shpeen
Mr. and Mrs. Martin Silverstein
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Singer
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Skoboloff
Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Smith
Mr. and Mrs. I. Snegaroff
Mr. and Mrs. Martin Snyder
Mr. Joel Soffer
Miss Helen Spiegel
Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Starker
Mr. and Mrs. Ben Zion Steinberg
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel L. Supnick
Mr. and Mrs. Philip Tannenbaum
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Tapper
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Taylor
Mr. and Mrs. Harry W. Taylor
Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Taylor
Mr. and Mrs. Victor Taylor
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Toplan
Mr. Arnold K. Weber
Mr. and Mrs. Barry Weinberg
Dr. Burton Weiser
Miss Mary Weiss
Rabbi and Mrs. Herbert Yarrish
Dr. Paul G. Zackon
Mr. and Mrs. Julius Zinman
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Zitomer
Dr. and Mrs. Paul Zonies
Rabbi Harry S. Zwelling

* list incomplete

***

PROGRAM

Greetings

Dr. Harold Berlin, Chairman Rabbi Max Weine Tribute Dinner
Toastmaster Rabbi Albert J. Lewis, Temple Beth Sholom
Invocation and Hamotzi Rabbi Herbert Yarrish, Temple Emanuel

DINNER

Birkat Hamazon

Tributes

Monsignor Joseph W. Devlin, Interfaith Dialogue
Ellen Gartzman, Youth Representative
Rabbi Robert Layman, President, Tri-County Board of Rabbis
Rabbi Albert J. Lewis, Rabbinical Assembly of Philadelphia
Honorable Joseph Nardi, Jr., Mayor of the City of Camden, N. J.
Larry Rosoff, Youth Representative
Dr. Harold Shpeen, President of Jewish Federation of Camden County
Rabbi Harry S. Swelling, New Britain, Connecticut, Rabbi's Classmate
Mr. Arnold K. Weber, Director Camden Economic Development Office

Musical Program

Hazzan Phillip Blackman, Congregation Beth Israel
Hazzan Mordecai Goldstein, Temple Beth Sholom

Speaker
Dr. Joel S. Geffen, Director of Department Community Education,
Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Presentation

Mr. David Rosoff, President of Congregation Beth Israel

Response

Rabbi Max Weine

***

A GRATEFUL COMMUNITY PAYS TRIBUTE...

Mr. and Mrs. Meyer Adleman
Mr. Stanley Adleman
Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Aronberg
Dr. and Mrs. Eugene Bass
Miss Hene Bercovich
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Beilowitz
Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Bellitz
Dr. and Mrs. Harold Berlin
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Budowsky
Mrs. Naomi Floch
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Frankel
Dr. and Mrs. N. Harry Gartzman
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Goldstein
Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Greenberg
Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Harris
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Josselson
Rabbi and Mrs. Louis Kaplan
Mrs. Bertha Kapnick
Judge and Mrs. Albert J. Klein
Mr. and Mrs. Moses Lavinsky
Mr. and Mrs. Sam Lear
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lemerman
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Leonard
Mr. and Mrs. S. Nathan Lev
Dr. and Mrs. Irvin B. Levin
Mr. and Mrs. Myron Levin
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Lutz
Mr. and Mrs. David H. Markowitz
Mr. and Mrs. Leon Mickleman
Mr. and Mrs. Abe Molotsky
Mr. and Mrs. Julian Moore
The Naden Family
Mr. and Mrs. Morris Novack
Mrs. Mary Plasky
Dr. and Mrs. Alexander Price
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Price
Mr. and Mrs. George Rhodeside
Mr. and Mrs. David Rosoff
Mr. and Mrs. Milton Rothbaum
Dr. and Mrs. Norman Shaen
Mr. and Mrs. Leon Synder
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Sobel
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Spector
Mr. Mitchell Stern
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Taylor
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Taylor
Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Taylor
Mr. and Mrs. Victor Taylor
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Vilkomerson
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Werner
Mr. Jacob Wiener
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Wolinsky
Dr. and Mrs. Paul Zackon
Dr. and Mrs. Martin Zelnick
Dr. and Mrs. Paul Zonies

* List Incomplete

***

COMMITTEE

Chairman Dr. Harold Berlin
Co-chairman Mr. Bernard Bellitz
Tribute Chairman
Dr. N. Harry Gartzman Program Chairman
Mrs. Milton Rothbaum Community Laison
Hon. Albert J. Klein Program Book
Mrs. N. Harry Gartzman Mrs. Paul Gould
Arrangements Chairman Dr. Paul Zonies
Invitations Chairman Mrs. Paul Zonies
Publicity Mrs. Bernard Bellitz
Souvenir Book Mrs. Irwin Taylor

 

Committee Members

Mr. James Artz
Mrs. Henry Becker
Mr. Henry Becker
Dr. Stephen Davis
Mrs. Max Elkins
Mr. Aaron Fleigelman
Mrs. Gerald Gartzman
Mr. Martin Gitomer
Mr. Leon Goldberg
Mr. Paul Gould
Mr. AI Haiken
Mr. Robert Josselson
Mr. David Novack
Mr. Louis Paul
Mrs. Louis Paul
Mr. Sam Reichman
Mr. Leon Roseman
Mrs. Leon Roseman
Mr. Ted Roseman
Mrs. Ted Roseman
Mr. David Rosoff
Mr. Manuel Ross
Mr. Milton Rothbaum
Mr. Louis Shefsky
Dr. Leonard Rosen
Mr. Samuel Weiss
Mrs. Martin Zelnick

ADDITIONAL GUESTS

Mr. & Mrs. David B. Berschler
Mr. & Mrs. Harold Frankel
Mr. & Mrs. Morton Jacobs
Mr. & Mrs. Maurice J. Lichtman
Judge Norman Heine
Mr. Max Rosenfeld
Rabbi Bernard E. Rothman

ADDITIONAL TRIBUTES

Mr. & Mrs. Henry Bloom
Mr. & Mrs. Tom Borman
Mrs. Mildred Gelfand
Mr. & Mrs. Leon Goldberg
Dr. & Mrs. Milton Gordon
Mr. & Mrs. William Greenberg
Mr. & Mrs. Milton Herman
Mr. & Mrs. Morton Jacobs
Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Kirschner
Mr. & Mrs. William Remer
Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin Rosner
Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Segan
Mr. Joseph Smith
Mr. Mitchell Stern
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Silverstein
Mr. & Mrs. Albert Weine
Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Zelnick

 

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