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Sharing our stories.

A look into the history of Jewish Buffalo

Groundbreaking for Temple Shaarey Zedek in Getzville, 1968. Photograph created by Frederic Marshall, Buffalo, NY. Courtesy of Temple Beth Tzedek, Williamsville, NY.

Temple Beth David confirmation class, c. 1940s. Courtesy of Arlene Kahn Kissin.

Young Women’s Hebrew Association, Purim Party at the Jewish Community Building, c.1920s. Courtesy of Getelle Rein.

Welcome to the Jewish Buffalo History Center, a community portal for sources and stories of Jewish Buffalo history! This is an evolving and collaborative space for the exploration of this region’s diverseJewish histories and heritages.

Community Feature

Temple Beth Zion

Temple Beth Zion

The first and largest Reform synagogue in Western New York, Temple Beth Zion began as an orthodox congregation when it formed in 1850.

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Arlen, Harold

Arlen, Harold

Harold Arlen was a composer, singer, pianist, and arranger, but was most known for his Academy award winning musical and film compositions, many of which remain classics of American musical culture.

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A community of communities

Jewish Buffalo stories are local, national and international and part of the breadth of Jewish life in America over the last two centuries. Jewish Buffalonians have created a diverse array of local institutions and organizations, businesses, and initiatives. As part of an ever-evolving Buffalo metropolitan area, Jews have worked to maintain traditions and fashion new ones, with a vital mix of communities old and new, settled and fluid, and ethnically and religiously diverse. Through connection within families, organizations, and their neighbors, Jewish Buffalonians have shaped events, responded to challenges, and catalyzed social and cultural change. Dynamic and evolving, Jewish Buffalo stories are a part of a community of communities in the Buffalo region.

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