Celebrating our culture.
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 diverse Jewish histories and heritages.

Community Feature

Altman, Sadie

Altman, Sadie

Born in Baltimore in 1860 to Henry and Wilhelmina Strauss, Sadie had a privileged upbringing including bilingual education in Germany. As a child and teen she also experienced extensive periods of travel in Italy and France where she learned each spoken language. Reared in music, art, literature and music, she contributed articles to the Baltimore American and defined herself as a journalist in an era when women were beginning to expand their roles beyond the private domestic sphere.

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Bunis, Anne

Bunis, Anne

Born in Russia in 1901 as Anna Wiener to parents, Morris and Dora Wiener, Anne as she would become, arrived in Rochester as a six-year old immigrant child. As the eldest of eight children, she left school at the end of eighth grade. Dreams of becoming a designer were put aside, even as she was creating and sewing her own clothing from her early teens.

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Latest Additions

Joseph, Shirley

Joseph, Shirley

Shirley Troyan Joseph was a feminist Jewish activist and a Jewish women’s rights leader who worked in community organizations and advocacy groups at local, national and international levels.

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Buffalo Jewish Community Honor Roll

Published in September 1945, just a few months after the conclusion of the war, this Honor Roll of Buffalo Jewish men and women who served during WWII is the most comprehensive compilation of Jewish WWII service record.

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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