Neighborhoods  /  East Side

The Buffalo Jewish East Side centered on William Street and Jefferson, and the roads radiating around them stretching to Broadway.

Overview

The East Side holds a particular affection for many Jewish Buffalonians. This was the immigrant neighborhood, and from where many contemporary Buffalo families can trace their roots. The neighborhood grew from the 1880s and reached its height in the early 1920s, lasting through the 1950s. Some of the Jewish institutions we have today can trace their beginnings to the East Side including the Jewish Community Centers and the Hebrew Benevolent Loan Association. The East Side was both a religious and commercial center that had eight synagogues, The Talmud Torah and hundreds of Jewish businesses from dry goods stores to grocers to shochtim (kosher butchers) to kosher delis. The East Side nurtured the talents of people like Harold Arlen as well as offering immigrant and first-generation children, educational opportunities through the public-school system, that enabled them to enter a variety of professions. The East Side was both a launchpad into the world beyond William Street and a place of intense community ties. 

Contribute to this page

The East Side was home to hundreds of Jewish businesses. We are trying to find images of businesses along William Street and its surrounding streets.  We are also seeking materials relating to synagogues and East Side institutions, as well as home town associations and other groups. Please contact us – or upload here.

East Side Location Map

Documents

Gallery

East Side businesses

East Side businesses

Coplon Paints, Oils and Glass Store, c. 1912

Coplon Paints, Oils and Glass Store, c. 1912

Coplon Paints, Oils and Glass Store, c. 1912, Coplon Collection, MM223, JBIC522lowres

On the East Side

On the East Side

S. Maisel, 913 Broadway, Buffalo, NY

S. Maisel, 913 Broadway, Buffalo, NY

Beth Jacob Congregation

Beth Jacob Congregation

Zion House

Zion House

Buffalo Jewish Community Building basketball team, c. 1930s

Buffalo Jewish Community Building basketball team, c. 1930s

Jewish Community Building featured in a multipage booklet, p.6.

Jewish Community Building featured in a multipage booklet, p.6.

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.

Ahavas Achim External 3

Ahavas Achim External 3

Ahavas Achim External 2

Ahavas Achim External 2

Ahavas Achim External 1

Ahavas Achim External 1

Hannah Haber Laufer

Hannah Haber Laufer

Brith Israel in Oscar Israelowitz

Brith Israel in Oscar Israelowitz

Sherwin Greenberg, Ahavas Sholem

Sherwin Greenberg, Ahavas Sholem

Ahavas Sholem, in Oscar Israelowitz

Ahavas Sholem, in Oscar Israelowitz