Organizations /
Jewish War Veterans, Buffalo Frontier Post # 25

Jewish War Veterans of America Post 25 was founded in 1929 as a local post of Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV). The post held annual commemorative events on Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Yom HaShoah, volunteered at the Veterans Affairs Hospitals, and participated in a range of other service and educational programming for the wider community. It met at multiple locations over North Buffalo and the suburbs, but closed in 2020.

Overview

The parent organization of the Jewish War Veterans of America Post 25 is the Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV). This organization was founded in New York in 1896 by American Jewish Civil War veterans, when it was known as the Hebrew Union Veterans Association. The union was organized to raise awareness among the general public about the military service of Jews and to combat antisemitism in the Armed Forces and the general public. As the oldest active national veterans’ service organization in America it has 125 continual years of service.

In Buffalo, Sol Feldman sought to establish a Jewish War Veterans Post in 1927 with the name: JWV Louis Marshall Post. This name, however, was in use by another group, and as a result, the National JWV eventually chartered the Buffalo post as the Buffalo Frontier Post #25 in 1929, two years later. Buffalo Frontier Post #25, observed it’s 90th Anniversary in 2019. For the post’s 80th anniversary in 2009, Maurice Sands, assembled a history of the post that included a range of reproductions from archival materials. He donated materials to the Buffalo History Museum, and additional materials were donated to the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project. This second collection is made available through the University Archives at the University at Buffalo. A third collection is located at the Benjamin and Dr. Edgar R. Cofeld Judaic Museum. There are currently no known archives for the Buffalo Jewish War Veterans Post 259 which was formed immediately after WWII.

One area of the Temple Beth El Cemetery located at Pine Ridge, in Cheektowaga has a special section for veteran burials. This plot was made available to the post with the assistance of Erie County. A plaque was dedicated on May 30, 1935 for the Jewish War Veterans of Erie County who served their country through seven previous wars. Since 1935, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and other Jewish War Veteran commemorative events have been observed at the cemetery by the community.

Buffalo Frontier Post #25 has been the host to an annual national encampment, the annual calendar meeting of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States. In 1941, the 46th National Encampment was held in Buffalo and had an added Buffalo connection. Medal of Honor awardee, Benjamin Kaufman, then national commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States was born in Buffalo on March 10, 1894. As a First Sergeant serving in Company K, 308th Infantry, 77th Division of the U.S. Army in World War I, he managed to capture an enemy gun post despite being badly injured. His actions protected other soldiers as he disabled the machine-guns, took a prisoner and recovered other weapons. At the National Encampment, he presented a checked for $50,000 to Bell Aircraft for the purchase of P-39 fighter plane for the war effort. In 1954, was another high point in post history, when the unit welcomed guest speaker Eleanor Roosevelt for the 25th anniversary of the post, celebrated with a dinner dance at the Hotel Statler Ballroom.

The Buffalo Frontier Post #25 has maintained offices and meetings spaces in several locations over the decades. During the 1930s to 1940s, Buffalo Frontier Post #25 maintained met at a building located at Herkimer and Grant. During the 1950s, the post moved to various locations including 277 Linwood Avenue and later rented a smaller facility at 576 Taunton Place. When the building on Taunton was destroyed by fire in the late 1950s, meetings continued at Temple Sinai at 50 Alberta Drive, Amherst, NY. In 1961, the post purchased 1460, Hertel Avenue and continued to meet at the building for the next twenty years observing a number of milestones. These included the 1976 Bicentennial, the 50th anniversary of WWII in 1995 and the hundredth anniversary of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States in 1996. From 1998, Buffalo Frontier Post #25 relocated its offices to the suburbs and met at the veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 416 building at 18 E. Spring Street in Williamsville. In the 2000s, the post meet at the former Temple Beth Am (now Congregation Shir Shalom) on Sheridan Drive in Williamsville. The post closed in 2020.

Over more than eight decades, the Buffalo Frontier Post #25 has served as a key service organization in Buffalo in both the Veteran (Jewish and non-Jewish) and wider community. Members have worked in various volunteer capacities at the local Veterans Hospital fundraising for equipment and special program services, providing nurses aid support, organizing Christmas Party and 4th of July Party events, distributing cakes and gifts for patients’ birthdays, delivering books and magazines to the hospital and general visiting. In addition, it has provided similar services to Weinberg Campus and its forerunner, Rosa Coplon Old Jewish Folks Home. Members have supported the Servicemen’s Hospitality Center at Airport and annually posted flag on the graves of the fallen within sections of non-sectarian cemeteries including Forest Lawn and Elmlawn Memorial Park and a number of Jewish cemeteries. The post has also been a sponsor of Boy Scout Troop No. 47.

Locations Over Time

Documents

Articles

Buffalo Jewish Review

[Only available off-line/in-person research at the Buffalo Central Library, Buffalo History Museum and the University at Buffalo, University Archives].

Numerous articles on the activities of the Post have appeared over the decades in the Buffalo Jewish Review. This paper, however, is neither indexed nor digitized during the active period of the Buffalo Frontier Post.

Plaque erected by Buffalo Frontier Post #25 Jewish War Veterans

This plaque is located at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park building and was dedicated in September 1993.

The text of the plaque is dedicated “To the Memory of all Those Who Defended the Ideals of the United States of America.”

Other Jewish War Veterans Plaques are located at the JCC Delaware Avenue and Pine Ridge.

Gallery

Donald Barish leading the Memorial Day Commemoration

Donald Barish leading the Memorial Day Commemoration

Members of Jewish War Veterans

Members of Jewish War Veterans

Jewish War Veterans with Ararat-Stone

Jewish War Veterans with Ararat-Stone

Discover More Collections

Archival Collections in Buffalo

  • Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo, NY, Jewish War Veterans, Buffalo Frontier Post #25, Mss. B2016-01
  • Benjamin and Dr. Edgar R. Cofeld Judaic Museum, Buffalo, NY, Jewish War Veterans, Buffalo Frontier Post #25, Gift of Donald and Helene Barish.

Collection at the University Archives, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Contribute to this Page

Although three collections document the Buffalo Jewish War Veterans Post 25, there are very limited numbers of images within these collections. We are seeking photographs, film, mementos and written recollections relating to both military service and war-time experiences and memories of Buffalo Jewish War Veterans Post 25 and Buffalo Jewish War Veterans Post 259 to digitize or copy. If you have materials you’d like to make available for this purpose, please contact us. 

Thank You

We are grateful to Maurice Sands (z”l) and Donald Barish (z”l) and Helen Barish who created and donated Buffalo Jewish War Veterans Post 25 archives to several repositories. Our thanks to the Buffalo History Museum for granting permission to use images, and the University at Buffalo, University Archives as well as the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies for permission to reproduce images created by Izon-Don Dannecker as part of a multi-year documentation project carried out by the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project.