Synagogues / Humboldt Orthodox Shul
The Humboldt Orthodox Shul formed in 1940 and was also known as the Glenwood Avenue Shul. Located in the Humboldt area of Buffalo, it was led by Rabbi Gedaliah Kaprow for much of its history.
Humboldt Orthodox Center was incorporated in August 1940, by former East Side residents who had moved to the Glenwood Avenue area. Some of the founding family names included Rabinowitz, Greenspan, Foigelman, Krietor, Dozortez, Yellen, Obstein, Lazar, Snitzer, Sommerstein and Sunshine, many of whom served as trustees. In June 1940, before official incorporation, Leo Rabinowitz purchased a former telephone company that was subsequently converted into a meeting space for the synagogue. Located on Glenwood Avenue, the congregation rapidly established itself under the rabbinic leadership of Rabbi Gedaliah (Gordon) Kaprow, a Sokelifker, who continued a devoted following from earlier service at Anshe Sokelifke. Tragically, Rabbi Kaprow died suddenly in 1951 at the age of 46. The congregation hired Rabbi Abraham Telberg in January 1952, but after he left following an offer from a congregation in Toronto, the congregation struggled to survive and closed in 1955. A core group continued as a “Friends of the Former Humboldt Orthodox Synagogue” organization that continued through the 1980s. Funds were distributed to other synagogues and the synagogue books were distributed to orthodox congregations. The building was sold to a church congregation: Walls Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church.
Humboldt Orthodox, First Minutes, Aug 19, 1940
Humboldt Orthodox, First Minutes, Aug 19, 1940, courtesy of Cofeld Judaic Museum, Temple Beth Zion, Buffalo, NY.
Humboldt Orthodox, Members, 1950s
Humboldt Orthodox, members, 1950s, courtesy of Cofeld Judaic Museum, Temple Beth Zion, Buffalo, NY.
Humboldt Orthodox, Purchase of 355 Glenwood
Humboldt Orthodox, Letterhead
Humboldt Orthodox, Inventory
Humboldt Orthodox, inventory compiled by Alan Ehrlich, 1960, render as courtesy of Cofeld Judaic Museum, Temple Beth Zion, Buffalo, NY.
Humboldt Orthodox, Ball, 1949
Humboldt Orthodox, Ball, 1949 courtesy of Cofeld Judaic Museum, Temple Beth Zion, Buffalo, NY.
Selig Adler and Thomas Connolly, From Ararat to Suburbia: The History of the Jewish Community of Buffalo, Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1960.
Humboldt Orthodox Collection, Cofeld Judaic Museum, Temple Beth Zion, Buffalo, NY
Beth Abraham Congregation, Humboldt Orthodox Memorial Board and plaque memorializing Gedaliah Kaprow, 1951.
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We continue to seek any photographs, documents, mementos, film, video or written recollections relating to the Humboldt Orthodox Shul for digitization. If you have materials you’d like to make available for this purpose, please contact us.
Our thanks to the Temple Beth Zion and their permission to digitize materials within the Cofeld Judaic Museum holdings from the Humboldt Orthodox Shul donated by the Yellen Family.