Synagogues  /  Congregation Ohel Jacob

Congregation Ohel Jacob was founded as an orthodox synagogue in the mid 1920s and was incorporated in 1930. It was active in the Ferry-Humboldt area until the early 1950s.


Congregation Ohel Jacob was founded as an orthodox synagogue in the mid 1920s and opened its dedicated building at  493-495 East Ferry St in 1929. It formerly incorporated with the name Ohel Jacob in 1930, yet like so many other synagogues, its location gave the congregation their alternative name—the Ferry Street Shul. During the 1920s, Cantor M. Weinstein led the temple services, while Rabbi Reuben Weinberg served the congregation through some of the 1930s. Many of the members were landsmann from Galicia some of whom came from Berditchev (current day Ukraine). Benjamin Meshorer led the congregation as president for decades until his death. Previously he held other leadership positions at Brith Israel and B’nai Israel Cemetery Association.

The congregation opened its own cemetery in 1937 within Elmlawn Cemetery in Tonawanda. A mortgage burning ceremony held in 1949, attracted more than one hundred individuals to the celebratory events, giving a sense of the size of the congregation in the late 1940s. However, like many synagogues in mid-town (as well as those on the East Side), movement to the suburbs meant that many members gravitated to other congregations. In the case of Ohel Jacob, this trend was also accelerated by the death of the Congregation’s lay leader.


Associated Families

Members associated with the synagogue gleaned from clippings, include the families of:

  • Nathan Spector
  • Jacob Frey
  • Charles Aaron
  • Aaron Frink
  • Sarah Chertoff
  • Bessie Berlin
  • Herman Axlehorn
  • Morris Kolken
  • Lena Lorbeer
  • Sadie Bronsky
  • Fannie Obstein
  • Lena Torrontor
  • Rae Torrontor
  • Mildred Price
  • Anna Serviss
  • Fannie Meshorer
  • Rose Mandel
  • Anna Guber
  • Lottie Ponrech
  • Leah Mesches
  • Sarah Kublitz
  • Adele Organek
  • Rose Rosengarden
  • Fannie Wolf
  • Bessie Frank
  • Tilly Greenberg
  • Ida Wagner
  • Ester Paltzik
  • Anna Gershkowitz
  • Celia Rabinowitz
  • Rose Linsky
  • Anna Bloom
  • Anna Pfeffer
  • Samuel Martin
  • Morris W. Bear
  • Jacob Umansky
  • Sam Liebergal
  • A. Lessinger


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Very little documentary materials survive for Ohel Jacob except for a few newspaper clippings. We are seeking internal and external photographs, documents, film, mementos and written recollections relating to Ohel Jacob for digitization. If you have materials you’d like to make available for this purpose, please contact us.