Kerhonkson Synagogue

       Celebrating 100 years of Jewish life in the Catskills

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How did this shul get

here ?  

 

In the early 20th century, Jewish

immigrants poured into the US seeking a better life.  Some struck out beyond the the tenements of eastern cities to become farmers.   Tifereth Yehudah V’Yisroel Kerhonkson Synagogue, has its origins in this movement.  A small community of farmers and merchants are noted as having regular service or minyan by 1910 and in 1922 land was procured for a synagogue by Louis and Becky Speigel.  

   (For more of our story scan here   **)

Many in this small Jewish community were farmers who produced milk and eggs.  Some supplemented their income by taking in summer boarders. Soon demand grew and  many kuchalein (rooms with communal kitchen), boarding houses, hotels and bungalow colonies.  This is how world famous resorts  like Grossinger's began. 

Others started businesses in town.  Kerhonkson

was a much more bustling village than it is now

having  a vibrant main street and a busy rail station.

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From a Jewish Agricultural Society annual report.

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Deed showing the transfer of land for the synagogue from Louis and Becky Speigel to The Society of the Beauty of Judea and Israel  9/10/1923.   Speigel was a  butcher in town and held the Sabbath service in his home often.

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Canal St,  Kerhonkson, circa 1920,
business district and railroad station.  Note Cohen's Department Store in the center.