Celebrating 100 years of Jewish life in the Catskills
How did this shul get
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.
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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.
From a Jewish Agricultural Society annual report.
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.