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general Durham County information. [September 2005]

Beth El Synagogue. "The Durham Jewish community traces its origins to the 1870s when German and Eastern European immigrants arrived to peddle and open stores in the growing tobacco town. In the early 1880s their numbers were augmented by the arrival of Russian-Jewish cigarette rollers. The Durham Hebrew Congregation organized in 1887 and rented a hall on Main Street. In 1892, the congregants formally chartered the congregation and hired a rabbi. In 1905, they purchased a small, wood-framed church on Liberty Street which became Durham's first synagogue." [September 2005]

Judea Reform Congregation, 1933 W. Cornwallis Rd., Durham, NC 27705 see Chapel Hill [September 2005]

Durham Hebrew Cemetery: 1919 Jewish population was 500. Source: "Directory of Jewish Local Organizations in the United States" pp. 330-583. American Jewish Year Book 5680 September 25, 1919 to Sept. 12, 1920; volume 21. Edited by Harry Schneiderman for the American Jewish Committee and submitted by Alan Hirschfeld.

UPDATE: "The Durham Hebrew Cemetery may be the oldest Jewish institution of record in this area and dates back to the 1800's. For many years, it was the only Jewish cemetery for a significant geographical area. The cemetery is owned by Beth El and continues to serve our synagogue needs. Recently, an adjoining piece of property was purchased so that the expanded Durham Hebrew Cemetery will be able to continue to meet the needs of the Beth El community well into the future."

photo of cemetery and photos of gravestones with burial list. "This cemetery was established in 1882. Access is best gained by going through the Maplewood cemetery entrance on Kent Street just off Morehead Avenue. The Hebrew Cemetery has an older section and a newer section. Most of the tombstones in both sections contain Hebrew script. There are over 360 graves in the cemetery."

Chevra Kadisha information. [September 2005]


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