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A few Jews had arrived in Johnstown sometime before 1850, but the largest immigration began with an influx of Russian Jews fleeing pogroms in the 1880s. According to The Horse Died in Windber: The History of Johnstown's Jews of Pennsylvania (written by Rabbi Leonard Winograd), "In 1856, there were nine [Christian] churches, and almost a synagogue." One newspaper reference in 1854 placed the number of Jews in Johnstown in excess of "thirty." [Whether that meant thirty individuals or thirty families is far from clear.] Like almost all others in Johnstown at that time, Jews lived within the city limits, mostly in Cambria City. There was no synagogue in Johnstown to serve the Jewish community until 1905. Regular religious services were held, and Hebrew was taught,in Jewish homes. Between 1905 and 1951, five synagogues were built to serve the Johnstown Jewish community during various stages of its history. The one synagogue functioning now is Beth Sholom Congregation. Source: Johnstown (PA) Jewish History Page http://bethsholomjohnstown.org/HistoryPage.html

 

Primary Funeral Homes used by Jews in Johnstown: Picking-Treece-Bennet, 574 Somerset St., Johnstown, PA 15901, Phone (814)535-3541 and John Henderson Co., 215 Central Ave., Johnstown, PA 15902, Phone (814)536-4602. Source of the information below (except where noted) is a 26 Oct 1994 letter from Jean Leventry, Secretary of Beth Sholom Congregation, 700 Indiana Street, Johnstown, PA 15905 phone: (814)536-0647 or 6440). The cemeteries are a subsidiary of the United Jewish Federation of Johnstown and governed and administered by three members of the Greater Johnstown Jewish Community who shall be elected by the Federation to serve as trustees of the cemetery. The 1994 director of the Jewish Federation of Johnstown is Mr. Isadore Suchman, 601 Wayne St., Johnstown, PA 15905. Now a local bank (financial arrangements only) looks after cemeteries. A committee looks after other concerns.

 

Ahavath Achim Cemetery: (Orthodox) in Geistown, PA (a Johnstown suburb). "No grave shall be opened or assigned for actual burial unless the Rabbi or a member of the Cemetery Committee makes an onsite approval." Cemetery Commmittee Co-Chairmen are Harry Morrow: Home (814)539-9370, Business (814)539-8755), Philip Eisenberg Home (814)255-1090, Business (814)539-7438), Grave Opener Rocco Samone, P.O. Box 148, Holsopple, PA 15935. Phone: (814)479-4185. Caretaker: Tony Samone, Thomas Street, Holsopple, PA 15935, Phone (814)479-4233. All grave numbers and rows are shown on the grave plan on file in the office of Beth Sholom Congregation, 700 Indiana Street, Johnstown, PA. Ahavath Achim cemetery is a subsidiary of the United Jewish Federation of Johnstown and governed and administered by three members of the Greater Johnstown Jewish Community who shall be elected by the Federation to serve as trustees of the cemetery.

 

Beth Shalom Cemetery: (814)536-0647 Source: Aaron Roetenberg; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Grandview Cemetery: The large Grandview cemetery has four sections set aside for Jewish burial: two Reform areas are Beth Zion #1 and #2 and the original Hebrew Burial Association (dating from about 1888). All sections are still active. Also see p.538, Postal & Koppman Jewish Tourist's Guide to U.S. . Phila.: Jewish Publ. Soc., 1954.

Beth Zion/Beth Sholom Sections of Grandview Cemetery: {10117}{10118} One section adjoins Israel Isaiah Cemetery section. The second section lies several hundred yards beyond, near the "Temple of Love" monument. The Grandview Cemetery Association for Beth Zion/Beth Sholom Congregational use holds the first section, which adjoins the Israel Isaiah burial area in reserve. Grandview, if available, sells gravesites in this section, directly to the family. Beth Zion/Beth Sholom Congregation owns the second section near the "Temple of Love". Non-Jewish spouses or their non-Jewish children may be buried in either of these two sections. No non-Jewish services, symbols, ground surface plaques, statues, mausoleums, or monuments may be used in these sections at any time befpre, during, or after interment. Grave stones or markers must be installed with the front of the stone being at the head of the grave. Sketches of all graves listed for both sections #1 and #2, Beth Zion-Beth Sholom Cemeteries are on file in the office of Beth Sholom Congregation.

 

Israel Isaiah Beneficial Society: 535-2652; c/o Ronald Clossin or James Vedlock. Males are always on left of females always right (looking from inside cemetery road.) Explanation: Plots are listed from #1 to #126. Grave sights in plots are under Grandview's old system that does not always follow numbers consecutively. Reference to map will show that member and spouse are not separated. Data as of May 1994.

 

Rodef Sholom Cemetery: (Conservative): also in Geistown. William Berney, Chairman, (814)255-2957; Isadore Glosser (814)255-1447; David Rudel (814255-4223; Grave openers: Russell McCauliff, (814)255-1742. The first officially chartered Jewish congregation in Johnstown was Rodef Sholom Congregation chartered (without a synagogue building) in 1889 with 30 families as members. A website (with photographs) that has a list of those buried at this cemetery is located at http://www.rootsweb.com/~pacambri/cems/RicRodef.html



 

Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2009 18:08
 
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