Jews in the Y Bridge City
A History of Zanesville’s Early Jewish Community

By Austin Reid

Photo of Zanesville’s Kenseth Israel Sunday School c.1912 from the American Jewish Archives

The Origins of Zanesville’s Earliest Jewish Residents
Zanesville is among Ohio’s most historic cities. For 150 years the town’s religious
landscape also included one of the state’s oldest organized Jewish communities. When Beth
Abraham synagogue closed its doors in 2017, it marked an end of an era for organized Jewish
life in Muskingum County. The first Jewish residents of Zanesville likely arrived in the late
1830s or early 1840s. By 1856, The Occident , a Jewish newspaper out of Philadelphia, reported
that Zanesville was home to many Jews.[1] Four years earlier, the same newspaper described
Zanesville as being home to “few Israelites” but predicted that within a short time a
“considerable congregation” would gather in the city due to the region’s rapid development.[2]
These developments included the introduction of railways in 1852 that linked Zanesville to the
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and allowed for quick travel over the Appalachian Mountains.
According to Thomas W. Lewis, a longtime local historian in Zanesville who lived from 1851 to
1936, a clothing merchant between Third and Fourth streets with the surname Oppenheimer was
the first Jew known to have resided in Zanesville.[3]This merchant may have been Leopold
Oppenheimer, who is known to have arrived in the United States from Hemsbach, Germany with
his wife Babette sometime between 1842 and 1852. Once in the United States, Babette and
Leopold are known to have lived in both Fremont, Ohio, and Zanesville. The couple had at least
five children and at least one son, Heinrich, was born in Zanesville in 1852.[4] Leopold and
Babette returned to Hemsbach at some point and their graves are found in the town’s Jewish

This return to Europe was unusual for contemporary Jewish immigrants to the Americas.
Between the years 1820 and 1880, an estimated 150,000 Jews would arrive in the United States
from predominantly German-speaking regions of Europe. Jews, however, comprised but a small
part of the approximately three million German-speaking immigrants in total who came to the
United States during the same period.[5] Most German-speaking lands would become part of the
modern German state when it was created in 1871. During the decades preceding this event,
however, much of Central Europe was beset by revolutions and other forms of political and
economic turmoil. In 1848, revolutions became especially widespread throughout Europe
ushering in an exceptionally large wave of immigration. While Babette and Leopold returned to
Europe, four members of the Oppenheimer family are buried in the Jewish section of Oakwood
Cemetery in Fremont. Another man named Joseph Oppenheimer lived in Zanesville around 1875
and worked as a clothing merchant. The first Jewish resident of Zanesville for which both a
complete name and recorded date of arrival have been preserved together is Caroline Rosenberg.
Caroline, who would later marry an immigrant from the Baden region of Germany named David
Goodman, is believed to have settled in Zanesville during the year 1849. This date comes from
her obituary which was published in 1900.[6] At the time of her arrival in town, Caroline was
around 16 years old. Caroline may have been related to John Rosenberg who is listed in the 1860
federal census as a thirty year-old tailor in Zanesville. A 24 year-old female with the surname
Rosenberg is also recorded as living with John, but the first name has become worn out in the
government record.[7] The age recorded, however, is close enough that this could reasonably be
Caroline. Like the Oppenheimer family, Caroline and John were immigrants from modern-day
Germany. After her marriage to David, which likely took place around 1862, Caroline lived on
Market Street where the couple operated a clothing store. Caroline and David also had at least
six children. Their oldest child, Henry, was born around 1862. Descendants of Caroline and
David continue to live in Zanesville as of 2020.

For most early Jewish residents, Zanesville was not the first place they resided within the
United States. Moses Meyer, a native of Goersdorf in the modern French region of Alsace, first
settled in New Orleans when he came to the United States in 1852 at the age of 16. Four years
later he journeyed up the Mississippi River. This voyage nearly resulted in his death when the
riverboat transport caught fire and sank in the middle of a mile-wide stretch of water. Moses was
able to float to shore on a piece of wood and was the only surviving passenger.[8] Later that year
Moses arrived in Zanesville where he found employment as a clerk with the business Berg and
Cahan tailors. Berg and Cahan were likely Jewish, but no contemporary record of their business
survives. The 1860 federal census does record, however, that a certain Mayor Cohen worked in
Zanesville as a clothing merchant. It is not known if this is the same person as Cahan. By the
mid-1860s Moses set up his own clothing business that he operated for over 40 years, retiring in
1898. This business, which was by the 1880s named the Temple of Fashion and Bazaar, was
located at 158 Main Street for many years. At the time it was considered among the most modern
stores in the city.[9]

Sometime in the early 1860s, Moses married Rebecca Beatty the daughter of a Baptist
minister. This may have occurred around 1862 when he joined a Methodist Episcopal Church on
Seventh Street.[10] The only record that has survived of Moses’ involvement within the Jewish
community is a brief note in The Israelite newspaper out Cincinnati that indicated a certain “M.
Meyer” in Zanesville did receive the newspaper in 1854.[11] At the time The Israelite was one of
few Jewish newspapers in the United States. This note also indicates that Moses may have lived
in Zanesville at least two years before the date published in his 1913 obituary. It is also
interesting to note that Moses’ obituary references the year in which he joined a Christain
congregation. This implies that before 1862 Moses was not a member of any religious institution
in Zanesville. In 1867 Rebecca Meyer died and three years later Moses wed Caroline Miller,
who was the daughter of a prominent farmer. From these two marriages, Moses had seven
children. Their names were Albert, Annabel, Charles, Edward, Harriet, Harry, and Leota. Of
these children, Edward would gain local notoriety as an attorney and financier.[12]

Moses’ marriages were not the only examples of Christian and Jewish persons in
Zanesville coming together and forming families during the time period. On August 22, 1873,
The Israelite ran a letter from Rabbi Alex Rozsaft that recorded a bris , or ritual circumcision
ceremony, in Zanesville for four children. Three of these children were described as being born
to a Christian mother and a Jewish father. The letter opened by stating:

The Israelites of Zanesville, O., had, on Sunday, the 9th August, a very happy time, the
cause of which was, that on the same day four young American citizens were accepted
into the ‘sacred covenant of Father Abraham’.[13]

Rozsaft went on to write that, while the mothers had not formally adopted Judaism, their
willingness to have their sons brought into the Jewish faith was a sign their children would be
raised solely as Jews. Thirteen years later in 1886 it was noted in Zanesville’s Daily Times
Recorder that a Jew had been baptized at the Market Street Baptist Church. The name of this
person was not recorded, however, and it is not known if they had any local family members.

Another notable early Jewish family in Zanesville were the Dryfus’. Eva and Wolf
Dryfus were, like Moses, immigrants from the Alsace region. Prior to arriving in Muskingum
County in 1854, Eva and Wolf lived in Cincinnati where they were wed in 1851.[14] Within a year
their oldest daughter, Eliza was born. By the time of the 1860 federal census, Eva and Wolf had
four other children, Sarah, Bettie, Fanny, and an infant named Leopold.[15] The family was also
joined by Ben Dryfus, an uncle of Wolf, sometime between 1860 and 1867. Wolf was recorded
in 1860 as operating a clothing store on Main Street and his estate was valued at $2,500. This
would be equal to around $78,000 in 2020. By 1863 Wolf’s clothing store was named Great
Western Clothing House. When Leopold grew older he joined his father in business and the
store’s name changed to W. Dryfus and Son. Eva and Wolf were active members of the
Zanesville community. One example of this is that both were charter members of the Odd
Fellows Elizabeth Lodge which was formed in 1870.[16] Wolf would also play a role in the
establishment of Zanesville’s first Jewish congregation and help to create a local chapter of the
national Jewish fraternal society, B’nai B’rith. These are developments that will be explored
further in the next section. On January 30, 1889, Wolf died. In 1895 the firm of W. Dryfus and
Son was declared bankrupt. The reasons given for this development were increased competition,
an ongoing economic depression, and slow collections from debtors. After the closure of the
business, most members of the Dryfus family left Zanesville.[17]

Doretta and Moses Shonfeld were another couple that arrived around the same time as
Eva and Wolf. Doretta was born in Exten on August 16, 1821, and Moses was born in
Oberkirchenm on June 26, 1805. These two towns are located about eight miles apart in
northwest Germany. According to a brief obituary published in 1879 by The Daily Ohio State
Journal , Doretta and Moses had 16 children. All of their children were also still living at the time
of Moses’ death.[18] It is also worth noting that by 1879 the family had begun to spell their
surname Shonfield. The older Shonfeld spelling is still found, however, on the grave markers for
Doretta and Moses located within the Beth Abraham Cemetery two miles west of Zanesville. At
least some of the Shonfeld children accompanied their parents to the United States. While it is
not known precisely when Moses and Doretta arrived in Zanesville, it is recorded that one of
their children, Rudolph had a son named Alexander who was born in Ohio around 1856
according to the 1870 federal census. This son, Alex was the oldest of seven children born to
Rudolph and his wife Rachael. It is also known that Rudolph had at least six other siblings in
Cambridge or Zanesville for a time. Their names were Alexander, Bertha, Caroline, Hannah,
Israel, and Meyer. By 1894, Rudolph and Rachael would relocate to Muncie, Indiana where they
likely owned a dress manufacturing business.[19] Alex and Bertha would also join their brother in
Muncie by 1900. In 1891 Israel was living in Mansfield. This relocation was followed by a move
to Pittsburgh where Israel remained for the rest of his life. In 1883, Hannah would marry Abram
Starr, who would ultimately become one of Zanesville’s most prominent businessmen. In 1860
Meyer lived in Cambridge 28 miles east of Zanesville and worked as a store clerk. While in
Zanesville, Rudolph worked as a clothing merchant. He would eventually help to creat e
Shonfield’s, an establishment located on Main Street. This business would remain a part of
Zanesville until 1903.[20]

Zanesville’s First Jewish Institutions

Around the end of the Civil War in 1865, several additional Jewish residents had come to
Zanesville. This population included Marx Cohen, a resident of North Sixth Street, Michael
Steinfeld, a clothing merchant, and Herman Weber, a business owner who operated a store on the
corner of Underwood Street and Franklin. Also of note is that by 1870 Meyer had moved to
Zanesville and married Rachel Cohen, a native of Maryland.[21] The 1870 census also records that
Myer and Rachel had four children. Their names were Amelia, Lennie, Solomon, and Alexander.
Israel Shonfield also lived at the family’s home. It is also around this time that other sources
begin the spell the Shonfield surname Schoenfield. The 1860s was a highly transitory period for
Zanesville with new residents frequently moving in and out of the town. By 1865, however, the
local Jewish population had grown large enough that religious services began to be organized on
significant holidays.[22]These initial services were held in private homes. The first reference to a
Jewish congregation in Zanesville dates from October 13, 1867. On this day The Israelite and
Deborah , a German-language publication out of Cincinnati, ran a letter from the “Embryo
Hebrew Congregation” of Zanesville. This letter addressed the recent visit by Reverend Isaac
Shoenbrun to the city during the High Holidays, also known as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
It read:

The Rev. Gentleman has by his inestimable qualities of heart and head won our
everlasting affections, and his visit to us will live in our memory as a green spot in the
desert, to the lonely traveler on the Sahara.[23]

This piece reflects the intense isolation felt by small Jewish communities in towns such
as Zanesville that were only just beginning to have organized Jewish communal life. Jews
comprised a minuscule percentage of the local population and it was rare to have a rabbi in town
to meet the religious needs of the community. Despite these challenges, on September 20, 1868,
sixteen people came together in Nevitt’s Hall to form Zanesville’s first Jewish congregation,
K’neseth Israel . Their names were Abe Kohn, Adolphus Hartman, Ben Dryfus, Herman Weber,
Jacob Schoenfeld, Jacob Wollner, Leopold Dryfus, Marx Cohen, Meyer Schoenfeld, Michael
Steinfeld, Rudolph Schoenfeld, Simon Goodman, Wolf Dryfus, J. Kraus, L. Freeman, and W.
Freeman.[24] At the time Nevitt’s Hall, located on the corner of Main and Seventh streets, was
home to a wholesale grocery owned by Thomas Nevitt. The upper hall above the store was
rented out for a variety of functions including religious services.[25] The following preamble was
also adopted at the September 1868 meeting:

Whereas, it becomes us, as Israelites, to form a more compact organization as a religious
body: we the undersigned, agree to become active, contributing members of a Hebrew
congregation, to be organized in the city of Zanesville. We further agree to pay an
initiation fee, of three dollars, and dues at the rate of six dollars per annum; we further
agree that as soon as a suitable place of worship is provided, we will assemble for Divine
worship, at least one Sabbath in each month.[26]

One week later on September 27th Wolf Dryfus was elected the first president of K’neseth Israel
and Michael Steinfeld served as the congregation’s first vice president. Marx Cohen was also
elected to the position of treasurer. The congregation then agreed to rent space in the Alter’s
building on the corner of Second and Main streets for meetings.

On February 07, 1869, the young community obtained a Torah scroll donated by Rudolph
Shoenfeld.[27]A few weeks later Reverend B. Tauber arrived in Zanesville to serve as the
congregation’s first rabbi. His annual salary was $600. On August 1, 1869, K’neseth Israel was
incorporated with the State of Ohio.[28]Around this same time, a Ladies’ Benevolent Society also
came into being. This group was composed of women from the congregation who gathered
together to support a variety of charitable causes. For example in 1874 the organization raised
$47 to support the Marshall Relief Association for Shreveport Sufferers.[29] The city of
Shreveport, Louisiana was at the time the site of a deadly yellow fever epidemic that claimed the
lives of 759 people. This was just shy of 35 percent of the town’s population, numbering 4,500.
K’neseth Israel also enjoyed close ties with the Bene Israel congregation in Columbus. On
November 21, 1870, Wolf Dryfus asked the leadership at Bene Israel if the Zanesville
community could loan or purchase a Torah from the congregation. This request was agreed to
and a price for the service given.[30]Thirty years later, the Zanesville Jewish community returned
the favor when its members loaned a Torah to the new Tifereth Israel congregation in Columbus
for its first High Holiday service.[31]

Reverend Tauber did not remain in Zanesville for long. By 1870 Reverend M. Greenblatt
was in Zanesville. He too would leave within a year. In 1871 the congregation tried
unsuccessfully to hire another rabbi. At the time it was explained that the process failed due to a
lack of funds. This situation apparently arose because congregants could not agree on the
characteristics they most desired in a religious leader. On July 14, 1871, the secretary of
K’neseth Israel, Ben Dryfus wrote:

Owing to the impossibility of exactly pleasing each and every one we have been unable
to raise sufficient subscriptions to pay the salary for a minister. I will not enter into
details nor draw invidious distinctions. I regret exceedingly the necessity of stating the
facts, merely saying that I am not accountable for their existence. Hoping for a brighter
future to our Congregation[32]

Five months earlier it was estimated by Judah Wechsler, who at the time served as rabbi of the
Bene Israel congregation in Columbus, that thirty Jewish families lived in Zanesville.[33] The
overall population of Zanesville in 1870 was approximately ten thousand. On a visit to the city
Judah described the local Jewish community in a letter to The Israelite as “very intelligent,
sociable, and very hospitable.” He also stated that the community was “ready to engage in every
enterprise to advance the wellbeing of the city.” Judah’s letter also declared that anti-Jewish
sentiment, which the author claimed as being fairly common in Zanesville during earlier years,
was almost nonexistent by 1871.[34]

Some of the newer Jewish residents of Zanesville included Fanny and Leopold Atlas,
Henrietta and Henry Baer, and Morris Englander. Fanny and Leopold were both immigrants
from Austria-Hungary who arrived in Zanesville sometime between 1869 and 1871. Once
established in Zanesville, Leo worked as a peddler and lived on Tarrier Street. This street would
become the home to several other Jewish immigrant families over the next 15 years.[35]Henrietta
and Henry Baer came to Zanesville from Wheeling, West Virginia where the couple was
connected to the firm Horkheimer & Company. Henry was an immigrant from Germany who
arrived in the United States around 1865. Henrietta was the daughter of Benjamin and Mathilde
Horkheimer and came to the United States from Germany along with several siblings. Her
brother Morris Horkheimer was the founder of Horkheimer & Company and an active member
of the Wheeling Jewish community. West Virginia’s first synagogue, Congregation L’Shem
Shomayim, which later became known as Temple Shalom, was built in significant part through
the efforts of Morris who led the congregation’s building committee.[36] In Zanesville, Henry Baer
helped to establish a branch of the Horkheimer company in 1869 along with his brother-in-law
Henry Horkheimer. The business dealt in both wool and wholesale liquor and remained in
Zanesville until 1880.[37] During the 1870s Henrietta, who was a gifted piano player, ould
provide musical accompaniment during religious services organized by the members of K’neseth
Israel.[38] After the dissolution of the company branch, the Baer and Horkheimer families moved
back to Wheeling. Henry Baer went on to become a highly successful grocer with business
contacts throughout the Ohio Valley.[39] Morris Englander arrived in Zanesville around 1871 and
made a living as a liquor dealer. By 1889 he left to pursue new business interests in Kansas City.

As Zanesville’s Jewish population became more established in the city, a dedicated
cemetery was created for the community. This plot of land was purchased in 1871 from William
Hollingsworth and it continues to serve as a communal burial ground.[40] For many years this area
was known as the Hebrew, Israelitish, or Jewish cemetery. In the 21st century, the burial grounds
are most often called Beth Abraham Jewish Cemetery or the United Jewish Cemetery. By May
1872 the internal disagreements within K’neseth Israel had subsided enough that funds could be
collected to once more to support a rabbi in the city. Wolf Landau, who formerly worked in
Pittston, Pennsylvania, was elected for the role. During Landau’s time in Zanesville, on October
5, 1873, K’neseth Israel joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations based out of
Cincinnati.[41]After this point, it is most common to see the congregation’s name spelled as
Kneseth Israel or Keneseth Israel. In July 1874 the congregation participated in the Reform
Committee on Credentials in Cincinnati and was represented at the gathering by Henry Baer. At
the time Keneseth Israel had 20 members.[42] Stability in religious leadership would not come
easily for the young congregation. Landau appears to have resigned from his role in Zanesville
by May 1873. Over the next eight years, four rabbis are known to have served the congregants of
Keneseth Israel. Their names were Marx Moses, Alexander Roszafy, A.R. Levy, and Ferdend
Lowenberg. Of these Marx and Alexander served for less than a year each. Alexander also
created a scandal within the congregation when he allegedly fled town after proving unable to
repay a debt of $300 in spring 1874. This incident was relayed to other Jewish communities in
North America by Michael Steinfeld, who at the time was secretary of Keneseth Israel, through a
notice to the editor of The Israelite.[43] During the 1870s Keneseth Israel also went through
periods in which no rabbi served the congregation. During these times laypeople led the
congregation’s religious services.[44]

While Keneseth Israel experienced challenges retaining effective religious leaders, other
Jewish organizations in Zanesville experienced more stable leadership. On April 12, 1873,
eleven individuals came together to form a B’nai B’rith lodge in Zanesville. These founding
members are listed in the book History of Muskingum County, Ohio as Ben Dryfus, David
Goodman, Henry Baer, Henry Horkheimer, Louis Steinfeld, Marx Cahen, Michael Shonfield,
Michael Steinfeld, Rudolph Shoenfeld, Sol Frank, and Wolf Dryfus.[45]Later sources state that
Marcus Weinberg, who owned a kosher butcher shop on North Seventh Street, was also a charter
member.[46]In 1873 B’nai B’rith was one of four fraternal organizations for Jews nationally. The
organization served both social and charitable functions which included visiting the sick,
providing for widows and orphans, and aiding indigent persons. The Constitution of Zanesville’s
local Gihon Lodge mandated that upon the death of a brother, a sum of $1,000 should be paid for
the benefit of the bereaved. To raise the funds needed for this expense the organization created
an endowment by assessing each member 75 cents per year. The organization also maintained
another endowment of $2,000 for other possible needs.[47]The first officers of Gihon Lodge were
Michael Steinfeld president, Wolf Dryfus vice president, Henry Baer secretary, and Henry
Horkheimer treasurer.[48]

Shortly after the establishment of the Gihon Lodge, another Jewish fraternal organization,
the Ancient Jewish Order of Kesher Shel Barsel (KSB) was created in Zanesville. This national
organization was founded in 1860 as a splinter group from B’nai B’rith and served similar
charitable and social functions. In some sources, the word barsel, Hebrew for iron, is spelled
barzel. Zanesville’s King Solomon (KSB) Lodge was chartered on August 16, 1874, with J.
Ettinger, J. Trost, L. Raden, and N. Straus, and as founding members.[49] Later members included
Abraham Kohn, William Freedman, A. Cohn, B. Froch, J. Stern, L. Newman, L. Witkosky, and
M. S. Witkosky. The lodge continued in Zanesville until at least 1900 and it was among nine
other lodges in the state of Ohio.[50] The King Solomon Lodge adopted the motto “Truth, Love,
and Justice” and its members paid 50 cents a year as dues. In Ohio Kesher Shel Barsel’s most
notable achievement was establishing Cleveland’s Kesher Shel Barzel Home for the Aged and
Infirm Israelites in 1882. This institution continues to exist well into the 21st century and is now
known as Montefiore Home.[51] In 1903 Kesher Shel Barsel was dissolved and its members
merged into B’nai B’rith.

Another Jewish fraternal society, Sons of Benjamin is recorded as meeting in Zanesville
during the 1880s, but little is known about the organization. J. Klafter held meetings for the
group in his home on Elm Street, but by 1907 Klafter moved to Cleveland. Also of note is that
the local Knights of Pythias lodge organized a subgroup on April 18, 1883, which appears to
have been primarily Jewish. This group was called the King David Lodge and it existed into the
1920s. Its members included Mark Berman, a clothing merchant, Sol Frank, Abraham Goldstein,
a grocer on Market Street, Henry Grossner, and Henry Milder. In addition to benefiting from
active fraternal societies, the Zanesville Jewish community continued to be enhanced by an
active Ladies’ Benevolent Society. By 1880 the members of the Ladies’ Society organized a
religious school for children and formed the Keneseth Israel choir. The organization was also
involved in providing support for recent Jewish immigrants by the late 1880s. Many of these
newer immigrants were fleeing violent persecution in Eastern Europe ignited by the virulently
anti-Jewish czarist government. Between 1880 and 1924 over two million Jews would arrive in
the United States. It is these immigrants and their descendants who would go on to comprise
much of Zanesville’s Jewish community.

The Era of Immigration

Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire controlled most lands in Eastern Europe during
the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is therefore not surprising that the majority of Jewish
immigrants who arrived in Zanesville after 1870 hailed from these empires. Jews from
Austria-Hungary began to settle in Zanesville during the early 1870s. Unlike their German
coreligionists, most Hungarian Jews maintained a stricter level of religious orthodoxy and
modern additions into the synagogue service, including choirs and organs, were largely
unaccepted. This meant that the services conducted at Keneseth Israel failed to fit the needs of
these new arrivals and in 1874, a number of individuals gathered to form the Hungarian
Benevolent Association. Shortly thereafter services began to be organized by the group. Rabbi D.
Feierlicht was hired by the Association and brought to Zanesville to lead the community. The
rabbi also organized religious education classes for children. These classes were recorded as
being taught in Hebrew and German and were held at the Alter’s building.[52] It is likely that
instruction was primarily conducted in Yiddish rather than German. While closely related to
German, Yiddish is a distinct language and one more commonly spoken by Jews living in
Hungary. The religious school paid $5 a month for their space and the annual salary for Rabbi
Feierlicht was around $500 per year. In 1877 Feierlicht left Zanesville and Marcus Numark
began his time as rabbi of the Benevolent Association. He would remain until around 1882.
Non-Jews in Zanesville sometimes referred to the Hungarian Benevolent Association as the
Hebrew Church. By 1880 an estimated 100 Jews lived in Zanesville. Of this number around 50
were members of the Orthodox congregation organized by the Hungarian Jews.[53]

Some of the newer Jewish families in Zanesville included the Freilich’s, Goldberger’s,
Lind’s, and Starr’s. The four Freilich brothers Maier, Samuel, Sigmund, and Solomon arrived in
Zanesville from Hungary around 1873 with their wives Rosa, Bertha, Sallie, and Lottie. Maier
and Samuel both made a living as owners of a saloon. Sigmund and Solomon became the
longtime proprietors of The People’s Clothing Company on the corner of Main Street and Sixth.
The two brothers also supplied many of the peddlers who conducted their business around
Southeast Ohio. These entrepreneurs included Frank Friedman, Jacob Metzendorf, Samuel
Wallach and Moses Weisman. With a large customer base, the People’s Clothing Company
thrived and at the time of his death in 1912 Solomon’s estate was valued at $37,250. This would
be equal to almost one million dollars in 2020.[54] Victor Goldberger arrived in Zanesville in the
mid-1870s and operated the “New York Cheap Store”, a stand on the corner of Harrison and
Putnam Ave. In 1889 Victor left for Kansas City along with A.L. Friedman, J. Friedman, and
Morris Englander. In 1874 Solomon and Yetta Lind arrived in Zanesville from Austria-Hungary.
The couple lived on Underwood Street where Solomon worked as a merchant until 1904. Five
children are known to have lived in the household, Benjamin, Edward, Fannie, Jacob, and
Samuel. Benjamin was born in Zanesville in 1887 and would grow up to become the manager of
the Morley Clothing Store on lower Main. He was also a member of the Elks and Masonic
lodges. Edward would serve in the Spanish-American War, and he was also stationed in San
Francisco as an army medic during the 1906 earthquake.[55] He would eventually move to
Columbus where he became a grocer. Fannie was born in 1877 and married Henry Milder, a
resident of Columbus, on November 19, 1895. The wedding was attended by approximately 300
guests and at the time it was likely the largest Jewish wedding ever held in Zanesville. Out of
town guests came from a number of places including Bellaire, Columbus, Chicago, Johnstown,
and McConnelsville.[56] Following their marriage, the Milder’s moved to Columbus where Henry
worked in the wholesale grocery business. After a few years, Fannie and Henry returned to
Zanesville and Henry opened up a drycleaning business under the name Zane Dry. Jacob worked
with his brother Ben in the clothing business and moved to Columbus in 1948.

Unlike most newer Jewish residents in Zanesville during the 1870s, Abram Starr was not
an immigrant but rather a native of Portsmouth, Ohio. After moving to Zanesville in 1870 at the
age of 14, Abram found employment with Max Hirsch, a clothing merchant. Max’s wife Amelia
was a member of the Shonfield family. Abram also married a member of the Shonfield family
named Hannah. The couple had four children, Harry, Jeanette, Moses, who died as an infant, and
Raye. Abram eventually went into business himself and, after a few years, this enterprise became
the A.E. Starr Company. This clothing company would grow to become one of the largest stores
in Southeast Ohio and would last until 1967. At the time of his death in 1917 Abram’s estate was
worth $198,877.53.[57] In 2020, this would be equal to over four million dollars. An additional
$28,000 in real estate was also owned. During his decades in business, Abram was known widely
as Abe and he was an active member of the Knights of Pythias, Elks, and Odd Fellows. The Starr
family were members of Keneseth Israel and active in the affairs of the congregation. None of
the Starr children remained in Zanesville after reaching adulthood. Jeanette and Raye both
moved to New York City. There Jeanette married Louis Untermeyer, a noted anthologist and
poet. Jeanette also excelled at poetry. Her most notable works include Growing Pains and The
Winged Child . Harry moved to Detroit and married Virginia Morse. After Abram’s death Morris
Hirsch, the son of Amelia and Max, became the manager of the A.E. Starr Company and Mannie
Levi, Abram’s cousin, became the company president.[58]

During the 1880s the number of Jews in Zanesville grew further. Known Jewish
surnames in town during this decade include, Blumenthal, Bottigheimer, Kohn, Loeb, and
Rotham. Often the only reference to these newer families are short, printed announcements in
The Daily Times Recorder that shared news of wedding ceremonies taking place at various
Jewish congregations. In 1881 a new congregation named Rodef Sholom joined the Hungarian
Benevolent Association and Keneseth Israel. Zanesville, a city of just over 18,000, now had three
distinct prayer groups for Jews. At the time of its founding Rodef Sholom, spelled in some
sources as Shalom, had 35 members who met on the southwest corner of Main Street and
Seventh near the Grand Theater. The congregation’s president was Jonas Haber and Nathan
Ganger served as the first rabbi.[59] Nathan would remain in Zanesville until 1888 when he left to
take a position in Springfield, Ohio. Two years before his departure, his daughter Giza was
married to Moses Rottenberg in a ceremony he officiated.[60] Nathan at times came into conflict
with Rabbi Heiman, the religious leader for the Hungarian congregation, over issues of religious
law. On September 02, 1885, a row between the two rabbis drew the attention of The Daily
Times Recorder which ran a short note about their disagreement.[61] Heiman also had
disagreements within his own congregation. In January 1886 it was reported that he was
intentionally locked out of the congregational hall.[62] At the time tensions were apparently also
high between Hungarian and Polish community members.[63] Outside the congregation hall, it was
also reported that frequent “social squabbles” existed among Jewish families living along Elm

While the Jewish community was growing in size, and encompassing a wider range of
opinions, its numbers and wealth were not sufficient enough that three congregations could be
comfortably sustained. By 1882 some were already expressing a desire to see groups merge.[65]
Keneseth Israel was especially strained. The congregation often did not have a rabbi and by 1890
its members reported having no religious services. The group continued to maintain a Sunday
School, however, which enrolled 14 children in 1890.[66] Many efforts to promote Jewish
communal life did, however, successfully engage individuals from different congregations. A
Hebrew Youth’s Society was formed by September 1884 that sponsored social activities
including dances. In 1885 the organization’s officers were, Morris Rich, president, Simon
Grossner, vice president and treasurer, Nathan Kornfield, recording secretary, and Benjamin
Deutch financial secretary.[67] A Jewish baseball team also competed with other local teams in
town.[68] Jewish women were also active in the community and formed new organizations. One
group was called the Hebrew Sisters of Peace.[69] By October 1886 it seems that the Hungarian
Benevolent Association had changed its name to the Hebrew Benevolent Society. It is possible
that this name change was inspired by a desire to be more inclusive of the group’s diversifying
membership. The Society also began that same month to raise funds for the construction of
Zanesville’s first purpose-built synagogue. By this time it was reported that there was a widely
perceived need for “more comfortable quarters” in which services and the religious school could
be conducted. The community was outgrowing its rented halls. The leaders of the society
promptly pledged $900 for the building fund.[70] Despite this promising beginning, it would be
another ten years before Zanesville would have a synagogue.

One reason why it may have taken several years for Zanesville’s Jewish community to
raise the funds needed for the construction of a synagogue is because that overall the community
was poor. While some individuals achieved remarkable success, many more lived modestly.
Some families experienced truly dire circumstances. In 1883 the B’nai B’rith Gihon Lodge
petitioned the Jewish Orphan Asylum in Cleveland to take in four children from the Zanesville
area because their parents could not afford to care for them. These applications were denied,
however, on the grounds that the children were not orphans.[71] This report illustrates just how
desperate the finances of one family were. Many newer Jewish immigrants made a living as
peddlers. Tarrier Street was where many of them lived, and younger merchants were known to
race their horses up and down the road.[72] While peddling could bring success, it also could lead
to financial ruin if sufficient sales were not made. In 1888 Moses Klafter attempted to flee to
Europe after he became severely indebted to Solomon Freilich, the supplier of his merchandise.[73]
For others peddling provided a means to better ensure the success of newer generations. Israel,
another member of the Klafter family, also worked as a peddler. He and his wife, Rose were both
born in Hungary and were married there in 1870. The couple had at least five children, Anna,
Bertha, Betty, Lottie, and Rebecca. They lived in Zanesville from 1885 to 1905 when the family
moved to Cleveland. There Anna married Charles Metzenbaum. Their son, Howard Metzenbaum
went on to become a Senator representing the State of Ohio in Congress from 1976 to 1995. To
honor his family roots and their labors, Howard launched a Senate campaign, which proved
unsuccessful, from Zanesville in 1970.[74]

By 1889, Zanesville’s Jewish community had grown large enough that some of its
members organized a campaign to ensure their children would be allowed excused absences
from school in order to observe religious holidays. While this request was ultimately denied after
a tied vote, it nevertheless represents the first recorded instance of organized communal
advocacy from Zanesville’s Jewish citizens.[75] 1889 also marked the year B’nai B’rith held its
District Grand Lodge in Zanesville, an affair that brought in visitors from many states.[76] This
conference’s location in Zanesville recognized Muskingum County’s Jewish community as being
one of importance within the United States. By 1892 the Hebrew Benevolent Society had
changed its name to Beth Abraham and it was operating out of a building located at 12 South
Seventh Street. Solomon Cohn was the congregational rabbi and services were held on both
Fridays at 7:00 PM and Saturdays at 9:00 AM.[77] Herman Weber, an immigrant from Hungary,
was elected as Beth Abraham’s first president. That same year Henry Goodman established
Goodman Iron and Metal.[78] Later this business would change its name to Goodman Steel Supply
and it continues to operate in Zanesville as of 2020. Four generations of Goodmans have owned
the company.

In 1896, Beth Abraham merged with Rodef Sholom and the united group erected a
wooden synagogue on North Sixth Street near Howard.[79] At the time the rabbi of Beth Abraham
was Max Algase. Max was born in Palestine around 1858, and he arrived in Zanesville from
Rochester, New York with his wife Fannie and their four children in 1895.[80] In November 1897,
Algase officiated at what was likely the first wedding held at the new Beth Abraham synagogue.
This wedding joined together Sarah Lena Deutsch and Samuel Klein, a resident of Glouster,
Ohio.[81] Sarah was the daughter of Katherine and William Deutsch. Almost a year later the
Zanesville Jewish community celebrated the wedding of Mayer Mirvis and Sarah Lind. This
wedding was especially large with over 200 guests attending the ceremony. These guests
included friends from Columbus, Dresden, and Marietta.[82] Sarah was the daughter of Samuel
Lind, a clothing merchant on Main Street. Mayer was a shoemaker on Main Street who arrived in
Zanesville from Lithuania sometime in the 1880s. Mayer, who was also known as Mike, went on
to become one of the most senior businessmen on Main Street and he owned his store for over
fifty years.[83] He also had three siblings Frank, Grace, and Oscar. The latter was a resident of

The Renewal of Keneseth Israel as Findley Avenue Temple

As Zanesville moved into the 20th century, Jewish life continued to develop in the city.
In 1900, a branch of the Jewish Chautauqua Society, a national organization focusing on Jewish
cultural and religious literacy, was organized in Zanesville.[84] The Jewish Chautauqua was an
organization that grew out of the Men of Reform Judaism in 1893, and its emergence in
Zanesville is the first sign of a renewal of energy from the city’s Reform community. By 1901
Keneseth Israel was again organizing religious services after a hiatus of several years. These
services were led by rabbis David Klein of Columbus and Harry Levi of Wheeling, West
Virginia. Each visited separately once every two weeks so that services were held twice a month
on Sundays.[85] It is also worth noting that this is not a typical day for weekly, Reform-style
services. Rather, most Jewish congregations conducted services on Friday or Saturday. Rabbi
Levi may have been connected to Zanesville through the Weiler family which was represented in
both cities. High Holiday services were held at the First Congregational Church during the early
1900s.[86] By 1909 the congregation managed to secure the services of a full-time rabbi, Louis
Schreiber, who came to Zanesville from Savannah, Georgia.[87] At the time the congregation was
primarily located on Market Street. It was also around this time that Keneseth Israel members
began to place printed invitations in local hotel rooms inviting Jewish travels to Shabbat
services.[88] Under the leadership of Abram Starr, Julius and Moses Frank, Mannie Levi, and
Morris Resler the congregation also launched in 1910 a fundraising campaign to build
Zanesville’s first stone synagogue. This edifice cost $15,000 to build, which would be equal to
almost $400,000 in 2020. Remarkably, at the time the congregation reported only 19 members.[89]
This comprised only eight percent of the estimated 250 Jews who lived in Zanesville.[90]

While Keneseth Israel was certainly the smallest of Zanesville’s two Jewish
congregations, many of its members were among the city’s leading citizens. Most were also
either native to the United States, or naturalized citizens for decades. The success of Abram
Starr, and his business partner Mannie through the A.E. Starr Company, has already been
discussed in the previous section. Julius and Moses Frank were also prominent businessmen. The
brothers came to the United States in 1867 with their father, Lippman, who also was widely
known as Lewis, and their mother, Fredrika from Hanover, Germany. Once in the United States,
the family settled in Brown County, which is located in southern Ohio. In 1877 the family moved
to Zanesville. Lewis was the founder of L. Frank & Sons, a fertilizer company, but it is not
known if the company was started in Brown County or Zanesville. When Lewis died in 1891, his
sons took full ownership of the business. Julius was especially active in the wider Zanesville
community. In addition to his work with L. Frank & Sons, he was a trustee of Union National
Bank and served as the president of Bethesda Hospital from approximately 1910 until his death
in 1912. The Bethesda Hospital was a recent successor to the Zanesville City Hospital, which
had been renamed in 1907 following an expansion.[91] Julius was also a member of the Chamber
of Commerce, Elks, Knights of Pythias, Masons, and Zane Club. Within the Jewish community,
he taught Sunday school classes at Kneseth Israel and served as a trustee of B’nai B’rith.
Thousands attended his funeral.[92]It is also of note that Julius died while visiting Philadelphia and
he is buried in Union Field Cemetery in Queens, New York. Rather than take a more direct
funeral route, the family elected to come to Zanesville for the memorial service. Julius and his
wife Julia do not seem to have had any children. A nephew, Leo S honfield did, however, live in
the household.

Compared with the other congregational leaders not much is known about Morris Resler.
It is recorded that he was married to Mae Resler, a native of New York, and that the couple had
at least one child, a son named Jack.[93] His profession was listed as a clothing manufacturer in
both the 1910 and 1920 censuses. In the 1910 census, Morris and Mae are also recorded as
housing two teenage relatives, Irena and Mildred Jacobs. Morris was also a newer immigrant to
the United States, having arrived around 1883 from Austria. In 1919 he would serve as president
of Keneseth Israel.

Once sufficient funds were raised by the finance committee for the construction of the
new synagogue, Adolph Loeb, Dolores Weinberg, Janetta Weber, Manni Levi, and Moses Frank
began to serve on the building committee. The committee was headed by Adolph, who worked at
the time as a real estate agent and insurance broker. Rabbi Joseph Kornfield of Columbus spoke
at the congregation’s cornerstone laying service. On Friday, March 24th, 1911, the new
synagogue was dedicated on Findley Avenue. Due to this location, Keneseth Israel would
become popularly known as Findley Avenue Temple. At the dedication service, the synagogue
interior was decorated with many potted plants and cut flowers. An organ and violin prelude
announced the start of the ceremonies which were largely attended.[94] The synagogue’s sanctuary
could seat 200 people and the building also included a board room, lecture room, and Sunday
school area. Kornfeld, who was hired as the new synagogue’s first rabbi delivered the deduction
sermon.[95]On Friday, March 31st, E.A. Boyle, pastor of the Zanesville’s First Congregational
Church, and Robert Brown, a local Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, spoke at the
synagogue during services. The first high holiday services held at the temple drew around 200
people including many non-Jews.[96] It is also of note that the congregation funded a memorial
window dedicated to the late Secretary of State John Hay, who was not Jewish.

Women were especially active in the congregation. As noted above, two women, Dolores
Weinberg and Janetta Weber served on the temple’s building committee. Dolores, who was also
known as Dolly, was a native of Cincinnati and the wife of Solomon Weinberg.[97] The couple
owned the Fashion Store on Main Street and were relatives of Abram Starr. In 1938 Dolores and
Solomon closed the Fashion Store and retired. Janetta Weber was a native of Germany and the
wife of Ben Weber. Ben’s father, Herman arrived in Zanesville in 1866 with his wife Rebecca
after a few months in Cleveland. The couple had, in addition to Ben, five sons and three
daughters. They also founded Weber Home Store, which was originally located on the corner of
Underwood Street and Franklin Street.[98] The company later moved to the Schultz Opera Block
on North Fifth and then to its final location inside the four-story Werner Building on Main Street
between Fourth and Fifth. The company would last until 1967. Many of the Weber children
would go on to become notable members of Zanesville’s Jewish community. Ben and Janetta
moved to Los Angeles in 1916. In 1935 Ben was killed during a robbery at his store in
Hollywood leaving Janetta widowed.[99] He also left two grown sons.

The women of Keneseth Israel also continued to support a small, but active, Sunday
school. One of their largest endeavors,however,occured during March 1913 when Zanesville
was inundated by the Muskingum River during one of the worst floods in Ohio history. Around
40 percent of the city experienced flooding and in some places, the waters were 20 feet deep.[100]
The downtown area of Zanesville was especially impacted and 8,150 people, approximately 28
percent of the city’s population, were left homeless.[101] Beth Abraham was also among the
downtown buildings damaged and the congregation’s Torah scrolls and prayer books had to be
buried.[102] Keneseth Israel, along with many churches, opened its doors to the homeless. For
weeks after the flooding, the women of the congregation prepared three meals a day for between
250 and 300 flood victims. For these efforts they received a special mention in Thomas Lewis’
commemorative work on the flood published in 1913.[103] This work was sponsored by Abram
Starr to commemorate the disaster and record all the acts of humanity that occurred in town.
Bronze medals were also commissioned by Starr, who had nearly died in the flood, for those
citizens of Zanesville who demonstrated exceptional heroism.

Jewish Families Outside of Zanesville in the Late 19th & Early 20th Centuries

By the early 1900s Zanesville’s Jewish community was a notable and well-integrated part
of the city’s diverse ethnic and religious fabric. In 1907 The Times Recorder remarked on the
occasion of Yom Kippur:
Zanesville is by no means indifferent to the observance of this period by the
Jewish-American citizens. She is proud of the standing attained in this city by these
representatives of the Hebrew race. They are excellent citizens – generous, progressive,
enterprising, public-spirited, loyal, and law-abiding. Their worth is fully recognized.
Zanesville is the better for their presence and activity.”[104]

In addition to Zanesville, several other towns in Guernsey, Muskingum, and Perry counties were
home to Jewish families. Cambridge was likely the site of the largest Jewish community in
Southeast Ohio aside from Zanesville. Jewish surnames in the town during 1910 included
Hirschberg, Rogovin, Rosenberg, and Wein. Levi and Betty Hirschberg were among
Cambridge’s earliest Jewish families. After immigrating from Germany, Betty and Levi settled
in Cambridge sometime before 1870. By 1880, they had opened a store named Hirschberg’s One
Price Clothing House on North Fifth Street . They also had at least five children, Hermon, Max,
Alexander, Solomon, and Subena. One of these children, Max, inherited the family store. Max
was married to Elsa, a notable local performer. As a young woman, Elsa received musical
training in Germany and had performed in Berlin and Antwerp.[105]Their son, Marcus a ttended the
Ludium Dramatic School in Philadelphia and seems to have had a successful career in vaudeville
theater. He also formed his own vaudeville team styled Marcus Hirschberg Co.[106]In 1910
Marcus married Florence Gates from Jacksonville, Florida in a secret ceremony following a brief
romance.[107]In 1911 the Hirschberg store went bankrupt and Elsa and Max relocated to Newark,

Esther and Samuel Rogovin arrived in Cambridge around 1910 as immigrants from
Lithuania. Once settled, Samuel opened the Cambridge Iron and Metal Company.[109]The couple
had two sons, Herman and Theodore, as well as a daughter, Sara. The two brothers went on to
create the Cambridge-Zanesville Corporation, a real estate holding company.[110]Sara married
Sidney Fish, a native of Cleveland, in 1945. Sidney and Sara would go on to manage Cambridge
Iron and Metal. Abel and Sarah Rosenberg, like Esther and Samuel, arrived in the United States
from Europe. Once in Cambridge, the couple opened The Style Center on the corner of Wheeling
Avenue and North 7th Street. Their son, Harry also worked in the store as a young man along
with his wife Rose, who was born in New York City. Hyman, also known as Herman, Rosenberg
was another contemporary Cambridge resident. He arrived sometime around 1888 from Poland
and sold scrap metal for a living. It is not known if he was related to Abel, but this possibility is
likely. Hyman married Goldie Wein, an immigrant from Lithuania who came to the United
States in 1894. The couple had at least five children, Beatrice, Libbie, Nathaniel, Paul, and
Sydney. Of these children only Beatrice and Libbie stayed in Guernsey County. Libbie would
live to see 101 years.[111]Goldie’s parents, Anna and Mason Wein were also immigrants from
Russia who had two additional children, Bessie and Max.[112]After the death of Mason, Anna,
Bessie and Max lived with Hyman and Goldie.

In 1915, Isaac and Sarah Droz arrived in Cambridge from Europe. Sarah would become
an active member of Zanesville’s Hadassah chapter and Isaac, who worked as a manager at the
Singer Sewing Company, was a member of B’nai B’rith.[113]The Droz’s demonstrated how some
of Cambridge’s Jewish residents maintained connections to their coreligionists in Zanesville.
Some Jewish citizens of Zanesville also frequently visited Cambridge. For example, in
November 1920 a new chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women was created in
Zanesville under the leadership of Rena Plaine.[114]The group also drew its membership from
women in Cambridge and Newark. In recognition of this, the group alternated its monthly
meetings between the three towns. Other residents of Cambridge who maintained ties to Jewish
organizations in Zanesville included Fred Guggenheim, who owned the Army Store on Main
Street until his death in 1936, and Arthur Bleich, who operated the Royal Cloak Company on
Wheeling Avenue for over 33 years.[115]

Moving into Perry County, two Jewish families are known to have lived in the village of
Crooksville around the turn of the 20th century. The first family was headed by Mary and Simon
Schwartz. Mary was the daughter of Rosa and Simon Regen, and she was born in Zanesville
around 1874. Her parents emigrated from Hungary a few years prior. As an adult, Mary was a
member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Simon was an immigrant from Austria-Hungary who
arrived in Zanesville in 1886 at the age of 17. Here he worked with Mary’s brother Louis, which
is likely how he was introduced to his future wife. Mary and Simon would be married for 43
years. At some point the couple moved to Crooksville where they operated a clothing and dry
goods store for 50 years. Simon was also a charter member of the Crooksville Masonic Lodge,
which was formed in 1913, and a member of B’nai B’rith.[116]Not as much information is
available on Crooksville’s second Jewish household headed by Joseph and Lena Goodman. It is
only known that the couple lived on Kelly Street.[117]Due to the absence of documentation on the
couple, it is likely they did not live in the village for very long. Twelve miles away in Rendville
lived another Jewish family, with the surname Gottdiener. Henry Gottdiener worked as a dry
goods merchant alongside his wife, Rose, who was the daughter of Herman Weber. They were
married on October 31, 1886. Eventually the couple would leave Rendville for Cleveland. Two
Jewish families also lived in the village of Shawnee during the 1880s with the surnames Kahn
and Unger.[118]

Perry County’s most notable Jewish resident during the late 19th and early 20th centuries
was Samuel Eichenbaum. Samuel was an active member of the Democratic Party in Perry
County and he served six terms as the mayor of Corning in the early 1900s. Under his tenure
Perry County’s first paved street and water works system were built.[119]Samuel also served more
than one term as postmaster and was the president of Corning’s School Board for at least 16
years. Samuel was born near Budapest and arrived in the United States in 1870. He first found
work in Cincinnati as a grocery store clerk, and moved to Shawnee, a village located seven miles
from Corning, in 1873. In 1881 he moved to Corning and established his own dry goods store in
1883. That same year Samuel married Fanny Rosenberg, who was living in New York City.[120]
The couple lived with two adopted children, Bertha and Sol Fischer. Bertha left Corning for a
number of years to attend Western Reserve University in Cleveland and Sol remained to work
with his uncle at the Eichenbaum’s store on Main Street. Sol would serve as a sergeant within the
Company F 308th Engineers during World War I and later established his own jewelry store.[121]
Around 1921, Bertha returned to Corning with her new husband, Marcel who she wed in 1919.
Marcel was an immigrant from the city of Mulhouse in Alsace who arrived in the United States
around 1912. After moving to Corning, Bertha worked as a schoolteacher and principal for many
years and Marcel managed the Eichenbaum Store after the death of Samuel.[122]The couple had
three children, Florence, Harriet, and Leon. Leon would go on to become a noted attorney and
civic leader in Muskingum County.

Fifteen miles north of Zanesville is located the village of Dresden which was home to at
least two Jewish families in the early 20th century. Jacob Duga, a native of Poland, arrived in the
United States in 1870 and by 1899 he lived in Dresden with his wife, Sophia. Sophia was herself
a native of England. The couple had at least two sons, Joseph and Lewis. The family was initially
supported through Jacob’s role as the co-owner of a hosiery manufacturing company named
Kapner Bros & Duga, which had factories in Dresden, Frazeysburg and Zanesville. Jacob’s
business partner was likely J. S. Kapner, a resident of Zanesville. In November 1907, however,
the company went bankrupt and the Duga family left Dresden. The other known Jewish family in
town were the Sobel’s. Ben Sobel was an immigrant who worked as a traveling salesman in
Dresden, New Guilford in Coshocton County and Zanesville. In 1906, Ben and his wife, Anna
celebrated the birth of a daughter, Freda, while living in Dresden. By April 1908, the family
would relocate to Zanesville.[123]

Jewish Life in Zanesville During World War I and the Roaring 20s

The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917. Approximately 2.8 million
Americans served overseas during the conflict. Zanesville’s Jewish community did its part to
support the war effort. At least 13 servicemen are known to have come from families affiliated
with Beth Abraham. Their names were, Abraham Blickstein, Nathan Freilich, Sumner Frank,
Abraham Goodman, Isadore Gottdiener, Max Heiler, Abraham Minster, Lewis Plane, Morris
Pollock, Louis Schenfeld, Max Seidenfeld, Henry Ziegfeld, and Maurice (Morris) Zwelling.
Jacob Art, the son of a Zanesville jeweler, would serve in Italy during the war. Jacob Krohngold,
who taught Sunday school and led children’s services at Findley Avenue Temple from 1913 to
1915, served as a military chaplain.[124]Another local, Lester Cohn also served, but he did not see
action overseas. While undergoing training at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Lester contracted a
fatal case of pneumonia, passing in 1918.[125] Most of these servicemen came from immigrant
families. Abraham Blickstein was the son of Israel and Mary Blickstein, who both arrived in the
United States from Russia between 1888 and 1891. Nathan was the son of Sigmund and Sallie,
who were from Hungary. Sumner’s parents, Moses and Anna were born in Germany. A local
woman named Irene Jacobs, who was the niece of Morris and Mae Ressler, also supported the
morale of soldiers by performing in the Overseas Theater. Prior to this, Irene studied drama and
music in New York City.

On the home front Zanesville’s Jewish community also made their presence felt. These
efforts were led in part by the Jewish Women’s Benevolent and Aid Society based out of Findley
Avenue Temple . This organization met monthly and most of the 26 members volunteered with
the Red Cross in Zanesville.[126] Its leaders were Rose Brilliant, Mae Resler, Dolly Weinberg, and
Rebecca Weinberg.[127] One member of the Aid Society, Beulah Levi, the wife of Mannie Levi,
was especially active with the Red Cross logging over 2,400 hours with the organization. Beulah
also served on the Council of National Defense’s local food committee, which aimed to promote
food conservation.[128] This organization was also part of the National Federation of Temple
Sisterhoods. Leisurely pursuits also continued. In 1917 the members of Beth Abraham and
Findley Avenue Temple came together to create the Open Forum Society. This group, which
seems to have only lasted one year, sponsored literary and social activities in Zanesville. After
the end of the World War, members of the two congregations continued to work together through
the American Jewish Relief Committee to support refugees in Europe who had been displaced.
Poland was a special area of concern for committee members.[129]

Several new Jewish families settled in Zanesville between 1900 and 1918. One of the
largest new families was named Zwelling. David and Yetta Seigel Zwelling arrived in Zanesville
in 1903 from Iași, Romania with their eight children, Ben, Fannie, Harry, Jack, Max, Morris,
Rhea, and Samuel.[130] David made a living as a junk dealer after settling in Zanesville and his
oldest children, who were in their late teens or early twenties, soon married or established
enterprises of their own. Ben became a longtime cobbler on Main Street and later expanded his
operation to include dry cleaning and tailoring.[131] Fannie moved to Cleveland by 1914 and
married Joseph Feld.[132] In 1909, Harry, Jack, and Samuel established the Zwelling Brothers’
Men’s Shop on Main Street. In the mid 1920s, Jack and Sam left to start their own businesses and
the store was renamed the Harry Zwelling Shop. The store offered dry cleaning and tailoring
services as well as selling new clothing lines. Harry would be in business for over 45 years
before retiring in 1957.[133] He was also the husband of Tillie Abraham Zwelling for 57 years.
Together the couple had four children, Arthur, Herbert, Martin, and Rosella. After the death of
Tillie in 1965, Harry moved to Columbus[134]and Jack Zwelling continued to work separately in the
clothing industry at least until the 1940s. In 1920 he married Mollie Stern, a native of Cleveland.
The couple had four children, David, Marvin, Sylvia, and Yetta.[135] Max left Zanesville for
Cleveland in 1921 where he found work as a cabinet maker.[136] Morris, who would serve as the
President of Beth Abraham in the late 1940s, began his own dry cleaning business, Ideal
Cleaners, in 1932. He married Deborah Berman Zwelling, a native of England who arrived in the
United States in 1906. The couple had three children, Jerry, Ivan, and Howard. Rhea moved to
Columbus by 1942 and does not appear to have married.[137] Samuel Zwelling owned a shoe
factory on Eighth Street after leaving Zwelling Brothers. He later began a clothing store on
Marietta Street, which he operated for decades before retiring in 1951. Sam married Lillian
Shenker Zwelling in 1907 and the couple had three daughters, Bessie, Geneva, and Rose.[138]In
total, David and Yetta had at least 14 grandchildren who lived in Zanesville for all, or part of
their lives.

Other families who arrived in Zanesville around the same time as David and Yetta
included Abe and Rose Art, Blanche and Isadore Furst, and Adolph and Mollie Goldenberg. Abe
Art, who was a native of England, arrived with Rose in Zanesville around 1905. The couple
owned a jewelry store on Main Street before moving to Canton in 1918. One of their sons,
Herman went on to become a longtime businessman in Newark as the proprietor of the H.L. Art
Jewelry Company. Blanche and Isadore established I.E. Furst & Co., a grocery store, around
1905 and it remained in operation until the 1940s. Adolph and Mollie were both immigrants who
arrived in the United States between 1900 and 1902. Mollie was a native of Russia, while
Adolph was born in Palestine. In 1909 the couple moved to Zanesville, where they had two
children, Ruth and Theodore. Adolph began his time in Zanesville selling gas mantles and after a
few years he established the American Incandescent Light Company located at 122 Main Street.
This company would last only a short time since it was ruined in the 1913 flood. The disaster did
not deter Adolph for long, and after a few years he co-founded the American Light Company
with Samuel Goldstein.[139]In 1932 the Goldenberg family moved to Columbus after Adolph
became president of the American Distribution Company. Samuel and his wife Grace remained
in Zanesville, however, and they would be active members of the Jewish community for over
forty years. Grace was a member of an auxiliary group for B’nai B’rith called B’nai B’rith
Women and Samuel was a B’nai B’rith member for over fifty years. He would also serve as the
group’s president and he volunteered with the United Jewish Appeal.[140]

Social life within Zanesville’s Jewish community during the 1920s included events
sponsored by the Findley Avenue Temple Sisterhood, which in 1923 was composed of 29
members. Their events often served as fundraisers for the Temple, but the group also continued
to support other causes. In 1923 the members sponsored several activities, including card parties,
to raise money for a war orphan scholarship.[141] The women of Beth Abraham also came together
to organize a sisterhood organization. Like their coreligionists at Findley Avenue the Beth
Abraham Sisterhood worked to support their synagogue through a variety of events including
card parties, dinners, and rummage sales. Throughout the 1920s, Mollie Weber served as the
organization’s president.[142] On April 12, 1923, B’nai B’rith celebrated its 50th anniversary in
Zanesville by hosting a festive banquet dinner and dance at the Masonic Temple that was
attended by over 100 people. Most out-of-town guests came from Cambridge and Newark, and
smaller parties traveled from Columbus, Dayton, McConnelsville, Portsmouth, and Toledo.[143]
B’nai B’rith’s largest event of the year, however, tended to be its annual picnic held at Smith’s
Grove on West Pike. This affair engaged all members of the family and was a carnival-like
atmosphere with games and athletic contests. The 1920 picnic drew over 400 people from
several cities and towns.[144]

In the 1910s and 1920s Rabbi Harris Rosenberg served as the religious leader of Beth
Abraham. His time in Zanesville was broken up, however, because Rosenberg did leave the city
for a few years in the late 1910s to work at another synagogue. Rabbi Rosenberg is likely
Zanesville’s most famous rabbi since his son, William published a widely read book entitled,
Father and the Angels, in 1947 relating stories from his childhood in Zanesville. Seventy years
later, William Rosenberg, who published under the name Williams Manners, has become a
largely forgotten author in his hometown.[145]Harris arrived in Zanesville with his wife Bertha
from Pennsylvania, where the couple had lived for several years before coming to Muskingum
County. Bertha married Harris after his arrival in the United States from England and was the
rabbi’s second wife. She was also the mother of Harris’ three younger children, Abraham, David
and William. Harris’ first wife, Annie died in England and she left three children Max, Samuel,
and Sophia. These children would be brought to the United States by the grandmother, Sarah, a
few years after their father’s immigration. Most of the Rosenberg children would not remain in
Zanesville as adults. At the time of Rosenberg’s tenure in the 1920s, it was estimated that Beth
Abraham included 35 to 40 member families.

Rosenberg also served as rabbi during the dedication of Beth Abraham’s new synagogue,
which took place on Sunday, December 21, 1924, during the festival of Hanukkah. The new
brick structure was located at 148 North Seventh Street and it was built as a replacement for the
congregation’s older wooden synagogue on North Sixth. Congregants raised $40,000 to
construct the edifice.[146]This sum would be equal to over $607,000 in 2020. Around 400 people
could be seated in the sanctuary, which made Beth Abraham the largest of Zanesville’s two
synagogues. Samuel Lind, the son of Solomon and Yetta Weber Lind and the owner of
Zanesville Theaters Inc., served as chairman of the finance committee. Zanesville Theaters
included the Quimby Theater, Liberty Theater, and the Imperial Theater. The other committee
members were Israel Blickstein, Sallie Freilich, Samuel Goldstein, Louis Regan, Mollie Weber,
Henry Yamer, and Deborah Zwelling. The building committee for Beth Abraham was headed by
Louis Weber, and also included Adolph Goldenberg, Henry Goodman, Joseph Rich, Mollie
Regan, Mary Schwartz, and Harry Zwelling.[147]Louis Weber was also the longtime president of
Beth Abraham, having held the position since 1908. Before this, Louis’ father, Herman, had been
the first president of the congregation. Louis would hold the title for a total of 25 years until his
death in October 1933.[148] During the dedication service Rabbi Jacob Tarshish of the Bryden
Road Temple in Columbus spoke at Beth Abraham and Mollie Weber lit the ner tamid or eternal
light at the front of the sanctuary.

On December 30, 1927, Rabbi Rosenberg died from the effects of a stomach ailment. His
funeral was largely attended by both Jews and non-Jews, including the mayor of Zanesville.[149]
On January 11, 1928, The Times Recorder published a resolution from the members of Beth
Abraham that read in part:

The Angel of Death has appeared and has removed from our midst our spiritual leader
and advisor, Rabbi Harris Rosenberg. His high position in his profession is beyond
question. He was ever ready to help all. His time, effort and ability he cheerfully and
unhesitatingly granted to the community. He was kind and generous to the poor and
needy. He was sincere and unselfish in thought and action. He was modest and
unassuming. He had the courage of his convictions and was always aligned on the side of
the righteousness. Congregation Beth Abraham can never repay the debt of gratitude
which it owes him for his unselfishness, his devotion and his untiring efforts in the
building of their house of worship.[150]

After the death of Rabbi Rosenberg, Saul Bless began his time as the religious leader of
Beth Abraham. Rabbi Bless was a native of Poland who was ordained in Germany before
coming to the United States in 1908. Immediately prior to arriving in Zanesville, Bless served at
a congregation in Reading, Pennsylvania.[151]Saul was married to Henrietta Bless and the couple
had five children Herman, Isidor, James, a daughter named Lee, and William. When William had
his bar mitzvah in October 1928 Rabbi Leopold Greenwald of Beth Jacob Congregation in
Columbus visited Zanesville to speak at Beth Abraham. This demonstrated the strong
connections that continued to exist between the two Jewish communities. Bless would serve at
Beth Abraham until his death in 1937. During the late 1920s, Beth Abraham began to implement
several new programs. These events included dances in the congregation’s recreation hall
sponsored by the Sisterhood, which was also called the Women’s Auxiliary by this period. In
1926 the congregation also began to support a Boy Scout Troop directed at Jewish children. This
group became known as Troop 7 and its members meet weekly on Tuesday evenings in the
basement of the synagogue. The first members were Jerome Abrams, Ira Berman, Bernard
Goldstein, Harold Green, Jerome Milder, Morris Milder, and Martin Zwelling. Ralph Weber
served as Scoutmaster and Joseph Brilliant was the Assistant Scoutmaster. Edward Levitch,
Mannie Levi, Rabbi Harris Rosenberg, Louis Weber, and Samuel Lipsky comprised the
synagogue’s Troop Committee. When Troop 7 was officially installed, members of Troop 2
based out of the First Methodist Episcopal Church helped to welcome the new group.[152]In 1929
a theater troupe named Kibetzin Dramatic Club was formed at Beth Abraham. The purpose of
the club was to present the teachings of Judaism through plays. Joseph Brown was elected the
group’s first president and 24 other people were members of the troupe during its first year.[153]

Jews continued to comprise an important part of Zanesville’s business and civic
communities during the 1920s. The range of economic activities engaged in by Jewish
entrepreneurs was also diverse. Sol Berman, who would serve on City Council in the mid 1930s,
worked with the Hercules Clothing Company.[154]Samuel Burnser operated a pet store on South
Seventh Street that specialized in birds.[155]Gus Greenbaum worked with the Zanesville
Publishing Company and would go on to become the company’s oldest employee, retiring after
25 years of service.[156]Older businesses including Weber’s, which was located across from the
Muskingum County Courthouse and the Starr Company also continued to flourish. In 1922
William Freilich was elected Municipal Judge. He was the first Jew to ever hold the office.[157]
Jewish residents, such as Beulah and Mannie Levi, also contributed to local nonprofit
organizations, including the Helen Purcell Home which continues to serve Southeast Ohio as an
assisted living facility well into the 21st century. Rose Blickstein and Mollie Weber were active
as fundraisers and volunteers on behalf of Bethesda Hospital.

Developments During the 1930s and World War II

In August 1929, the Great Depression began and Zanesville, like many communities
across the United States, was significantly impacted by business bankruptcies and slowdowns.
Despite the challenges for many in the community, Zanesville’s Jewish residents came together
to organize events with the aim of maintaining their city’s vibrant cultural scene. One of these
cultural organizations was the Atheneum Circle, which was founded in 1930 by a group of
predominantly Jewish women. Members included Laura Brilliant, Rose Brilliant, Lillian
Grossman, Flora Loeb, Mollie Regen, and Sandra Zwelling. These members each had their own
diverse interests and skill sets. Laura was a noted local piano teacher and the head of the Music
Committee at Findley Avenue Temple. Rose was a businesswoman who managed Leo Brilliant
& Company since the death of her husband, Leo in 1916. She also served as vice president of
Findley Avenue Temple during the mid-1930s and was active in the Jewish Women’s Benevolent
Society. Lillian Grossman assisted her husband, Bernard in the management of a dry cleaning
business. The Atheneum Circle would continue until at least 1973 and it sponsored many art
shows, educational lectures, and social programs. In 1932 topics featured at events included
Italian art, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s works, colonial Thanksgiving customs, and Hollywood
history.[158]Support for religious education also continued and in 1938 a Judaic library was
established in Zanesville with the financial support of B’nai B’rith.[159]

B’nai B’rith that same year also adopted policies that would help assist itinerant Jews in
Zanesville. Supporting Jewish travelers was not a new service performed by the society. In 1916
a traveling salesman named Adolph Ginsberg died in Newark with no known family members.
Considering this, B’nai B’rith covered funeral expenses and the man was buried in the United
Jewish Cemetery.[160]Seven years earlier a similar case had occurred when a man in Frazeysburg,
a small town northwest of Zanesville, was struck and killed by a train. In this instance, however,
relatives of the man were ultimately found. It was known at the time of the man’s death in 1909
that the traveler was Jewish, and he was buried in the United Jewish Cemetery. Henry Milder
and Samuel Pollock then endeavored to find any relatives of the man and sent a photo of the
individual to Jewish newspapers throughout the United States. Four years later it was learned
that the man was named Rubin Vishinsky when his wife in Brooklyn saw the photo and traveled
to Zanesville to visit the gravesite.[161]B’nai B’rith members also continued to organize traditional
events including the annual picnic at Smith’s Grove ten miles west of Zanesville. In addition to
Zanesville, this picnic frequently drew attendants from Cambridge, Columbus, Coshocton,
Glouster, Lancaster, and Woodsfield.[162]Rehl Farm along Route 40 served as an alternate picnic
venue for some years. Jews also continued to be leaders within nonsectarian service
organizations. For example, in 1932 Louis Regen, the husband of Mollie, was elected as
president of the local Kiwanis club. Young people, organized under the Beth Abraham Junior
Auxiliary, also held dances to benefit local charities.[163]

On October 10, 1933, Louis Weber died leaving Mollie, his wife of 33 years, a daughter
named Erma and a son, Ralph. In addition to his extensive work within the Jewish community,
Louis was also an active member of the Elks, Knights of Pythias, and Masons. During his funeral
at Beth Abraham, which was described as one of the largest in the history of Zanesville, all
businesses in the city closed.[164]By 1933 Erma had moved to Cleveland, where she married
Simon Miller. Ralph, however, stayed in Zanesville and inherited the Weber Company. He was
the third generation to run the company and managed it until 1967 when he retired and closed the
business. Ralph would be active with the Boy Scouts, Chamber of Commerce, Girl Scouts, Retail
Merchants Association, and United Jewish Fund during his professional life.[165]The Great
Depression years also brought several new Jewish families to Zanesville. These families
included Joseph and Sadie Bernstein, who came from New York, Benjamin and Rebecca Cohen,
who arrived from Brooklyn, and Albert and Hilda Gelfand. Albert and Joseph both worked in
retail, while Benjamin was a skilled watchmaker. Jack Cohen, the son of Benjamin and Rebecca,
went on to open a jewelry store, Cohen Jewelers in 1951. The store was originally located on
North 6th Street, but moved to North 5th Street in 1959 where it remained until 1983. Jack
Cohen would also open the store Conrad’s College Gifts in Columbus in 1972.[166] This shop was
a landmark on The Ohio State University campus for 47 years until 2019.

The Depression did not fully end in Zanesville until after the outbreak of World War II
on December 7, 1941. As was done in the 1910s Zanesville mobilized to support the war effort.
Jewish servicemen from Zanesville included Jacob Daener, Jerome Goodman, Arthur Joseph,
Charles Katz, Herbert Lind, Marvin Magaziner, Jerome Milder, Joseph Mirvis, Robert
Schusterman, Herbert Zwelling, and many others. Some of the servicemen, including Daener,
Schusterman, and Zwelling served in Europe while others went to the Pacific. Many branches
were also represented, including the air force, Army Medical Corps and navy. Joseph Mirvis and
Jerold Zwelling served in the air force while Myron Freilich served in the Medical Corps. Alvin
Cohen, whose father Harry opened the Harry Cohen Store for Men in 1943, served in the navy.
Some Jewish servicemen also held high ranks. Herbert Lind, who practiced law in Zanesville
before enlisting, was a Lieutenant Colonel during the war. After his death in 1951 he was buried
in Arlington National Cemetery.[167]

On the home front Zanesville’s Jewish community also made its presence felt. Nate
Milder, the son of Bessie and David Milder, organized entertainment at veteran’s hospitals
across Ohio as part of his role with WHIZ radio. Members of the B’nai B’rith Women’s
Auxiliary volunteered with the Red Cross and organized to sell war bonds. Beth Abraham also
participated in interfaith events such as World Day of Prayer in 1944. The theme of the year’s
event was “Bear Ye One Another’s Burdens”. At the time Harry Waterman served as president
of Beth Abraham. Harry and his wife, Mollie had arrived in Zanesville three decades prior in
1914 and they operated the Waterman Iron and Metal Company. By 1940 Jewish refugees from
Europe began to arrive in Zanesville. The first family known to have reached Muskingum
County were the Tinianow’s.[168]In 1942 Rabbi Henry Okolica arrived in Zanesville from New
York City with his newlywed wife Lisbeth. Okolica escaped Germany in 1938 following
Kristallnacht, a nationwide violent pogrom against Jews. He served at Beth Abraham until 1946
when he moved to take a rabbinic position in Daytona Beach. The years following World War II
brought additional families to Zanesville who had fled Nazi persecution. In 1954 Gerda and
Simon Friedeman arrived from New York City. The family came to Muskingum County after
Simon was hired as a rabbi at Beth Abraham. Before his immigration to the United States in the
early 1940s, Simon was imprisoned by the Gestapo for five weeks and was released only five
days before the outbreak of World War II.[169]Doctor Ludwig Michaelis arrived in 1955 with his
wife, Erna from McConnelsville where he worked at the Rocky Glenn Sanitarium. Before
immigrating to the United States in 1947, Ludwig practiced in China where he found sanctuary
after leaving Germany.[170]Later in 1965 Rabbi Mendel Lewkowitz would settle in Zanesville
after being hired by Beth Abraham along with his wife, Hanna and three children. The couple
first found refuge in Shanghai after leaving Nazi Germany, and they later made their way to San
Francisco. Prior to his emigration from Germany, Mendel was a rabbi at a synagogue in Bytom,
where he was a skilled composer and singer.[171]

Into the 21st Century

Zanesville’s Jewish population likely peaked around 1950 at approximately 300
individuals.[172]Jewish families that settled in Zanesville shortly after the end of World War II
included the Ballas, Calig, Freede, and Glazer households. Many Jewish households during the
1950s included young people. In 1958 a group of 13 Jewish youths formed the Yigdal chapter of
the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization. The organization took its name from the Jewish hymn
Yigdal, which speaks about the 13 principles of faith in Judaism as espoused by the medieval
rabbi Maimonides. Ruth Friedeman, the daughter of Gerda and Simon, served as the chapter’s
first president and Carole Rogovin served as vice president.[173]During the same year, on J une 29,
1958, Findley Avenue Temple merged with Beth Abraham to form one community. This merger
impacted around 200 individuals who were affiliated with either institution. Under the terms of
the merger, the Conservative Jewish customs practiced at Beth Abraham guided most of the
liturgy and traditions of the united congregation. Kosher regulations were followed in the
congregational kitchen, smoking was prohibited anywhere on the property during the Shabbat,
and yarmulkes had to be worn during services. The only accommodation given to the Reform
members of Findley Avenue was that the organ from the old temple was permitted to be removed
and installed at the congregation’s newly built synagogue located at 1740 Blue Avenue. The
organ was used whenever possible under the direction of Rabbi Friedeman and the religious
committee.[174]Marvin Magaziner served as the last president of Keneseth Israel and Laura
Brillant was the last president of the synagogue’s Sisterhood.

The cornerstone for the new merged synagogue was laid on August 10, 1958. Elmer
Swack, the president of Beth Abraham, participated in the ceremony along with Harry Calig,
Sidney Fish, Jerome Goodman, Arthur Joseph, Leon Levion, Herman Rogovin, Theodore
Rogovin, and Herman Ross. In addition, Reverend E.C. Gordon of the Market Street Baptist
Church and Reverend Howard Buckley, a Methodist minister, both gave benedictions. Other
guests included Mayor Maurice Vensil, state senator Tom Moorehead, and Leo Yassenoff of
Columbus. Following the ceremony, a dinner prepared by the Ladies Auxiliary was served.[175]In
1959 the new Beth Abraham congregation was completed and dedicated. Five years later in
1964, Beth Abraham was recorded as having 90 member families.[176]The synagogue’s Sisterhood
around the same time had fifty members.[177]

Less than twenty years later, however, the number of families at Beth Abraham had
dropped to fifty.[178]This decline in synagogue membership reflected a general contraction within
Zanesville’s Jewish community as well as a wider population loss for Zanesville. Between 1960
and 1980 Zanesville’s city population decreased by over 10,000 people as a result of industrial
jobs leaving the county. By 1997 the city’s population had dropped by another 2,000 people and
it was estimated only 40 Jewish families lived in Zanesville.[179]Zanesville’s general population
decline continued into the 21st century and its Jewish community increasingly shrank due to
aging and relocations. In 2017 the decision was made by the remaining members of Beth
Abraham to deconsecrate and sell their synagogue. Zanesville City Schools purchased the
building in 2018 with the intention that it be used to house its Junior Reserve Officers Training
Corps program.[180]With the closure Beth Abraham, over 150 years of organized Jewish life in
Muskingum County was brought to an end.

Beth Abraham’s closing followed only a few years after the merger of Ohev Israel in
Newark with Columbus’ Beth Tikvah in 2012 and the closing of both Steubenville’s Temple
Beth Israel and Parkersburgh’s Temple B’nai Israel in 2013. Together, these examples of
synagogue closures mirror declines in Jewish life across dozens of small and mid-sized towns
throughout the Midwest. The disappearance of Jewish communities across so many towns is a
reflection of larger population changes resulting from post-industrialization in the United States.
While Zanesville’s Jewish community is no longer an organized presence in the city, the
contributions of its more recent members can still be seen and felt in many areas. For example,
Economy Linen and Worthington Foods, which is now owned by Kellogg’s, choose to locate
company facilities in Zanesville in part through the efforts of Leonard Ballas.[181]This effort was
possible because Ballas owned a major egg processing plant in the city that employed dozens of
people and therefore he could speak to Zanesville’s workforce. The Ballas Egg Products
Corporation plant had itself been opened in 1961 by Leonard’s father, Max.[182]Later, from 2005
to 2012, Howard Zwelling served as the mayor of Zanesville.[183]These late 20th and early 21st
century contributions were themselves made possible in-part by earlier efforts of Jewish
residents in Zanesville. Together, these collective actions serve as a testament to the legacy of
this community.

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T625_1425 ; Page: 7B ; Enumeration District: 136 .
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American Jewish Times-Outlook (Greensboro, NC).
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Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, OH).
Daily Ohio State Journal (Columbus, OH).
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Jewish Advance (Chicago, IL).
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Jewish Monitor (Fort Worth, TX).
Jewish Review and Observer (Cleveland, OH).
Ohio Jewish Chronicle (Columbus, OH).
Sentinel (Chicago, IL).
The American Israelite (Cincinnati, OH).
The Israelite (Cincinnati, OH).
The Occident (Philadelphia, PA).
The Zanesville Times Recorder (Zanesville, OH).
Weekly Signal (Zanesville, OH) .
Wheeling Intelligencer (Wheeling, WV).
Zanesville Daily Courier (Zanesville, OH).
Zanesville Signal (Zanesville, OH).

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1 “Congregation,” Occident (Philadelphia), December 01, 1856.
2 “News Items,” Occident , April 01, 1852.
3 Thomas Lewis, Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio Vol. 1 , Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing
Company, 1927, p 284.
4 “Leopold ‘Loeb’ Oppenheimer,” Find a Grave , 2020, .
5 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2008 (Washington, D.C.: Department of Homeland Security, 2009, .
6 “Sudden Summons Mrs. David Goodman Dies,” Times Recorder (Zanesville) , February 12, 1900.
7, 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA:
Operations, Inc., 2009, Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
8 “Death Stays Hand of Moses Meyer, Veteran Citizen,” Times Recorder , October 30, 1913.
9 “158 Main Street,” Daily Times Recorder (Zanesville) , February 20, 1886.
10 “Death Stays Hand of Moses Meyer, Veteran Citizen,” Times Recorder .
11 “Receipts of the Israelite,” Israelite (Cincinnati) , November 03, 1854.
12 “E.R. Meyer is Called From Life,” Times Recorder , November 24, 1942.
13 Alex Rozsaft, letter to the editor, Israelite , August 22, 1873.
14 “Mrs. Eva Dryfus Dead,” Zanesville Signal , October 04, 1900.
15, 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA:
Operations, Inc., 2009, Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
16 J. Hope Sutor, Past and Present of the City of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio (Chicago: The
S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1905) 146.
17 “Forced to the Wall,” Times Recorder , May 01, 1895.
18 “Ohio,” Daily Ohio State Journal (Columbus), January 07, 1879.
19 Pearl Shonfield, interview by Warren Vander Hill, Middletown Jewish Oral History Project , Ball State
University, May 14, 1979,
20 “Gigantic Sale of the Shonfield Stock,” Times Recorder, February 13, 1903
21 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:
Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
22 Zanesville Daily Courier , September 21, 1865, p 2.
23 “Congregation at Zanesville O.” Israelite (Cincinnati) , November 15, 1867.
24 J.F. Everhart, History of Muskingum County, Ohio , Columbus: J.F. Everhart & Company, 1882, 185.20 “Gigantic Sale of the Shonfield Stock,” Times Recorder , February 13, 1903.
25 Muskingum County History, “ Some of Zanesville’s historic structures are still with us,” Facebook, April26, 2019, .
26 History of Muskingum County, Ohio , 185.
27 Ibid .
28 Ibid.
29 “Report of Marshall Relief Association for Shreveport Sufferers,” Israelite , February 13, 1874.
30 Toby, Brief, “Bene Israel Minutes Book,” email of original 1870 text, October 13, 2020.
31 Toby, Brief, “ Tifereth Israel Jubilee Banquet Book,” email of original text, October 13, 2020.
32 B.S. Dryfus, letter to the editor, I sraelite , July 14, 1871.
33 J. Wechsler, letter to the editor, Israelite , February 03, 1871.
34 Ibid.
35 “Brief Mention,” Daily Times Recorder , April 23, 1886.
36 “General Horkheimer Died at Seashore,” Wheeling Intelligencer , May 23, 1912.
37 Obituary of Henry Horkheimer, American Israelite (Cincinnati) , October 23, 1885.
38 “Rev. Dr. Browne’s Lecture Tour East,” American Israelite , November 10, 1876.
39 “Once Conducted Store in City,” Times Recorder , October 20, 1909.
40 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Muskingum County, Ohio , Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing
Company, 1892, p 361.
41 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Muskingum County, Ohio , p 288.
42 “List of Delegates,” American Israelite , July 24, 1874.
43 M. Steinfeld, letter to the editor, Israelite , April 17, 1874.
44 “Rev. Dr. Browne’s Lecture Tour East,” American Israelite (Cincinnati) , November 10, 1876.
45 History of Muskingum County, Ohio , p. 202.
46 “Gihon Lodge, B’nai B’rith, Holds its Golden Jubilee,” Times Recorder , April 13, 1923.
47 History of Muskingum County, Ohio , p. 202.
48 Ibid.
49 “Convention of the Grand Lodge Held in North and South-West,” American Israelite , February 19,
50 “Order Kesher Shel Barzel,” American Jewish Yearbook vol. 2 Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society
of America, 1900: 162.
51 “Montefiore Home,” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History , Case Western Reserve University, 2020,
20in%20June,was%20located%20at%20Woodland%20Ave .
52 “Hebrew School Examination,” Daily Times Recorder , August 13, 1886.
53 American Israelite , March 26, 1880, p 6.
54 “CPI Inflation Calculator,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ,
55 “Edward Lind Heard From,” Times Recorder, April 28, 1906.
56 “A Notable Wedding,” Zanesville Times Recorder , November 20, 1895.
57 “A.E. Starr Left Large Fortune,” Times Recorder , February 17, 1917.
58 “Mannie Levi, President of A.E. Starr Company, is Dead,” Times Recorder , June 01, 1951.
59 “Zanesville O.,” Jewish Advance (Chicago) , March 18, 1881.
60 “Rottenberg-Ganger,” Daily Times Recorder , January 27, 1886.
61 “Perhaps ‘Wrong’ all Through,” Daily Times Recorder , September 02, 1885.
62 “Locked out of the Church,” Daily Times Recorder , January 20, 1886.
63 “A Row in Church,” Daily Times Recorder , January 19, 1886.
64 “Brief Mention,” Daily Times Recorder , May 06, 1886.
65 “Zanesville O.,” American Israelite , June 02, 1882.
66 “Zanesville O.,” American Israelite , May 08, 1890.
67 Daily Times Recorder , p.4, October 19, 1885.
68 “Base Ball,” Times Recorder , June 10, 1886.
69 “Another Surprise,” Daily Times Recorder , October 12, 1885.
70 “A Jewish Synagogue to be Built Here,” Daily Times Recorder , October 12, 1886.
71 “Jewish Orphan Asylum, I.O.B.B.,” American Israelite , January 12, 1883.
72 “Brief Mention,” Daily Times Recorder , April 23, 1886.
73 “Embezzlement,” Daily Times Recorder, May 31, 1888.
74 “Metzenbaum Opens Campaign Today,” Times Recorder , September 14, 1970.
75 “Board of Education,” Daily Times Recorder , September 24, 1889.
76 “Zanesville O.,” American Israelite , May 08, 1890.
77 Biographical and Historical Memoirs , p 289.
78 “Goodman Steel Marks 85 Years in Business,” Times Recorder , November 09, 1977.
79 “Beth Abraham Congregation Organized Here 77 Years Ago,” Times Recorder , October 01, 1947.
80 “A Minister’s Surprise,” Times Recorder , May 08, 1900.
81 “In Jewish Circles,” Weekly Signal (Zanesville) , November 11, 1897.
82 “A Hebrew Wedding,” Times Recorder , November 02, 1898.

83 “Mike Mirvis Funeral to be on Sunday,” Times Recorder , February 06, 1947.
84 “Domestic Notes,” Jewish Review and Observer (Cleveland) , April 27, 1900.
85 “Permanent Congregation in Zanesville, Jewish Review and Observer , December 18, 1903.
86 “Rosh Ha Shohan [sic],” Daily Times Recorder , September 07, 1904.
87 “Our Own Country,” Jewish Independent (Cleveland) , July 23, 1909.
88 “Commendable Enterprise,” American Israelite , June 09, 1910.
89 “Commendable Enterprise,” American Israelite , June 09, 1910.
90 The American Jewish Yearbook , vol. 12 (1911): 279, .

91 “The History of Genesis,” Genesis Healthcare Systems , 2020, .
92 ” Thousands Pay Last Tribute to Memory of Late Julius Frank,” Times Recorder , October 21, 1912.
93 Year: 1920 Federal Census ; Census Place: Zanesville Ward 4, Muskingum, Ohio ; Roll: T625_1425 ;
Page: 7B ; Enumeration District: 136
94 Thomas Lewis, Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio Vol. 1 , p 567.

95 “Congregation Wipes Out Debt,” Times Recorder , March 08, 1954.
96 “Zanesville, O,” American Israelite , September 28, 1911.
97 “Date for Chase-Weinberg Wedding is February 5,” Daily Times Recorder , January 24, 1905.
98 “Herman Weber in Last Sleep,” Times Recorder , August 02, 1908.
99 “Benjamin Weber, Former Resident Killed in Holdup,” Times Recorder , December 27, 1935.
100 “The Great Flood of 1913 100 Years Later,” Midwest Regional Climate Center , 2013, .
101 Ibid.
102 William Manners, Father and the Angels (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1947), p 14.
103 Thomas Lewis, Zanesville and the Flood of 1913 , Zanesville: A.E. Starr, 1913, p 45.
104 “Yom Kippur,” Times Recorder , September 18, 1907.
105 “Elsa Hirschberg in Song Recital,” Times Recorder , August 06, 1909.
106 “Zanesville Boy in Vaudeville,” Times Recorder , May 17, 1909.
107 “Brilliant Young Actor Married,” Times Recorder , February 03, 1910.
108 “His Creditors Wouldn’t Wait,” Times Recorder , March 08, 1911.
109 Obituary of Samuel Rogovin, Times Recorder , November 23, 1976.
110 “Rogovin Brothers Purchase Cambridge Glass Co. Plant,” Times Recorder , April 01, 1961.
111 “Libbie Rosenberg Kahn, Find a Grave , 2020, .
112 Obituary of Bessie Wein, Times Recorder , April 24, 1968.
113 “Funeral Rites Held for Isaac Droz, 68,” Times Recorder , January 04, 1952.
114 “Council of Jewish Women New Section Active,” Jewish Monitor (Fort Worth, TX) , February 11, 1921.
115 “B’nai B’rith to Observe 75th Anniversary Sunday Evening,” Times Recorder , April 15, 1948.
116 “Death Summons Samuel [sic] Schwartz,” Times Recorder , February 14, 1946.
117 “Two Hearts Beat as One,” Times Recorder , May 14, 1906.
118 Toby Brief, “ Mohel Book,” emailed names, Columbus Jewish Historical Society , October 13, 2020
119 “S. Eichenbaum is Again Postmaster,” Times Recorder , February 01, 1917.
120 Thomas Powell, James Campbell, Claude Meeker, and H.A. Jameson, The Democratic Party of the
State of Ohio Vol. II (The Ohio Publishing Company, 1913), 159 – 160.
121 U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT,
USA: Operations, Inc., 2016.
122 “Marcel Levion Services Saturday,” Times Recorder , July 31, 1954.

123 “Benj. Sobel Locates in Zanesville,” Times Recorder , April 10, 1908.
124 “Rabbi Krohngold is Now Jewish Chaplain,” Times Recorder , July 25, 1918.
125 “Amity Lodge Will Dedicate Service Banner Tonight,” Times Recorder, October 11, 1918.
126 “National Federation Temple Sisterhoods,” B’nai B’rith Messenger (Los Angeles, CA) , February 12,
127 “Zanesville Sisterhood,” Sentinel (Chicago) , August 31, 1917.
128 “Mrs. Mannie Levi is Called From Life to Eternal Rest,” Times Recorder , February 22, 1921.
129 “Nephew Local Man Tells of Hunger and Distress Among People in Poland,” Times Recorder ,
December 29, 1919.
130 “David Zwelling, 76, Dies; Relatives Lose in Race to Bedside,” Times Recorder , February 03, 1930.
131 Obituary of Ben Zwelling, Times Recorder , May 13, 1962.
132 Obituary of Fannie Feld, Times Recorder , May 05, 1964.
133 “In Business Here for 40 Years,” Times Recorder , February 19, 1949.
134 “Harry Zwelling Dies; Former Zanesville Tailor,” Times Recorder , March 17, 1967.
135 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:
Operations, Inc., 2012.
136 Obituary of Max Zwelling, Times Recorder , November 21, 1961.
137 Obituary of Rhea Zwelling, Ohio Jewish Chronicle , December 15, 1983.
138 “Sam Zwelling Dies at 78; Ex-Merchant, Times Recorder , August 14, 1961.
139 “Former Resident Awarded Trip to Native Palestine,” Times Recorder , July 19, 1935.
140 “Zanesville Businessman Dies at 85,” Times Recorder , January 06, 1972.
141 “Sisterhoods in East are Active,” B’nai B’rith Messenger , July 06, 1923.
142 “Mrs. L.H. Weber, Dies at Bethesda Friday Night,” Times Recorder , December 29, 1934.
143 “Zanesville O.,” American Israelite , April 26, 1923.
144 B’nai B’rith Lodge Gives Very Enjoyable Picnic,” Times Recorder , August 02, 1920.
145 Lewis LeMaster, “William Rosenberg: A Nearly Forgotten Local Author,” Times Recorder , September
16, 2017.
146 “Beth Abraham Congregation Organized Here 77 Years Ago,” Times Recorder , October 02, 1947.
147 “Plan Impressive Rites for Synagogue Dedication,” Times Recorder , December 13, 1924.
148 “Heart Attack Proves Fatal to L.L. Weber,” Times Recorder , October 10, 1933.
149 William Manners, Father and the Angels , p 223.
150 “Appreciation of Rabbi Rosenberg by Congregation,” Times Recorder , January 11, 1928.
151 “Rabbi Saul S. Bless Assumes Charge Beth Abraham Synagogue, Times Recorder , March 03, 1928.
152 “Jewish Scouts are Installed,” Times Recorder , June 16, 1926.
153 “Jewish Drama Club Formed to Promote Judaism Teachings,” Times Recorder , March 08, 1929.
154 “Heart Attack Fatal,” Times Recorder , August 12, 1960.
155 “Burnser Funeral,” Times Recorder , April 11, 1925.
156 “Gus Greenbaum, Retired Newsman Dies in Hospital,” Times Recorder , August 04, 1954.
157 The Sentinel (Chicago) , January 13, 1922, p 17.
158 “Atheneum Circle Plans Program for the Coming Season,” Times Recorder , March 13, 1973.
159 “Zanesville, O.,” Ohio Jewish Chronicle , May 27, 1938.
160 Obituary of Alfred [sic] Ginsberg, Times Recorder , February 03, 1916.
161 “No Longer Fills an Unknown Grave,” Times Recorder , January 26, 1909.
162 “Come and Attend Zanesville Jewry’s Basket Picnic and General Good Times,” Ohio Jewish Chronicle ,
August 01, 1930.
163 “Depression Dance to be Held in Zanesville,” Ohio Jewish Chronicle , March 24, 1933.

164 “Mourned Louis L. Weber,” Ohio Jewish Chronicle , October 13, 1933.
165 “Ralph E. Weber Dies; Ex-Zanesville Merchant, Times Recorder , January 10, 1972.
166 “Selling Ohio State Stuff Turned Out to be One Great Business Idea for Conrads,” Columbus Dispatch ,
April 26, 2009.
167 Obituary of Herbert Lind, Ohio Jewish Chronicle , March 09, 1951.
168 Eva Tinianow, interview by Helena Schlam, Oral Histories , The Columbus Jewish Historical Society,
May 20, 2009.
169 “Rabbi Friedeman to Leave Zanesville Synagogue After 11 Years of Service,” Times Recorder ,
December 13, 1964.
170 Obituary of Ludwig Michaelis, Times Recorder , April 06, 1968.
171 Burns Harlan, “Of People and the Times,” Times Recorder , April 11, 1965.
172 The American Jewish Yearbook , vol. 52 (1951): 20, .
173 “Beth Abraham 1959 Dedication 5719,” booklet.
174 “Merger,” American Jewish Times-Outlook (Greensboro, North Carolina) , December 1958, .
175 “Beth Abraham 1959 Dedication 5719,” booklet.
176 “Rabbi Friedeman to Leave Zanesville Synagogue After 11 Years of Service,” December 13, 1964.
177 Regine Kimberly, “Jewish Women Whip up Favorite Kosher Dishes for Smorgasboard,” Times
Recorder , March 17, 1968.
178 “Zwelling Serving as Zanesville Chairman,” Ohio Jewish Chronicle , April 10, 1980.
179 Martin Zwelling, interview by Naomi Schottenstein, Oral Histories , The Columbus Jewish Historical
Society, March 18, 1997.
180 Shelly Schultz, “ZCS Purchases Synagogue, Offers Jr ROTC Program,” Times Recorder , February 04,2018.
181 Obituary of Leonard Ballas, Times Recorder , July 13, 2012.
182 “Of People and the Times,” Times Recorder , February 13, 1966.
183 Obituary of Howard Zwelling, Times Recorder , January 22, 2018.

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