Congregation Rodphey Sholom of Holyoke

Congregation Rodphey Sholom of Holyoke

The synagogue is at the corner of Northampton Street and Forer Avenue. The cemetery is on the upper section of Pendleton Avenue also in Chicopee. Forer was rabbi for both synagogues for 25 years. Rodphey Sholom Synagogue practices Orthodoxy whereas the Sons of Zion Synagogue practices Reform. The Rodphey Sholom Synagogue was moved from Park Avenue to Northampton Street in September of 1953. (On March 10 1951 this new synagogue was proposed.) Its origins as a congregation are from 1896 but they did not have a formal synagogue yet. In 1902 they celebrated their services at a building in South Holyoke on Main Street. Within the year they had a beautiful synagogue built for themselves on Park Avenue at the corner with Adams Street. Their predecessor organization was a brotherhood group that started in Holyoke in 1891 – Agudas Achim. Before 1891 the Jews in the area would go to Springfield to celebrate their religion. To give you a few numbers in 1890 there were 5 Jewish families in Holyoke and all were of German descent. A mere dozen years later there were 100 Jewish families in Holyoke and all were of German, Russian, and Polish descent and all lived in South Holyoke.


This Rodphey Sholom Cemetery like the Sons of Zion Cemetery belongs to a Holyoke religious institution – Rodphey Sholom Synagogue. The cemetery was begun in 1924.

Alexander Rosan19051906also a shamos (sexton)
Abraham Saltzman19061916
Morris Kurland19171919
Leib Forer19231948
Marvin Luban1949
Jacob Reiner
Sender Shizgal
Harris Guedalia
Stuart Grant
Daniel Tsaidi
David Etengoff
Yigal Tsaidi
Mitchell Levine
Yitzhak Barnooncantor
Thanks and credit to the Holyoke Transcript for some of this information

In 1891 Agudas Achim starts in Holyoke.

In 1899 the Paper City Lodge of Order Brith Abraham starts. Max Cuskin is the rabbi.

In 1901 Congregation Sons of Zion starts with Rabbi Samuel Lurie.

The Congregation Rodphey Sholom started in 1902 meeting first in an apartment and then in a candy store at the corner of Adams and Park Streets. The spelling Raidphey Sholem is used. In 1903 Samuel Levi becomes its spiritual leader.

In 1904 the synagogue for the Congregation Rodphey Sholom is started on Park Street.

In 1904 Agudas Achim joins in with the Congregation Sons of Zion.

In 1915 the YMHA starts and in 1917 the YWHA starts.

In 1949 the Leib Forer Nursery School is started.

The new synagogue started September 1 1953 on Northampton Street.

The Holyoke Community Hebrew School started December 10 1971. From 1972 onward it was called the Beatrice Belsky Hebrew School.

A sisterhood was started under Dolores Stein and Elizabeth Feldman.

Nathan Feldman was the first president of the Congregation Rodphey Sholom. – FINDAGRAVE

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