Jews have been living in Maine since the 1800s: There were fully functioning Jewish communities in Bangor in the 1840s, and in Portland in the 1880s. Somewhat improbably, at least to outsiders, those and other Jewish enclaves around the state have endured and thrived. Over the last 100 years, the Jewish population of Maine has ranged from 5,000 to over 10,000.
Today there are active Jewish communities in Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Biddeford-Saco, greater Portland, Lewiston-Auburn, Rockland, and Waterville and smaller Jewish community groupings elsewhere in the State. Information on individual communites is available from links on the left,from the drop down 'places' menu above, or from the city/town search option below).
Maine Jewish life brings to mind different things for different Jews. For some
it is where they were born, live, and cannot imagine living anywhere else. For others, it
is where they grew up and consequently hold special memories of childhood. Other
Jews see Maine as the place that they have vacationed for years or went to summer camp. As with other Jewish
communities, many families moved in because their relatives had asked them to come.
And increasingly other Maine Jews are ones who have opted to move
to Maine as the place where they want to live.
Questions unavoidably arise: Who is a Jew? And who is a Mainer? On the former, the project takes no position. On the latter, we have used a broad definition including not only those who were born, grew up, or lived here, but also those who are buried here.
The core of the project is the addition of new information by Maine Jews and other interested people, whether online through the website, by email, or by old-fashioned mail. Building the database DMJ has benefited from support from community centers, synagogues, family historians, Chevra Kiddisha, burial associations, social clubs, sports teams across the state and its partner organizations . Historical documents, oral accounts, photographs of community activities, and print articles can be emailed to email@example.com.
We encourage all registered users to supplement or correct existing information on individuals and community organizations using the comment function on each person's page. .
DATABASE RESOURCES : Information is available today on
- 32,314 individual Jews with strong ties to Maine of which 2,378 show the first generation country of origin
- 8,371 records of burial in Maine Jewish cemeteries for which there are 5,462 headstone images
- 1,942 organizations important to the Maine Jewish community of which 594 are Jewish community institutions in Maine and 776 are businesses important to the Maine Jewish communities
- 287 are oral histories of which 85 are available as .mp3 audio recordings on-line
- 5,288 bibliographic citations and sources of which 1,799 are photographs and 1,983 are original documents
- To date 557 individuals and 16 organizations have contributed photographs, recollections, documents, or other resources to DMJ on-line resource base
Financial contributions to DMJ can honor their own Maine immigrant family or to inspire and inform the next generation of Maine Jews. These contribution supplement this largely volunteer effort by supporting data collection and outreach. DMJ is under the financial supervision of Temple Beth El, 400 Deering Ave, Portland, Maine 04103 , Donations are welcome using the Tzedakah box below or by sending a gift (marked DMJ) to Temple Beth El.
Recent additions to the database include
Last Updated : June 13 2013 Page Displayed :
/ Monday December 22, 2014
Last Updated : June 13 2013
Page Displayed : / Monday December 22, 2014