Jewish community of Biddeford-Saco.

Building Ads in Biddeford for Sam's Place and Day's Jewelry Store
Rothstein Family
Etz Chaim (Biddeford) Synagogue records,
Etz Chaim Synagogue, Biddeford
Kornetsky, Rosenberg and Tabachnick families in the early 20th century
Annie & Mel Thorner with Stanley Nelson & ?
Five women from the Aranovitch family and a friend
Osherowitz Family Portrait
Portrait of Ida Ginsburg Osherowitz
Portrait of Lilly and Eva Aranovitch
Polakewich Bros & Co Advertisements
Irving Thorner, Max & Sarah Nelson

This section of the Documenting Maine Jewry project has information on the communities of Biddeford, Old Orchard Beach, Saco.

The coordinators of this site are Jennie Aranovitch and Beth Strassler. They would welcome additional photographs, documents and oral histories sent to them at dmj @ mindspring.com


All the dropdown menus above display data for just Biddeford-Saco

Local Jewish Organizations




Brief History of Biddeford-Saco Jewry

Forthcoming

DATABASE RESOURCES : Information is available today on

  • 454 individual Jews with strong ties to Biddeford-Saco of which 66 record the Old Country origin of first generation immigrants
  • 144 records of burial in Jewish cemeteries for which there are 107 headstone images
  • 38 organizations important to the Biddeford-Saco Jewish community of which 5 are Jewish community institutions and 26 are businesses important to the Biddeford-Saco Jewish community
  • 45 bibliographic citations and sources pertaining to Biddeford-Saco of which 15 are photographs and 2 are oral histories

Recent additions to the Documenting Biddeford-Saco Jewry database include


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The Documenting Biddeford-Saco Jewry (DBSJ) site is a part of the state-wide Documenting Maine Jewry (DMJ) project. Honoring the Jewish tradition of remembrance, the Documenting Maine Jewry project seeks to tell the story, not just of those individuals, but of the communities they shaped. DMJ's goal is to collect short histories of the many people and organizations that have contributed, over time, to the lives of Maine Jews. Currently the state-wide index has records on over 25,000 Jewish Mainers and 200 Maine Jewish organizations.

People    The 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.

Organizations    DBSJ is also building a community-based history around the religious and secular institutions that were or are the lifeblood of the Biddeford-Saco Jewish community – as well as the source of quite regular souris (headaches). The project is creating 'family trees' of those often-interconnected local institutions: some 180 Jewish service organizations, 94 Jewish religious bodies, 18 Chevra Kaddisha and cemeteries, 15 Jewish camps, and 240 businesses crucial to the economic survival of Maine Jews.

Places    The state-wide database has information on Maine Jews from over 90 cities and towns . Users can seek information in a particular town or city or can select a wider area to search on the state map index . Each option allows users to find organizations and people either in these key cities/towns or by county.

Oral Histories    The DWJ project is also collecting oral histories. Currently there are X oral histories by Biddeford-Saco-connected Jews.

Sources    The Documenting Maine Jewry methodology is basically a jigsaw approach. We take whatever community, municipal, and cemetery records we have and merge them into a common database. As a result, we face problems of duplication and incompleteness. To minimize those problems, we try to name-match only when we have at least two factual sources for a given name. Ultimately, we feel it is better to have duplicate records than inaccurate information linking two unrelated people with the same names; Jews do love to repeat certain family names. In the name of historic accuracy, we ask families to supplement/correct their information using the on-line edit function on their page, or by emailing correct information to dmj@mindspring.com.

For security reasons, complete access to the database is available only on request. A full index of all burials , however, is publicly available.

Volunteers    The Biddeford-Saco Documenting Maine Jewry effort is largely a volunteer effort; we always welcome more help. Volunteers interested in photographing older Jewish headstones, collecting information on a particular town or organization, transferring data from print to electronic records, or upgrading software should email to dmj@mindspring.com.

Finances    Financial contributions supplement the volunteer effort by supporting data collection and outreach. DMJ is under the financial supervision of Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine(JCA), a 501(c)3 organization. Donations are welcome using the Tzedakah box below or by sending a gift (marked DOMJ) to the JCA, 57 Ashmont St., Portland, Maine 04103. Major donors can select a range of contributions to honor their own Maine immigrant family or to inspire and inform the next generation of Maine Jews.

Heart and Soul    The core of the project is the addition of new information by Maine Jews, whether online through the website, by email, or by old-fashioned mail. We encourage all registered users to supplement or correct existing information on individuals using the edit function on each person's page. Historical documents, oral accounts, photographs of community activities, and print articles can be emailed to the site coordinators (see above). To get a mailing address, please email describing the materials you would like to share.

Last Updated : March 21, 2011

Page Displayed : / Tuesday November 25, 2014



Last Updated : June 19, 2014