Jewish community of Greater Bangor.

Sylvia and Marcella Michelson
"My Friend, Henry Segal"
Annie and Natalie Anderson
Arthur Lipsky and Another on "City of Bangor"
B'nai B'rith or Hadassah event at the Bangor JCC
Bangor Group of 23 Women
Bangor JCC Nursery School Graduation
Bangor Public Library - Forty-three more images
Bess Minsky and family
Boating at Camp Lown: M Kapiloff, R Jacobson, M Ross
Camp Lown Girls
Camp Lown Group Photo, 7 girls
Camp Lown Group Picture
Charlie Ginsberg I
David Rubinoff and Mertice Ashby marriage under the chupah
Eva Chasson, Sarah Gotlib, Rena Gass
Family of Jacob and Alice Cohen
George Ginsberg II
Group Gathering
Group Photo of Five Women and Five Men
Henry Segal Portrait
Jack Cohen fits customer
Jacob and Sam Cohen Store
Janette Cohen at age 4
Joseph Fish
Julia and Louis Saltzman with three children - Bill, Bobbie and Ada
Leadership of Pine Tree Lodge B'nai B'rith
Marcia Berson's Eighth Birthday Party
Minsky Family Photograph
Newspaper photo Carroll - Cut Rate
Paul Emple and David Lieberman at Camp
Penobscot Poultry Co. exhibit
Penobscot Poultry Company
photographs from the collection of Bangor’s Jewish Community Center various
Photographs from the collection of Bangor’s Jewish Community Center various
Portrait of Annie and Sol Costrell
Portrait of Dora (Kovelle) Cohen, Bernard Cohen, and their children
Portrait of Edwin and Louis Costrell
Portrait of Eva (Abachak) Handverger
Portrait of family of Julia and Louis Saltzman
Portrait of Jacob and Lena Bravemen - 50th Anniversary
Portrait of Pauline, Nate, Mae, and Sylvia Cohen
Portrait of Solomon and Annie Costrell with their three children
Queen City Market owned by the Gotlib Family of Bangor
Rachel Bernstein
Reception dinner photo of Bill Cohen with older man
Robert Cohen, Alice Cohen, Sam Cohen, and Julia (Cohen) Saltzman
Sam and Louis Cohen
School photo - Tante Ittel Group
Sylvia and Eunice Cohen
Tefillen Group, Beth Israel Synagogue
Three Generations Adelman family picture
W Lipsky Peddler Cart
Wedding Photo of Jacob and Miriam Rolnick
Women's Division Bangor Jewish Community Center
Worked for Max Ginsberg 1
Worked for Max Ginsberg 2
Portrait of the Goldberg Sisters (Berger, Goldsmith, Sawyer, and Braiener)
Bangor Public Library - Eighteen items
Bangor Public Library - Eighteen more images
Portrait of Hannah and Moses Goldberg
Portrait of Nathan and Rosa Cohen
Cornerstone Laying for Congregation Beth Israel
Former Beth Israel Synagogue in Bangor
Fanny, Minnie, and George Ginsberg
Jay Ginsberg
Wedding Portrait of Ida Goldie Michelson and Max Michelson
Jacob and Eva Chason (Chasson)
Berson Family Portrait
Mrs Goldberg and Ruth Goldsmith
Smith Rolnick Wedding
Congregation Beth Israel
Directors of Congregation Beth Israel
Anna Michelson, "In Rich's Garden"
Portrait of Annette Chason
Viner Brothers Shoe Factory, Hancock St
Abraham and Sophie Berson's 25th Wedding Anniversary
Portrait of Harold Chason
Anna Richlin and Her Family
Bangor High School football team, newspaper photo
Portrait of Harold and Annette Chason
Michelson/Bickhoff Family
Torah Dedication
Torah Dedication in Bangor, congregation gathering outside of synagogue
Ida Goldie Michelson and Family
Mollie Epstein Kamen and Barnet Kamenkovitz and their children
AZA (Bangor) Basketball Team
Beth Abraham (Bangor) I
Beth Abraham on York St
Beth Abraham synagogue
Beth Abraham Synagogue re-dedication
Beth Abraham Synagogue, dedication
Re-Dedication of Beth Abraham Synagogue
David Striar w granddaughters Liz Cohen & Lillian Cohen Salzman
Cirumcision Certificate
Seder in the Belfast (Me) Ruben Home
Two Couples, One Young Girl (Coopers, Cohens)
Viner Brothers in the Shoe Factory
Berson, Caplin, and Viner Friends and Family
Share, Miller, Striar, Hartstone and Seiden Families, Pine Street
Abraham M. Rudman - President Jewish Community Council
Bangor Jr Hadassah
Adolph B. Friedman - President Jewish Community Council 1940-1942
Bathing Beauties in Bangor
Sidney W. Schiro - President Jewish Community Council 1942-1944
Evelyn Byer Solomon, Janie Solomon, and Isidore Solomon
State Zionist Convention
JCC Nursery School
Max Kominsky - President Jewish Community Council 1944-1946
Christmas Party, Viner Shoe Company (Cohens)
Hebrew School Medal Winners
After Sunday School, photo taken by Bill Viner
B'nai B'rith - not sure details
Bangor Community Center Seder - 1947 c at the Jewish Community Center , Somerset St., Bangor
Bangor Hebrew School Medal Winners
Celia and Leo Viner Wedding Photograph
Cohen-Emple Seder in Bangor
Collection of 5 Photographs from Bangor
Cooper, Medwed and Pilot Family at community dinner
Joseph Emple - President Jewish Community Council 1946-1947
Passover Community Seder Bangor 1946
Sandy Podolsky, Camp Lown
Sara and Jacob Striar
Striar/Cooper Family Seder 1
Striar/Cooper Family Seder 2
Students Who Won Medals For Spelling at the Bangor Hebrew School and Their Teachers
Wedding of Celia Goos and Leo Viner
At a Wedding (Women and Young Girl) - Cooper and Striars
Bangor Theatre presentation
Camp Arcadia, 6 boys and Counselor
Flash Family House Party
JCC Arts and Crafts Room
Marcia Berson and Philip Morris Man at Bersons Luncheonette
Shirley Berger - President Jewish Community Council 1947-1949
Viner Advertisement
Family wedding - Striars, Coopers
Grossman and Mirkin Families
Striar wedding (Shindler, Striar, Slazman)
Viner Family Seder
Wedding - Two Striar Couples
Bangor JCC
Samuel Goodman - President Jewish Community Council 1950-1951
Sandy Podolsky
Sarah Striar, granddaughters
Shriners Parade, downtown Bangor
Six Viner Brothers
Bangor Hebrew School Graduation
Eva Goldberg Goldsmith and Arthur Goldsmith and Their Families at Eva and Arthur's 50th Anniversary
Joseph G. Ornstein - President Jewish Community Council 1951-1952
Firefighters at Hays Fire
Samuel l Rudman - President Jewish Community Council 1952-1953
Seder at home of Mim and Jim Viner (Miriam and James)
Twenty Members of Mu Sigma Fraternity
Samuel Lieberman (owner of the Karol Shop)
Mickey Miller on his Bar Mitzvah Day with William S Cohen and Robert Cohen
Bernie Katz and a group of campers at Lown
Betting on Horses at the Bangor State Fair
Bob Saltz at Camp Lown
Harriet Flock at Camp Lown
Max Striar, Sandy Podolsky, Abe Podolsky, Camp Lown
Paula Rolsky Bat Mitzvah Couple's Dance 1
Poultry Trade Show, Penobscot Poulty Co
Sol Sherman At Bat
Vicki Kronenfeld & Patti Striar, Camp Lown
Wedding of Marilyn Bickoff and Sumner Gorodetzer, Chateau Garod
Howard L. Kominsky D.M.D. - President Jewish Community Council
Myer and Bess Minsky Seder
25th anniversary party for Jean and Lou Striar - Group Shot 2
25th anniversary party for Jean and Lou Striar - Group Shot 3
25th anniversary party for Jean and Lou Striar - Group Shot 4
25th anniversary party for Jean and Lou Striar - Group Shot 5
25th anniversary party for Jean and Lou Striar - Group Shot 1
Anna & Bob Brown
Richard Fisher Bar Mitzvah Reception Group Photo 1
Camp Lown Counselors 1958
Camp Lown Long Johns 1958
Morris D. Rubin - President Jewish Community Council
Omicron Phi Sorority (later the Centeen Club)
Camp Lown Counselors 1959
Centeen Club Tea at Mamave Stern's House
Lori, Annette, Stuart, & Marlene Chason
Albert H. Friedman - President Jewish Community Council
Boston Store, Carroll Cut Rate, Henry Segal's Clothing Store
Five women (Nissenbaum, Brickel, Strair, and Leavitt)
Four Women in Lieberman's Kitchen
Kenneth Grossman - Bar Mitzvah Group photo
Tanya Fogelsohn Barbara Rolnick, Janie Solomon Relaxing on the Hood of a Car
Leo Viner - President Jewish Community Council
Ten Campers and Three Counselors at Camp Lown
Crown Jewelers
Julius H. Gass - President Jewish Community Council
Lieberman family at wedding of Barry and Maxene Mendelson Lieberman, (excluding bride and groom) at Beth Israel Synagogue
First Community Seder, Bangor
Leonard Minsky - President Jewish Community Council
Striar Family Wedding (Striars and Walds)
Jules L. Mogul - President Jewish Community Council
Beth Israel Consecration Service
David M. Adelman - President Jewish Community Council
Elliot Epstein - President Jewish Community Council
B'nai B'rith or Hadassah event, taken in front of the Bangor JCC
Bessie Motiuk: Faces of Bangor (Jewish Collection) at Bangor Public Library
Israel Bonds Fundraiser with key note speaker Sen William Cohen
Jerry Williams - President Jewish Community Council
At the Red Lion
Harry A. Tabenken - President Jewish Community Council
Milunsky, McGlansky, Grunko, Millers
George Z. Singal - President Jewish Community Council
Beth Abraham (Bangor) II
Beth Abraham renovated exterior view
Beth Abraham synagogue
Fifty Anniversary celebration of Lonnie and Sylvia Berson
Louis H. Kornreich - President Jewish Community Council 1982-1984
Warren M. Silver - President Jewish Community Council
Men and Women in Tefillin on Front Steps of Beth israel Synagogue
Bangor cemeteries (overview image)
Beth Abraham Synagogue Bangor (exterior view)
Beth Israel Synagogue (exterior view)
Fiftieth Reunion of Class of 1960 Bangor High School, Lucerne Inn, Lucerne, Maine
Pushke Drive in Bangor: Norman Minsky and David Lieberman

This section of the Documenting Maine Jewry project has information on the communities of Bangor, Brewer, Hampden, Veazie.

Currently there is data on 3,810 people and 363 organizations with strong ties to Greater Bangor.

The coordinators of this site are Marcia Lieberman, Ruthanne Singal and Judy Gatchell. New data for the website can be sent to dmj @ or directly to any of the coorindators.

All the dropdown menus above display data for just Greater Bangor

Local Jewish Organizations

Beth Abraham - Chevra Kaddisha Bangor -
Beth Abraham Synagogue (Bangor) Cemetery 145 York St 145 York Street Bangor 207-947-0876 -
Beth El (Bangor) Bangor -
Beth Israel (Bangor) - Chevra Kaddisha (now 2238) Bangor 207 773-5099 -
Beth Israel Cemetery : New Section 3 Bangor -
Beth Israel Cemetery : Old Section Bangor -
Beth Israel Cemetery : Teferith Israel Section Bangor -
Beth Israel Cemetery : Tolodos Yitzock Section Bangor -
Chaore Tildos Itzchok Anshe Sfard Congregation Cemetery Bangor -
Congregation Beth Israel (Bangor) Cemetery 144 York St Bangor 207-945-3433 -
Jewish Community Council 6 State St Suite 314 Bangor 207 941 2950 -
United Jewish Appeal Bangor -

Brief History of Bangor Jewry

Bangor’s earliest Jewish roots date from the 1840’s. Over the past 170 years Jewish institutions in the city have experienced many changes – a pattern undoubtedly replicated in other Maine communities. Bangor currently has three active congregations representing Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism. These congregations maintain their own Hebrew schools, Chevra Kadishas and cemeteries on Mount Hope Avenue. They each have their own youth activities and social programming. The city also has a Jewish Community Council and Chapel (Center Street) where funeral services are held.

"Bangor's first Jews arrived from Germany in the 1840s and consisted of small number of dry-goods merchants, peddlers and tailors. Immediately and ambitiously they tended to their Orthodox Jewish needs by establishing a synagogue, Ahawas Achim, ("Brotherly Love"), with approximately thirty members. …. The congregation received a charter from the city in 1859, established a burial ground on Webster Avenue, employed for a shohet for the proper ritual slaughter of animals, planned for a school with instruction in German, English and Hebrew, discussed building a mikveh (ritual bath) and prepared for the time when they might need to disband. That moment came in the late 1850's, when Bangor's economy soured. The Jewish community dispersed, and its few sacred ritual objects, including a Sepher Torah, were sent to Boston for safekeeping. … They did revive Ahawas Achim in 1874 by bringing back the ritual objects from Boston and adding to the original synagogue minutes. … Each year the small group, numbering no more than ten people from Bangor, Ellsworth and Bar Harbor, hired a hall for celebrating the New Year and the Day of Atonement….

The first influx of Jews in the early 1880’s from Lithuania and Poland found only a few German Jews remaining in Bangor. Many had assimilated through intermarriage or conversion. Others did not marry at all. The two groups of Jews had many differences. Those from Eastern Europe regarded Yiddish as their national language. They could not believe that the German Jews spoke no Yiddish, but only German and English. The Jewish charities established by the German Jews became inadequate to handle the problems faced by the new group from Eastern Europe and the successive waves of terror-stricken and penniless Jews that followed. The Lithuanian Jews formed their own relief organizations as they vastly outnumbered the German Jews who eventually disappeared from the community by 1897.

Bangor's eastern European Jews, who started to arrive in the city in the early 1880's, came primarily from the Lithuanian vicinities of Vilna, Kovno, and Minsk and Grodno in Russia. They established themselves near the end of the glory days of timber and shipping, taking their place at the bottom end of the city's trade in junk, trinkets, clothing, and dry goods. … They were lonely and displaced and sought to recreate the familiar and spiritual life they had once enjoyed. By 1888, only a few years after their arrival, a group of young men formally created the Beth Israel Society (known today as Congregation Beth Israel – a Conservative Synagogue), and by 1897, laid the cornerstone of the first synagogue in Maine. The synagogue was dedicated on December 20, 1897 by Rabbi Raphael Lasker of Ohabei Shalom in Boston. During the next 10 years the congregation survived many changes including a new influx of immigrants from Russia. While the Ashkenazi ritual was firmly established at Beth Israel (based on the background of its founding members), the new “Russishe” Jews favored Sephardic ritual.

These newer arrivals were determined to maintain their own orthodox way of life and worship according to their own customs and traditions. In 1902, they broke away from Congregation Beth Israel to pray in rented rooms of a house and formed Congregation Beth Abraham Anshe Sphard (known today as Beth Abraham Synagogue – an Orthodox Synagogue). They continued in this manner until 1904, when Bangor witnessed its largest immigration of Russian Jews. In 1907, they established their first synagogue known as the “Russishe Shul”. In this early period (1904-07), they sought to establish a Jewish cemetery and to provide burial rites. They paid the city of Bangor $1.00 to purchase small parcel of land off Mt. Hope Avenue for their cemetery and established a Chevra Kadisha. A schism over laws of Kashruth occurred within the Beth Abraham Community resulting, in 1920, in the establishment of Toldoth Yitzchak. This congregation is no longer in existence, but records of its history are maintained.

Congregation Beth El was born in Spring1981 from the vision of five families. An earlier Beth El had existed in Bangor forty years before, but had been subsumed under Congregation Beth Israel and lost its Reform identity. Following the announcement of an open meeting to discuss interest, 25 families embarked on developing a Reform synagogue.

Services were scheduled one Friday a month and were led by congregants. Within two years, 13 students were enrolled in the religious school. The first B’nai Mitzvah occurred in October 1983. A significant milestone was achieved when Beth El was presented with a plaque signifying its membership in the UAHC. Soon after, Beth El was presented with a two hundred year old Torah that had been rescued from Czechoslovakia after World War II. This Torah was given to Beth El on permanent loan.

Through the mid 1980’s, Beth El brought in an occasional visiting Rabbi for services. In 1991 Beth El hired its first resident rabbi. Services were held on a more frequent basis. In By 1994, the membership had grown to almost 100 families, and Beth El hired a full time rabbi. The new rabbi served as president of the Religious School. Adult education classes, an Introduction to Judaism series for those people considering conversion to Judaism, and outreach to Jews in rural Maine were all instituted. In 1995, after many years renting space in a Congregional Church, Beth El purchased its own building. In 2002, Beth El received a donation of land from Congregation Beth Israel which abuts the two other Jewish cemeteries off Mount Avenue.

Sources: Judith S Goldstein, Crossing Lines : Histories of Jews and Gentiles in Three Communities , 1992, NY, chapter two; Congregation Beth Israel’s Centennial History; Beth Abraham Synagogue Fiftieth Anniversary Commemorative Journal; Congregation Beth El Website

DATABASE RESOURCES : Information is available today on

  • 3,820 individual Jews with strong ties to Greater Bangor of which 497 record the Old Country origin of first generation immigrants
  • 1,347 records of burial in Jewish cemeteries for which there are 1,357 headstone images
  • 342 organizations important to the Greater Bangor Jewish community of which 118 are Jewish community institutions and 159 are businesses important to the Greater Bangor Jewish community
  • 970 bibliographic citations and sources pertaining to Greater Bangor of which 242 are photographs and 43 are oral histories

Recent additions to the Documenting Bangor Jewry database include

The Documenting Bangor Jewry (DBJ) 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    DBJ is also building a community-based history around the religious and secular institutions that were or are the lifeblood of the Bangor 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 no oral histories by Bangor-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

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 Bangor 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 organization, or transferring data from print to electronic records should contact the site coordinators .

Finances    Financial contributions supplement the volunteer effort by supporting data collection and outreach. The Jewish Community Council has made a significant financial contribution to the Documenting Maine Jewry. 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 site coordinators. To get a mailing address, please email describing the materials you would like to share.

Last Updated : March 21 2011

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Last Updated : April 2, 2015