Jewish community of Greater Waterville.

B'nai B'rith Hadassah Contributor's Dinner
Camp Lown - Bunk 9 Group Photo of Girls
Camp Lown : Group Photo in Dining Hall
Camp Lown : Group Photo Outdoors
Exterior of Levine's Store on Maine Street
Hadassah 50th Anniversary
Hadassah Donor's Dinner
Interior of Levines with Howard Miller
James and Rose Cohen with their family at Weber Pound, Me
James Cohen at his store in Waterville
Levine's store, exterior view II
Levine's store, external view
Sixteen Levine Family photos
W M Levine Store with William Levine Outside
Waterville Levine family - six additional images
William, Sarah, and Anna Levine
Nyman and Ida Handverger Wedding Photograph
Beth Israel Congregation, exterior view
Dutch Levine and the Yale Football Team
Johnny “Dutch” Levine and the 1905 Yale football team
Levine Sisters as Young Children (Waterville)
Waterville public school, ca. 1910
Beth Israel Synagogue
Students in a Classroom at the Brooks Street School, Waterville
William and Sarah Levine and Family
Celia Green Scheidlinger
Shenson & Jolovitz grocery store
Shenson and Jelowich Grocery with family and staff outside
Dance card, Waterville, 1917
Dorothy Crasnick I
Louis Green
Gamma Phi Epsilon members, Colby College (1930)
Lillian Brisk Kusnit And Betty Levine Kaplan
Lillian Brisk Kusnitt & Betty Levine Kaplan
Sarah Levine Building with plaque (Main St)
Beth Israel (Waterville)1925 "deed" of a Synagogue pew to Louis Wolman (Gordon Wolmans's grandfather);
Beth Israel (Waterville) "deed" confirming such Synagogue pew to Lewis Lester Levine;
Beth Israel (Waterville) Deeds for the Purchase of Seat
Hadassah record book
Keeping the books, Waterville, 1930s
“May I have this dance?” Colby College, 1931
Janice Berman & Others at Birch Crest Summer Camp
Camp Modin Boys and Counselor with Kipot
Building family, June 18, 1944
Jews and Sports
A V-J Day celebration, August 14, 1945
Beth Israel Synagogue, exterior
Hyman Rosenthal at his home at 300 Main St. in Waterville reading a Yiddish newspaper sent to him by his brothers in New York and New Jersey
Martin Plavin and Martin Levine as young men
Levine's store plaque
Buzzy Schultz and Phil Wiener play baseball
Boy with Lots of Books at Camp Lown
Building a Kibbutz at Camp Lown, M Wiener, M Cohen, G Shapiro
Eight Boys, Camp Lown
Eight Girls at Camp Lown
Estelle Jacobson and Gil Shapiro
Girl's Group at Camp Lown, Summer 1948
Mickey and Phil Wiener at Camp Lown
Mickey Wiener at Camp Lown
Sandy Shay and Mickey Wiener at Camp Lown
Six Girls at Camp Lown
Ten Boys at Camp Lown
Three Girls at Camp Lown
Two Boys at Camp Lown
Camp Lown 1950 Boomie Katz, Howie, unknown
Camp Lown 1950 Bunk 12 and 13
Camp Lown 1950 Counselors - I
Camp Lown 1950 Counselors II
Camp Lown 1950A
Camp Lown 1950B
Camp Lown 1950C
Camp Lown 1950D
Camp Lown 1950E
Camp Lown 1950F
Camp Lown 1950G
Camp Lown 1950H
Camp Lown 1950J
Camp Lown 1950K
Camp Lown 1950L
Camp Lown : Abe Sachar and Four Men
Camp Lown tennis court
Daryl Cooper at Camp Lown
Group Photograph - Camp Lown
Marty at Camp Lown
Putting on a Purim play, Beth Israel, Waterville, 1950s
Camp Lown - Bunk 10 Group Photo of Girls
Linda (Elowitch) Abromson and Ruth Singer at Camp Lown
Camp Lown, Boys Bunk 4
The cut that binds
Camp Lakeridge Lodge
Camp Lakeridge Theatre Production
Camp Lown, Boys Bunk
Edward and Rose Saperstein at the wedding of Sara Lee Kaplan and Morton Bloom
Lewis & Ida (Rosenthal) Wolman at wedding of Sara Lee Kaplan Bloom & Morton Bloom
Lewis and Ida Wolman at wedding of Sara Lee Kaplan and Morton Bloom
Portrait of Liilian Brisk Kusnitt
Tenth Anniversay article on Camp Lown in the Jewish Advocate
Camp Lown visited by former Israeli general
Temple Israel Synagogue Building -- Press Coverage of Building Plans and Pre-Dedication Announcement
Frieda Levine Miller, Betty Levine Kaplan, and Ann Levine Wolff at the Levine Camp,Sidney, Maine.
A Camping Merger , Jewish Advocate article (Camp Lown joins Ramah Commission)
Camp Manitou - group photos of campers and counselors I
Camp Manitou - group photos of campers and counselors II
Camp Manitou dining hall
Camp Manitou from the air II
Levine Family Cousins (Waterville) at the Levine Camp, Sidney, ME
Serving the community, Waterville
Camp Manitou from the air
Gavel of Judge Morton Brody, Waterville
Levine's Store with Percy and Lewis Levine and Howard Miller
Pacy Levine's 90th Birthday Party at Colby College.
Beth Israel Synagogue, exterior
Dedication Plaque for Ludy Levine
Levine Cousins at the Levine Family Reunion (Waterville)
Beth Israel Synagogue - exterior view
Beth Israel Synagogue Sign
Brooks Street School, Waterville
Burton Shiro's World War II service medals, Waterville
Cash Register from Levine's: The Store for Men and Boys, Waterville, early 20th century
Communal Life
Contributing, Advancing, Succeeding
David M. Freidenreich “The Jews of Maine”
Hat stretcher from Levine's: The Store for Men and Boys, Waterville, early 20th century
Jews in Maine's Colleges
Leisure and Recreation
Maine's Jews in America's Wars
Religious Life
Shabbat candlesticks
The Jewish life cycle in Maine
Tradition and the modern world

This section of the Documenting Maine Jewry project has information on the communities of Fairfield, Oakland, Waterville.

The coordinators of this site are Peter and Joan Beckerman of Waterville and David Friedenreich at Colby College. They would welcome additional photographs, documents and oral histories sent to them at dmj @

All the dropdown menus above display data for just Greater Waterville

Local Jewish Organizations

B\'nai B\'rith Hillel at Colby College Colby College , 4000 Mayflower Hill. 252 Pugh Center, Cotter Union Waterville 207-859-4086 -

Brief History of Waterville Jewry

Shortly after the turn of the century, in the days of the horse and wagon and the itinerant peddler, seven men of the Jewish faith settled in Waterville. These men, who earned their livelihood by peddling various wares, soon were faced with the need to band together in an effort to foster Judaism for themselves and their families. The Beth Israel Congregation was chartered June 16, 1902. The seven founding fathers included Julius Levine, William Levine, Louis Wolman, John Paikowsky, Phillip Levine, Moses Silver and John Williams. Their ultimate goal was to build a House of Worship for the Jewish residents of Waterville.

Before this dream could become reality, however, they found it necessary to conduct religious services at various private homes in the community. High Holy Day Services were conducted at Hose No. 4 Fire Station on Ticonic Street. On August 21, 1903, a barn, situated on the corner of Kelsey and Ticonic Streets, was purchased by the Congregation. This barn was dismantled, and by securing additional new lumber, work was begun on the new building. The project was accomplished under the direction and guidance of Mr. Charles Fitzgerald of Winslow.

In 1905, the Beth Israel Synagogue on Kelsey Street was completed. This was unique in that it was wholly supported from dues of members, which at that time, were ten cents a week, or $5.00 per year. There was a substantial mortgage however, and 20 years later, in 1925, the balance of the mortgage was paid by William Levine, in memory of his son, Theodore N. Levine.

Mr. Moses Silver, who emigrated to Waterville in 1900, became the first "Shochet" or ritual leader, even before the completion of the Synagogue. Mr. Hyman L. Shenson became the spiritual leader in the years that followed until about 1914, at which time there was a succession of different rabbis

DATABASE RESOURCES : Information is available today on

  • 946 individual Jews with strong ties to Greater Waterville of which 65 record the Old Country origin of first generation immigrants
  • 173 records of burial in Jewish cemeteries for which there are 134 headstone images
  • 56 organizations important to the Greater Waterville Jewish community of which 20 are Jewish community institutions and 22 are businesses important to the Greater Waterville Jewish community
  • 375 bibliographic citations and sources pertaining to Greater Waterville of which 146 are photographs and 30 are oral histories

Recent additions to the Documenting Greater Waterville Jewry database include

The Documenting Waterville Jewry (DWJ) 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    DWJ is also building a community-based history around the 20 religious and secular institutions that were or are the lifeblood of the Waterville 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 Waterville-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 Waterville 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

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 David at Colby College. To get a mailing address, please email describing the materials you would like to share.

Recent additions to the Documenting Waterville Jewry database include

  • Journey of William and Sarah Levine, from Vilna, Lithuania to Waterville, Maine, by Eric Bloom for the Levine Family Reunion, July 2009 (Waterville)

Last Updated : 17 January 2010

Page Displayed : / Sunday April 19, 2015

Last Updated : April 2, 2015