Cities

Bergen, Essex and Union Counties, New Jersey – Jersey was one of the first big hubs for Jewish immigrants, and was also one of the few American states to grant religious tolerance to its citizens as early as 1665. Most early Jewish settlers to New Jersey moved to the urban centers like Newark, Trenton and Camden. During the past 30 years however, most Jewish families now live in the affluent suburban areas. In 2006, Jewish people were almost 5.5% of the total state population. (4)

Washington, DC – The seat of our national government is of course deeply intertwined with Jewish culture and history. German Jewish immigrants started moving to the District of Columbia in the 1840s. In 1852, a group of twenty-one Jews in Washington established the Washington Hebrew Congregation. Within four years, the small Jewish community succeeded in persuading Congress to pass an act that certified Jewish citizens the right to incorporate and own property. By 1863, the congregation purchased a church at 8th and H Streets in NW, and remodeled it into a synagogue, making it one of the first Jewish-owned properties in America. (5) There are a large number of synagogues, kosher delis and Jewish recreational activities all over DC, with a large concentration in the Northwest of the city, about 15 miles outside of downtown DC. There is also the world renown United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In 2006, Jewish people were 5.1% of the total District of Columbia state population. (6)

Brookline – Boston, Massachusetts – This small community outside Boston is known for its large population of Russian and Israeli immigrants and numerous synagogues. Of its almost 60,000 inhabitants, more than 35% are estimated to be Jewish. (7) Jewish culture is especially present along the section of Harvard Street that starts at Washington St (Brookline Village), runs through Beacon Street (Coolidge Corner) and ends at Commonwealth Avenue, continuing into Allston-Brighton. This neighborhood is home to at least three area synagogues, including the first Jewish congregation in Massachusetts – Ohabei Shalom, founded in Boston in 1842 and located in Brookline since the 1920s. Brookline is also known for its excellent schools, making it a choice destination for young Jewish families. (8) In 2006, Jewish people were 4.3% of the total state population. (9)

Pikesville, Maryland – In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Jewish immigrants to the Baltimore area first formed communities in East Baltimore, in neighborhoods such as Broadway East, Jonestown, Middle East and Oliver, near Johns Hopkins Hospital. During World War II, the Jewish community started to move outside Baltimore City into Pikesville, which is now considered the largest Jewish community in Balitmore, numbering an estimated 100,000 Jewish people. Owning Mills and Reistertown are two other large Jewish neighborhoods. In 2006, Jewish people were 4.2% of the total state population. (10)

 

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