Temple Yearbook, Congregation Ahavath Chesed, 75th Anniversary


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Temple Yearbook, Congregation Ahavath Chesed, 75th Anniversary
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Mixed Material
Congregation Ahavath Chesed
Congregation Ahavath Chesed
Place of Publication:
Jacksonville, FL
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University of Florida
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1882 1957




A45 x



To be associated with Congregation Ahavath Chesed
as Rabbi Emeritus is a distinct honor, and to have served
as its spiritual leader for 30 years is a privilege which takes
on an added significance ofi this occasion of its Diamond
Mine is the honor and privilege of having ministered
to the Congregation longer than any other Rabbi. The
period from 1916 to 1946, during which I served as spiritual
leader, witnessed a steady and rapid growth in the mem-
bership of the congregation highlighted by a growing
consciousness of the part the Temple was playing in the
religious life of the entire community.
Ours was always the leading Jewish house of worship,
and its stately sanctuary on Laura and Ashley Streets
occupied a prominent place in the city's downtown business
area. It was accessible to the majority of our members. It
fulfilled its threefold historic role as a house of prayer, a
house of study, and a house of assembly. It sought to give
a sustaining message of hope and courage and a heightened
sense of faith to its worshipers, especially in the critical
war years. It held fast to its ancient and sublime teachings

during the crucial years of World Wars I and II, when our
brave men and women in uniform entered the Temple's
portals in ever increasing numbers. Together we lifted our
hearts in prayer to the God of our fathers, praying for
courage and for the reign of justice in the world.
Our congregation has prospered throughout the years,
and its spiritual influence has permeated the lives of the
younger generation which now is carrying on so valiantly
and enthusiastically under the leadership of my younger
colleague, Rabbi Sidney M. Lefkowitz.
This fact serves as a measure of deep gratification to
me, and in all humility, I can join with young and old in
this milestone celebration and recite the ancient prayer of
happiness that I have been kept alive, that I have been
sustained, and that I have reached this period of rejoicing
with you.

In the years that lie ahead, may Congregation Ahavath
Chesed continue to send forth the deep spiritual message of
our Jewish faith, so that the generations following us will
be inspired by its immortal teachings.

QzeP Ztk#V



M arx M oses ................................................-------1882-1885
A. Rosenspitz .---......................--...-..- .-----....... 1885-1886
Ignatz Kaiser ...............................----------------.. 1886-1887
J. Kahn ----...---.......... ---............. .......... -------- 1888-1890
J. Rosenberg -.....---.....--.-.......................--------- 1890-1893
B. Babbino .-...........................----...........--- 1893-1900

David H. Wittenberg -.......................-------- ..----- 1900-1906
Pizer Jacobs .-....--....--------------.---.----........... 1906-1912
Samuel Schwartz --...--..-................--------------..1912-1916
Israel Kaplan ---....--..-......-- ...------------......-----.. 1916-1946
Emeritus ..---..---...-..-..............----------------. 1946-
Sidney M. Lefkowitz ..--..-..........-------.......---. ---- 1946-


1882-85........---.................-------------..M. A. Dzialynski
1885-86..--------...................-... .-------. J. Huff
1886-88................-...---............. -----J. D. Bucky
1888-89--------...........................------ Philip Walter
1889-90-....- -------............ -.............. S. Ritzewoller
1890- .....------------................................. J. Slager
1895-96-.......- ---........----- ...-.....-....-- A. K. Leon
1896-97......-----...--------.-- Philip Walter
1901-03---- ----................................... M. A. Dzialynski
1903-04 ---------...........-.....-........-...... A. K. Leon
1904-11----......................-------......... I. L. Moses
1911-21................................... ... --------------Simon Benjamin

1921-27.---......-...--........----------------.. Isaac Peiser
1927-28.........................------------------ Sol Brash
1928-31 -..--...--.................-----------------Julien P. Benjamin
1931-36-...... .--.... ....------------..---. Joel Richard
1936-37---.....................---------------- Adolph Weil
(died in office)
1937-46 .----...-...-.......-----------------.. Joseph M. Glickstein
1946-47 -....................-----------------. Julien P. Benjamin
1947-51 ....---------.........-..--............... Morris H. Witten
1951-53----....-.......--.........-------------.. Arthur Rosenthal
1953-55......-------...................------....... Leonard Fink
1955- .---.........-.....--.------------.......... Ben Stein


Dedication .........----.----------------------- 5
Foreword by Our Rabbis ....--....--....------------- ... 6-7
Rabbis of the Temple ......---------------------- 8
Presidents of the Congregation .....................-----------------8. 8
Editors' Preface .......................--------............------------------------ 9
Founders ...............-----------.............................----------------------------------- 10
It Was 1882 --------....................------- ------------------------------ 11
Architectural Rendering of New Addition ...----..--------- 41
Seventy-fifth Anniversary Program ....------------. 44-45-46
Seventy-fifth Anniversary Committee .-..---........---.....------- 47


Julius Cohen
J. H. Lederer
J. R. Cohen
H. Weisenkopf
G. Kaufman
P. Tischler
Herman Glo\\go% ski
B. NI. Baer
Morris A. Dzialynski
Harry Weiskoff


H. Berlack
B. L. Lillienthal
L. Furchgott
S. H. Benjamin
George WV. Markens
R. Kunnitzki
Louis Sondheimer
Marcus Endel
Lionel Jacobs
S. Ritzewoller
Solomon Benjamin

H. H. Schwerin
\V. Fox
J. D. Bucky
\Vm. F. Sylvester
C. Benedict
J. Kohn
B. E. Olltheimer
hI. Mi. Belissario
Julius Slager
Moses Endel


H. Berlack
WV. F. Sylvester
Julius Cohen
S. H. Benjamin
J. Slager

M. A. Dzialvnsl

Harris, Burton and Laurence Berlack
Nell Wineman Sylvester WVineman
Minna Seitner
Hugo Benjamin
Lillian Wilkinson Harold Meyerheim
Alfred Hess Dorothy Oppenheim Julian Slager
\T.- A- D..t' L1___ T--.,

t was 1882 .

It was 1882 and the electric light was a newborn
American product that had barely begun to shine from
the windows of homes across the land...
John L. Sullivan was the heavyweight champion of
the world. Ten years would go by before the bareknuckle
champ would lose his crown to a fellow called Gentle-
man Jim Corbett, who boxed with gloves and under a
new set of rules.
Georgia's Henry Grady was sounding the call to his
fellow Southerners to build a "New South", and a rela-
tively few miles east of the point Confederate heroes
fought the Battle of Olustee, 15,000 Floridians responded
to the call with a building project of their own.
Jacksonville, which had been almost leveled by a
disastrous fire 28 years earlier and had survived the war,
was gaining importance as a seaport and there were signs
of things to come the day when the Gate City would
be one of the South's most important industrial centers.

A year earlier, in 1881, Jaxons elected Confederate
veteran Morris A. Dzialynski mayor. His victory over
Horatio Jenkins was a giant stride toward the end of
Reconstruction in Jacksonville where Jenkins' name was
synonymous with the Osborn political machine and the
post war chaos that brought them to power and the South
to its knees.
Dzialynski was the first Jew to be elected mayor of
Jacksonville, and he was a prime architect in the building
project of his adopted home, to which he had come 28
years earlier from his native Prussia.
While building personally as a farmer, auctioneer and
merchant, he built politically as an alderman before he
was mayor, and later as a judge. And for almost 20
years, he and a small handful of other pioneer Jews in
the community worked to build a Temple.
Records show that as early as 1867 an almost success-
ful attempt to form a congregation was led by Dzialynski,




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Charles Slager, F. Edrehi, S. Fellner, E. Robinson, P. Halle,
and I. Grunthal. The Jacksonville Times notes that Slager
was named president of the group, whose object the paper
spelled out was "to be the organization of a society for
the worship of the only true God The God of Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob after the peculiar faith and manner of
his ancient people, the Jews."
But it wasn't until a year after Dzialynski's election
as mayor that the dream of these pioneers became a reality,
and on Feb. 1, 1882, Congregation Ahavath Chesed, with
the mayor serving as president, was chartered.
No temple was immediately available, but S. Ritze-
woller "tendered the use of his private dwelling for all
meetings of the congregation until the synagogue should
be completed," according to the Florida Daily Times.
As individuals, Jacksonville's Jewry long had con-
tributed to the cultural, civic and business development of
the city. Now, from these humble beginnings they offered
to the city an organization which was destined to help
write the modern history of Jacksonville, foster religion,
develop a broader cultural pattern and help eradicate
bigotry through education of both Jew and Christian.
And the words of B. M. Baer, at a meeting of the
Temple's founders Jan. 19, 1882 appear prophetic: ..
then shall we all bless the hour that brought us here to
act, and we shall thank God for another congregation that
exists in Israel to glorify His name. Let- our watchword
be work, watch and pray, and with the blessings of God
we will accomplish more, much more, than we today look
From the original 24 members enrolled when the
Temple was chartered, Congregation Ahavath Chesed

grew to a membership of 450 in its first 75 years; and
from no temple at all it progressed through the years until
1957 when the congregation was housed in a magnificent
edifice and had plans for expansion into a new educational
But early records indicated clearly that even at the
beginning, members saw their temple materialize, not
alone through their own efforts, but with the concrete help
of non-Jewish elements in the growing city. An editorial,
written just five days after the election of officers, said
"let the favors they have granted others be shown them
also. Every business man on Bay Street can and ought to
help the cause and not a dollar will be expended in
this direction that will not be deservedly bestowed. Who
will start the ball rolling?"
This question was answered several days later, on
Jan. 29, when the paper printed a list of donors, "some
of whom are not co-religionists (who) have without solic-
itation subscribed the amounts set opposite their names."
The contributions were coming in and plans were
being made for the erection of the first Jewish house of
worship on the east coast of Florida with Dzialynski, Vice
President Sol Benjamin, Treasurer A. Ritzewoller, Sec-
retary George W. Markens, and Collector H. Berlack lead-
ing the way.
But other things also were happening in Jacksonville
at the same time. The Hebrew Benevolent Society, already
a well-founded group, elected Jacob Huff president a
month after Temple Ahavath Chesed was chartered; and
Jacksonville's Young Men's Hebrew Literary Assn. named
James Landsberg as president.
Dzialynski was again caught up in the throes of a
political campaign but as he worked successfully toward

his re-election, he continued to tackle the problems of the
neophyte congregation, which was moving rapidly toward
the acquisition of a permanent home and of peace
with the Benevolent Society. Records of dissension between
the two groups were not uncovered, but the Daily Times
noted April 7, 1882, that "the amicable adjustment of the
difficulties between (them) heretofore announced in the
Times has been carried into practical effect by the transfer
by deed yesterday of the lot owned by the society for
the sum of $2,250."
Even before this item appeared, the frame of the
new Temple on the corner of Laura and Union had begun
to take shape. And it was in the same month that the
Jacksonville grammar school announced that Delia Slager,
Anna Grunthal, Rachel and Hattie Halle, Minnie Smith,
Pauline Slager and Freddie Bucky landed berths on the
school's roll of honor, indicating even a brighter future for
the congregation. Two years later young Bucky, who
remained in Jacksonville throughout his life, became the
second boy known to have successfully completed his
studies and be ushered through the threshold of Jewish
life and into Jewish manhood through the sacred rites of
Bar Mitzvah.
While the youngsters were rolling up their honors,
and while "Hizzoner's" daughter, Rosalee Dzialynski,
celebrated her "sweet 16 birthday", the Temple's leaders
looked for a rabbi to lead the congregation and on August
5, just six months after the congregation was formally
organized, Marx Moses arrived in Jacksonville as religious
leader of the Jewish community. He was in "business"
even before he expected to be... almost a month before the
dedication of the Temple, when Mr. and Mrs. Rosenthal

became the parents of a son, and Rabbi Moses was called
on to officiate at the circumcision.
Nine days prior to the formal dedication of the new
temple on September 9, 1882, the Jacksonville Times re-
ported the confirmation of Maxey Moses Kaufman, the
first youngster believed to have been confirmed after the
arrival of Marx Moses.
Finally, came the big day, the day toward which
Jacksonville Jewry had worked for more than 30 years.
On September 18, 1882, Congregation Ahavath Chesed
and its handful of members moved into their new home,
the first of four Temples to be occupied by the growing
congregation in the next 75 years.

".-OF. E- ,' ,' .


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Mayor Dzialynski wasn't able to be on hand for the
dedication, and his place as presiding officer was taken by
Sol Benjamin. Jews from throughout Northeast Florida
came to Jacksonville to hear Rabbi Moses say: "Though
thy beginning be small, thy end shall greatly increase.
Though today you are few in number, the future will show
the rich golden harvest of the beginning you have so
bravely made."
For 19 years, Jacksonville Jewry trooped through the
three full swinging doors of the Temple, which claimed
29 members at its outset, but which had been built to
accommodate 400 worshipers.
As the community grew under Rabbi Moses and a
succession of six other rabbis before the great fire of 1901
wiped out much of downtown Jacksonville, including the
Temple, the American scene shaped up something like
In 1883 the Brooklyn Bridge was completed and
became a landmark in the growing New York metropolis,
which 75 years later would prove to be the birthplace of
more Jacksonville Jews than any other place except Jack-
sonville itself.
A year later, General U. S. Grant, who led the Blue
Coats in the War between the States, was wiped out
financially and set about to write a book to replenish his
sapped purse. The decade also was marked by Chicago
labor violence that was climaxed by the Haymarket bomb;
Charles E. Duryea claimed operation of the Nation's first
gas buggy, and less than 10 years later Fred Kahn became
the first Jew and second citizen in Jacksonville to own an
automobile (the first was owned by Mayor J. E. T.
Bowden); Americans flocked to Paris to attend the World

Fair and see the Eifel Tower American Jewry was
shocked when Capt. Alfred Dreyfus was found guilty of
betraying French army service. In 1898, the battleship
Maine was blown up. The incident gave America a battle-
cry and was the spark that set off the Spanish-American
war which brought to Jacksonville a new kind of wartime
mission that became a pattern for future years of crises.
It was during this war that Temple Ahavath Chesed open-
ed its doors for the first time to servicemen called to defend
their Nation in a life and death struggle.
The Jewish Messenger reported that "the neat syna-
gogue at Jacksonville held quite a contingent of soldiers
who had come to say Kaddish." Bertram Wallace Korn,
in his "Eventful Years and Experiences" also noted, how-
ever, that one soldier at nearby Camp Cuba Libre com-
plained that "It is a painful yet truthful fact that out of
a number of about three hundred Jewish men in the camp,
I am positive that no more than five out of the entire
number attend services at the Temple in Jacksonville. Yet
the opportunity is afforded them by the Military officers
and camp, and especially so by the generous Jewish people
of Jacksonville."
The big fire struck with almost as tragic suddenness
on May 3, 1901, as did the assassin's bullet that struck
down President William McKinley four months later.
Rabbi David H. Wittenberg was spiritual leader of the
congregation and Dzialynski, who had turned the reins
over to other leaders in the mid-1880's, again was its
president when the city was razed by the fire, which took
with it most of the Temple's records.
Almost before the ruins of the Temple cooled, these
two men and other leaders in the congregation had rolled

THE FIRE, MAY 3, 1901

up their sleeves and begun planning their new Temple.
A month after the fire the congregation re-elected Rabbi
Wittenberg and in the following month, the plans for the
Temple were on the drawing board.
The High Holy Days Services were held in Castle
Hall in 1901, as carpenters' hammers pounded the new

Temple into being. The Temple was taking final shape
by mid-November. Then on April 8, 1902, less than a year
after Jacksonville dug its way out from under its blackened
ruins, Congregation Ahavath Chesed moved into its new
home the first house of worship to be rebuilt after the

Miss Pauline Zacharias Mrs. Simon Benjamin
First President First President
Jewish Women's League Temple Sisterhood

The move was made under familiar circumstances,
because on Jan. 6, 1902, Judge Dzialynski was re-elected
President of the Congregation. Just as he led members of
Ahavath Chesed into their first Temple, so did he again
stand at the helm as Jews of Jacksonville entered on a
new era.
But time was to prove that the Congregation's new
home was not planned with the necessary foresight to go
with a city that was moving into a new century and onto
the threshold of phenomenal growth. The building, con-
structed on the same site as its predecessor, proved in less
than a decade to be inadequate, and it had to be sold.
In the 20 years since the charter was granted, Con-
gregation Ahavath Chesed grew and became stronger
through the rugged leadership of such men as Dzialynski,

J. Huff, Philip Walter, A. K. Leon, S. Ritzewoller, J. D.
Bucky and Julius Slager. But almost from the beginning,
the efforts of these trail blazers were nurtured by the
women in the Congregation, first on a strictly informal
and voluntary basis and later through one of the most
effective auxiliary groups in Jacksonville. The Temple
Sisterhood, known variously through the years as the
Ladies of the Hebrew Congregation, the Jewish Women's
League and the Sisterhood, was consistently and literally
"the right arm" of the Temple as it spearheaded fund
drives, helped in organization and aid to the Religious
School and always stood ready to answer the Congrega-
tion's call for any mission.
The fire, in its impartiality, destroyed Sisterhood
records, but indications are that the group was organized
loosely in 1885, and newspaper records of Jan. 28, 1885
show that "The ladies of the Hebrew Fair will serve a
hot lunch today between the hours of 12 and 2 o'clock.
Attend and get a splendid meal for 50 cents." The fair
lasted a week, and a later newspaper account said that
the women of the congregation showed a net profit of
However, another six to ten years passed before a
formal group, from which the actual Sisterhood grew,
was organized. "The early nineties" is listed as the date
when leading women of the congregation met at the
home of Mrs. Philip Walter on West Monroe to form the
Jewish Women's League of Jacksonville "for the purpose
of perpetuating and strengthening the Jewish faith" .
Miss Pauline Zacharias, who later became Mrs. Max
Oberdorfer, Sr., was the first president of the JWL which
some 20 years later, in 1916, became affiliated with the
National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods.


As inevitable as it was that the Temple would succeed,
so was it inevitable that the pioneer leaders who built
and nourished the Temple to strength and health must
eventually pass from the scene. And so the Jewish ceme-
tery took its place in the annals of Jacksonville.
First came the "Old Cemetery", located on East
Union Street where a section of the city burial ground
was consecrated for the interment of Jacksonville Jews.
Some 30 plots were in the Jewish section of the city
cemetery, which was first used in 1857, when Jacob Mun-
ter was buried there just 25 years before Ahavath Chesed
was organized. Among those who found their final resting
place in the Old Cemetery were 19 Dzialynskis, who per-
haps contributed more to the city's early history and that
of Jewish life than any other single family of the early
days. George I. P. Dzialynski, nephew of Morris and son
of Philip, was the first male Jew born in Florida. He
founded the State's first B'nai B'rith Lodge, to become
the second member of his family to spearhead the founda-
tion of a major Jewish institution.
Philip Dzialynski is among those buried at the Old .
Cemetery, the general use of which almost stopped about
1890 when the Congregation acquired a section adjacent-
to the Evergreen Cemetery. The Evergreen tract, which
later was expanded, remained in use through the balance
of the first 75 years. The last known btirials in the Old j
Cemetery were of Roeschien Budwig in 1937 and of Mary
Dzialynski in 1935.
At the time Ahavath Chesed celebrated its Diamond ."
Jubilee, Rabbi Sidney Lefkowitz, President Ben Stein and
a cemetery committee were moving toward rejuvenation
of the old burial ground which had deteriorated to an

President 1911-1921

unsightly and almost unrecognizable plot of land through
years of neglect.
During the first 20 fateful years of Ahavath Chesed,
most members lived in what became downtown Jackson-
ville. Cohen Brothers and Furchgott's already were among
the important retail outlets in the city, and Jacob Cohen,
who had migrated to America from his native Ireland in
1870, was nearing the time when he would astound the
city and attract worried sympathy for his "foolhardy"
decision to build the St. James Building at Church and
Laura far away from "downtown Jacksonville". He

was doomed to failure, his friends said, not long before
his historic move helped direct the entire business center
of the city away from Bay Street and the North bank of
the St. Johns River.
The migration to Riverside was still some years away,
and the eventual development of the South Side, which
attracted more Jews than any other section of the city
by the time the Congregation reached its 75th birthday,
was not even anticipated.
As the city grew, Ahavath Chesed's membership was
busy keeping pace, and demands for more spacious quar-
ters were led by I. L. Moses, who became president of the
congregation in 1904, succeeding A. K. Leon.
Two years later, Moses was joined in his crusade for a
new Temple by Rabbi Pizer Jacobs, and in 1909, the
Congregation appointed a building committee, led by J. E.
Cohen, to arrange for the construction of Ahavath Chesed's
home for the next 40 years. The lot, on Laura and Ashley,
already had been acquired and before the first decade of
the new century ended, a $24,922.08 contract had been
signed and the way was paved for construction.
On September 24, 1910, the Congregation and its 75
members attended the first services in the new Temple,
with the miracle of electricity bathing Jacksonville's newest
building from its choir loft high in the front to the last
row of seats in the rear.
Rabbi E. N. Calisch of Richmond, Va., who had yet
to make his most profound, although indirect, contribution
to the Jacksonville scene, traveled to the Gate City as
principal speaker at the dedication. Twenty-seven years
later a young Rabbi was to appear in Richmond to take
over as assistant to the aging Calisch and in 1946 that
young Rabbi, Sidney M. Lefkowitz, was to move on to

President 1895-96, 1903-04

THE TEMPLE, 1910-1950



Jacksonville to take on the responsibilities of what had
become one of the leading Reform congregations in the
Southeastern part of the United States.
Philip Walter, who had served at least two terms as
president previously, lit the Eternal Light in the new
Temple, and for 36 years that light beckoned Jackson-
ville's Reform Jewry and kindled the faith necessary to
see the congregation through two world wars, through the
world's most crippling depression and through the portals
of the hydrogen age.
However, the congregation's growth and subsequent ex-
pansion also brought on some other, more immediate head-
aches. And before another year had passed, Rabbi Jacobs
was advised that a deficit in the congregational treasury
made it necessary to trim his salary to $2,000 per year.
The letter bearing this information asked for a reply. No
record is available of the Rabbi's answer, but other records
left little to guesswork, as six months later on April 9,
1912, Rabbi Samuel Schwartz wrote from Cleveland, Ohio,
that he would be happy to fill Ahavath Chesed's pulpit.
He signed for $2,000.
The new Rabbi came to Jacksonville in the same
year that Simon Benjamin became president, a position
he was to hold for 10 historic years that saw this nation
fight World War I, turn its back on the League of Nations,
chuckle at the Wright Brothers' peculiar flying machine
and finally admit that the automobile was here to stay.
Benjamin also became the first link in the Temple's
only father-son combination to be elevated to Ahavath
Chesed's top post during its first 75 years. Just 17 years
after the elder Benjamin's tenure of office ended, his son
Julien P. Benjamin was elected to the first of two separate
terms as president.


A year after Simon Benjamin
took office, the congregation made a
new contribution toward fellowship in
the'fast-growing seaport, whose im-
portance was accented as nervous
European diplomats fretted over the
possibility of a war. The Congrega-
tional Church, while waiting for the
completion of a new church building,
was welcomed to Ahavath Chesed,
where the Christian group conducted
their Sunday Services for almost a
year, until June of 1913.
In 1913, it was noted in the
annual report that Max N. Oberdor-
fer and Rabbi Schwartz attended the
convention of the Union of American
Hebrew Congregations of which
Ahavath Chesed was Member 163.
By 1916, the congregation had seen eight Rabbis serve
Ahavath Chesed for periods of up to seven years. The
Jewish Women's League had aided and abetted congrega-
tional projects almost since the Temple's inception. Three
Temples had been occupied. The congregation had sur-
vived 29 years of turmoil and change, -of progress and
occasional setbacks, of relative prosperity and depression.
But the year 1916, although it was destined to be
followed by catastrophic events of world-wide consequence,
proved to be the beginning of the era that prompted
B. M. Baer to forecast in 1892 what he called the day
when "we will accomplish more, much more, than today
we look for."

The year was still young when Leonard Grunthal,
Eugene Brash, L. Mack, W. Bernstein and C. C. Stras-
burger organized Boy Scout Troop 12. The non-sectarian
youth organization found its home in the Temple, and 41
years later, in 1957, it stood as one of the top troops in a
city of more than 350,000 population.
Then, the League of Jewish Women made its historic
move into the fold of the National Federation of Temple
Sisterhoods, and changed its name to the Sisterhood. Signi-
ficantly, while Simon Benjamin served as president of the
Congregation, his wife was elected first president of the

RABBI 1916-1946, EMERITUS 1946-

Just two months before the Sisterhood joined the
national group, Rabbi Schwartz announced his decision
to resign from Ahavath Chesed's pulpit, and one month
later, young Rabbi and Mrs. Israel Kaplan came to Jack-
sonville to begin a service which continued through the
congregation's 75th anniversary a span covering more
than half the congregation's life a span that bridged
much of the gap between Jew and Christian deep in what
often was a "narrow minded" Southland.
As the Kaplans became part of the Jacksonville scene,
Fred Meyerheim, whose wife Dedie Slager took part in
the dedication of the first Temple as a young girl, was
elected park commissioner and presided over the Jackson-
ville Bureau of Retail Affairs.
Soon, many of the young men of the congregation left
school, their businesses and their homes to answer their
nation's call to arms. Sabbath services attracted new faces
from distant parts of the country. They arrived wearing
jaunty white caps of the Navy, the somber olive drab of
the Army and the colorful blue of the Marines. Many were
just passing through on their way to France and eventual
victory over the Kaiser. The Sisterhood converted the
Temple vestry into a recreation room for servicemen, pri-
marily for men stationed at nearby Camp Johnston. Dances
were held on Saturday nights, and the Sisterhood helped
make the servicemen's weekend complete by placing them in
Jewish homes for Sunday dinners before they had to report
back to camp. Records indicate, meanwhile, that the busi-
ness of the congregation went on, and in 1917 Rabbi Kap-
lan issued the first "Temple Bulletin", a publication which
was to become an accepted and expected institution of the
A year later, within weeks after the Armistice had

been signed, Ahavath Chesed again
pioneered in a new field of Brother-
hood, as Rabbi Kaplan conducted the
first "Union Thanksgiving" service,
bringing together Christian and Jew
to worship jointly. The Thanksgiving
service also became a Jacksonville in-
stitution which remained as a perma-
nent symbol in the fight against
bigotry and intolerance.
Since the foundation of the Tem-
ple in 1882, the members of the
congregation had been assigned seats
on a permanent basis. But in 1922, the
board voted to void this custom, and
it was recorded at the time that
"assigning of seats was discontinued
except for a few pew owners who have
not felt impelled to relinquish their
By 1924, Ahavath Chesed claimed
152 "full members, 59 seatholders and
contributing members." Also what
were believed to have been the first
summer services were held under the
sponsorship of the Junior Congrega-
tion. Isaac Peiser had succeeded Simon
Benjamin as president of the Temple,
and he and Joseph Glickstein, presi-
dent of the younger group, were credit-
ed with this innovation. It was in

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World War 191'7.
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this same year that Ahavath Chesed,
for the first time in her history, was
completely free of debt.
From then until the end of the
busy decade of boom and bust, the
congregation saw the Children's Yom
Kippur service and then the monthly
children's Sabbath services, held for
the first time. And it was during this
decade, in 1926, that the Temple
board looking to the future need
of more room and more land pur-
chased what became known as the
"Temple Home" on St. Johns and

Mallory in the fast-developing River-
side section. The home and land were
bought for $70,000, or just 10 times
the total cost of the first Temple 44
years earlier.
The Temple's Girl Scout troop was
formed under the leadership of Cecelia
C. Jacobs in 1924. The fortunes of
this group, however, were not quite
as bright as were those of its brother
organization, for Temple documents
indicate the troop broke up, was re-
organized and broke up on several
occasions through the years until 1953
when Troop 178 and Brownie Troop
51 became active and in 1956 Scout
Troop 85 was activated. All remained
intact through the Temple's 75th anni-
The first Temple Brotherhood
was organized, with Joseph Glickstein
as president, in 1927. A 1928 "Tem-
ple Messenger" noted that the early
men's organization was known as "the
Sid Brown club" as Sidney Brown went
"from door to door to get $2" from
prospective members to get the Broth-
erhood started. The Brotherhood re-
organized in 1940 and in the next 16
years it moved up along side the
Sisterhood as a service arm of the

President 1927-28

Temple. Perhaps its most profound contribution to com-
munity welfare was the founding of the Brotherhood Blood
While Rabbi Kaplan promoted interfaith brother-
hood through Union Thanksgiving services, the Brother-
hood sponsored Jacksonville Open Forum, and such
innovations as an educational radio program, "Rabbi
Kaplan Speaks," he also directed pioneer attention to
intra-faith relations.
Some years after Ahavath Chesed was organized, the
city's Orthodox Jewry also formed a congregation, B'nai

Israel, in 1901. After Rabbi Kaplan assumed spiritual
leadership of the Temple, he surprised, and in some cases
shocked, the Jewish community by expressing the belief
"Brotherhood should begin at home," and with this
thought, he paved the way toward inauguration of the first
joint services with B'nai Israel, another tradition that
became a permanent fixture on the Jacksonville panorama
of Jewish activity.
And later, it was Rabbis Kaplan of the Temple and
Morris D. Margolis of the Jacksonville Jewish Center
(successor to B'nai Israel) who went from door to door in
downtown Jacksonville to solicit funds for the establish-
ment of the Jewish Welfare Society and later the Jewish
Community Council.
The year 1928 marked the end of Isaac Peiser's six-
year service as President, and Sol Brash was elected to
succeed him. Before Peiser stepped down, Ahavath
Chesed's membership had passed the 250 mark, and the
Temple Home was opened to become the center of almost
all congregational activity aside from actual religious
Three months after Brash began his administration,
the Temple Sisterhood, under the leadership of Mrs. Alex
Wachtel and Mrs. Kaplan, who had already served two of
her four terms as president, sponsored the Temple's first
congregational seder. Students from the University of
Florida at Gainesville were invited to attend as guests of
the Sisterhood.
In the following year, ticker tapes in Wall Street,
almost 1,000 miles to the north, began tapping out news
of the collapse of the financial world... And the impact
of the "Crash of '29" resounded throughout the civilized

President 1921-27


-. *

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Ott*'i.-t igl^^^ .^ '*


President 1931-36 President 1937-46

world. Before 1930, the Temple's choir had to be dispensed
with because of a lack of funds, and active members fell
almost $2,500 arrears in their dues.
The depression hit during the first administration of
Julien P. Benjamin, and in his annual report for 1930, he
noted that the number of active members had dropped off
to 111, in addition to 10 seat holders and 23 junior mem-
bers. Forty-four members had been suspended for non-
payment of dues. He said "our Temple building has
received practically no repairs of any kind for over six
years." At the start of the year, he noted, the congregation

had a deficit of $2,475.35, and by the time he delivered
his report in October, that deficit had jumped to $4,480.69.
On the brighter side when Temple Ahavath Chesed turned
the corner into a new decade was Benjamin's report on
the Religious School. In its new Temple Home, enrollment
had climbed to 140 children under the supervision of 11
teachers, led by Rabbi and Mrs. Kaplan and Joe Richard.
It fell upon Joe Richard to weather most of the re-
sponsibilities of leadership through the great economic
crisis after he was elected to succeed Benjamin in 1931.
He remained at the helm for five years, through the days
Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced his "New Deal" of
alphabet agencies that attracted the day's top jokes, but
which gave men new hope. And it was during this same
period that the little mustachioed German corporal's
ascension sent a wave of horror through Germany. The
first real shadows of Jewish terror and eventual world
conflict had begun to fall across Europe three years before
Richard's term ended in 1936.
But activities continued in the congregation, and
despite the depression, Ahavath Chesed paused in 1932 to
pay tribute to the pioneers of the past who weathered
earlier crises to look back over the previous 50 years
that made the golden anniversary celebration possible .
and to look ahead to accomplishment of future goals
because its members knew that what had gone on before
was the result of determined men and women who accepted
a challenge.
In 1934, while Hitler's Nazi party moved to almost
complete domination over Germany and began his sys-
tematic campaign to "make the world safe for pure
Aryans," the Temple took another step toward fostering


N~N~ ~-, 7

(Solden-, Anniversary

Tovngregatibn Al aeiPth

Sarkaso Ville, 3Bla.


brotherhood in Jacksonville with a good will conference
sponsored jointly by Ahavath Chesed, Catholic and
Protestant groups.
By 1935, the membership had climbed back to a total
of 174, and the first issue of the Temple Yearbook was
published by the Sisterhood.
A year later, although much of the nation was reluc-
tant to think affairs in Europe could affect this continent,
Rabbi Stephen S. Wise was brought here by the Temple
to talk about "the menace of Hitler". The year 1936 also
saw the inauguration of the annual Memorial Service at
the cemetery between Yom Kippur and Rosh Hoshonah.
Adolph Weil had succeeded Richard as congregation
president in 1936, but his untimely death in 1937 cut that
service short, and Joseph M. Glickstein was elected to a
S two-year term that eventually stretched out to nine years,
..i which saw this country safely through World War II. By

'' I,

rs~z 8~



1938, the youngsters of the Temple while dancing to
the rhythms of Glen Miller and Tommy Dorsey banded
together to form the Temple Youth Group.
Then in 1940, fire again brought problems to the
congregation. On January 28, the caretaker of the Temple
Home, a refugee who had brought his wife and family
from Europe and the war that now engulfed that continent,
stoked the furnace against a rare Florida cold wave and
went to bed. During the night, the furnace became over-
heated and the Temple Home was destroyed. The family
escaped through windows, but efforts to keep a chronology
of the Temple's progress suffered another setback, as many
of the records from 1901 through 1939 had been kept in
the Temple Home and were destroyed.
However, in the spirit that had long become part of
the congregation's makeup, within five months, the Temple
board voted to rebuild on the Temple Home lot at a
cost not to exceed $25,000. And it was in 1940 that records
show the first discussions of the possibility that Ahavath
Chesed had outgrown its Temple on Laura and Ashley
and that the building should be sold.
By now the first trickle of manpower from Jackson-
ville and other communities throughout the nation began
to swell the ranks of the armed services as draft boards
began the process of beefing up the nation's defenses.
But on November 17, 1941, the temple congregation
and leading Jewish and Christian clergymen and laymen
from throughout Jacksonville joined together to pay tribute
to Rabbi Kaplan on his 25th anniversary in Ahavath
Chesed's pulpit. With all of Europe in chaos and despite
the fact Britain was fighting for its life, there was little
hint on that happy night that within a month Pearl Harbor
would become an inferno whose flames sent the United
States to war for four long years.
Rabbi Kaplan, who had answered the call in 1917 as


Benjamin, Julien, Jr.
Benjamin, George
Benjamin, Roy, Jr.
Benjamin, Louis Walter
Benjamin, Jean Irwin
Benjamin, Ted
Birnkrant, Samuel
Blankfield, Leon
Blankfield, Marks R.
Bloom, Harold
Bucky, Fred W., Jr.
Brest, Alexander
Cohn, Harold S., Jr.
Coleman, Colson Perry
Davis, Aaron
Edwards, Marvin
Edwards, Robert
Fink, Chester
Fink, Eli
Fisher, Martin
Friedberg, Morton
Funkenstein, Louis
Funkenstein, Dan
Glickstein, Joseph M., Jr.
Grunthal, Leonard H., Jr.
Garren, Lester
Glickstein, Felix
Goldstein, Saul William
Goldstein, Earl A.
Goldstein, Maurice W.
Halpern, Raymond
Halpern, Marvin
Hanff, Gunther
Harris, Earl
Haimowitz, Melvin
Held, Edwin
Hindin, Herman
Hirschberg, Morton
Hirschberg, Simon
Jarchower, Harvey

Jacobs, Robert H.
Katz, Sol W.
Kipnis, Jerome
Klepper, Raphael
Kugelman, Jack
Klepper, Irving
Kunsberg, Ralph
Liebman, Norman
Liebman, Sam
Liebman, Walter
Lenk, Bernard
Luria, Herbert
Leitman, Donald David
Leitman, Harold Norman
Leitman, Alvin Abraham
Leitman, Harvey Hilton
Lenk, Curtis
Leonard, Walter
Lasarow, William
Lind, Martin
Mack, Julius, Jr.
Mandell, Sheldon
Marco, Seymour
Marcus, Alan
Mehlman, George
Meyers, Andrew A.
Michaelson, Adolph
Monsky, David
Newman, Floyd
Oberdorfer, Aaron Z.
Panken, Alfred
Reiss, Ernest
Roberts, Nathan
Rosenberg, Morris
Rosenblum, John
Rothschild, Benjamin
Siegal, Herbert D.
Seitner, Jack
Spitzer, Louis Frank
Spitzer, Murray

Weil, Nathan, Jr.
Weinstein, Doran
Weiss, Donald
Weiss, Herbert
Wexler, Harold
Wilkinson, Edward
Witten, Victor
Wolf, Martin J.
Wolfson, Cecil
Wolfson, Sam
Wolfson, Saul
Wood, William
Wood, Michael
Wood, Bernard
Zacharias, Ellis
* Hartman, Marcy
* Rothstein, Simon
* Segal, David

* Wood, David

Spitzer, Robert Arnold
Stein, Martin
Stein, Albert
Safer, J. V.
Segal, Louis
Segal, William
Sablow, Irving
Seitner, Alfred
Seitner, Robert
Seitner, Robert, Jr.
Spindell, Murray
Strumph, I. L.
Wilkinson, Albert
Wansker, Harry
Weinreb, Joseph
* Berk, Sidney
* Lutz, Herman P.
* Cooper, William M.

Wood, Henry

Launching of the Isaac Mayer Wise

President 1947-51

volunteer chaplain to Jewish troops at Camp Johnston
during World War I, joined the rest of the congregation
in service to his nation. This time, however, his volunteer
chaplain duties took him to Camp Blanding and the Jack-
sonville Naval Air Station, which was to become a per-
manent defense installation that would help change the
whole economic picture in Jacksonville in later, peacetime
years. Once again, with Jewish boys from Jacksonville
leaving many empty seats at family dinner tables, the
congregation and the Sisterhood again went to work to
take care of religious and social needs of Jewish service-
men from throughout the nation who were sent here during
the war. Many of these soldiers and sailors returned in
civilian clothes to make their homes in Jacksonville per-


Rabbi, Ending 30 Years' Service Here M

Pleased by Growth of Religious Unity Pie
In the last hi ,- n Jl i n ill- l.I r.n cL- r'. k .iciao ntty P
citizeis-Pront, i .e. s r oud to pro :g .belt.e d ol I
Jewish-have s r II. a s. a a or. c sala r.e eipe.L. I oa-
ranks. .To
necessity for Ct.,-ii, Pre,, ,an o J s. ct- n i sr. ive for I t.bh Tempte
'This was ir. .. .' I F...r.l i.. ..... r.i:. years
i ofRabb Isra i a i. c. .. I K-- H I itual The
k.ter 30 years r "*,',. ,'.' I l.. .... ', uc newly
lIdl Jewsh Tem ll i- ".m. i I wart, inew
eir rapo i emeritt r I i e Cont n Cro a
d- WorliC. l..rr .. ras at th
ur "We have IIa II._ r c. a w. s ss. we t re
vr fighting wars 1. ,. Ir, i. i le r.err. I. d isu:
years and we .,- i ria I. M t-. I i empe Pui
ason that W-e rra I ., m r-,,3 i 3 .. Rabbi to bi
rw isolated hife f r. ... -r r. "nia f ri.. been the J
nations." he ..1 r .... :, r -i. the
s-"We are r s nlrr.e t h rend ofr ih I library cuscoe
wrih the Isi, I'- H. *r'., -s r,3 r cted elude
I-ith the farti lrhr jign a q'ac te y, on the tlent
sh.ire an firo e.ra.d Jf t e. -. i '... ir..I.i i 'rmedst.
Rabbi Kapl, II. i' Ih J. .....u t. C. r.aunity maeri
perhaps the g, r. .i Couni acl t ..1' a. Ini m ather
noted In Jae c .. 1 '- i Gommunll I1.. 1. II..,' relief erT
I..... .. a.s ,,.si, o the
sn eds t ar s mi i. '. t i. ',L d i 1.3i o the
1 pet to the iluurn oi -ne y. io. n..u oc a-
e If intolerance, discrimination or "definite responsibility and a great- "I have tried to take apart in wa'
prejudices exist here on the home er challenge today," he aid, "to the community development of
rd front, he said, "they are bound to promote good will and better under- Jacksonville," he said today. "It Pr
,n- have repercussions everywhere and standing among our own people, be is my purpose to continue. I shall Jac
l In all places." they Catholic, Protestant or Jewish continue to strive for unity in re-. p
on| He said Jacksonville "is not im- so that in peace, as in war, there ligious ranks. her
*ry mune as a city from the virus and shall be perfect teamwork." "We can no longer live segre-
:e poisonous doctrines that Hitler Rabbi Kaplan said he plans "to gated lives, divided off into groups
spread." devote most of my time to a pro- or cliques, but we must live and O
Challenge to Religion gram of good will" and that he ex- work together for our common groe
Church and synagogue have a pects to conduct Jewish services in welfare and continued growth."
p und Boswell Points Out Mutual re
AL Prfi fi ,D '"

Two days before the 3rd anniversary of America's
entry into the war, Rabbi Jonah B. Wise of New York's
Central Synagogue came to Jacksonville for the launching
of a Liberty Ship named for his father Rabbi Isaac Mayer
Wise, founder of American Reform Judaism.
And on the following year, four months after the
Japanese signaled the end of the war and total victory for
the allied nations by signing a peace treaty on the Battle-
ship Missouri, the final era of the congregation's first 75
years began. Rabbi Sidney M. Lefkowitz, who had
served with Rabbi Calisch in Richmond, Va., before going
into the U. S. Army to become the first chaplain to
perform services on occupied German soil, arrived in Jack-
sonville as Associate Rabbi.

President 1928-31

Two months later, after Julien P. Benjamin had been
installed as congregation president for the second time,
Rabbi Lefkowitz was formally installed during services at
which Rabbi Julian B. Feibelman of New Orleans attend-
ed as guest speaker.
Rabbi Kaplan was elevated to the position of Rabbi
Emeritus. He left Jacksonville and continued to serve his
fellow man in several pulpits, but he always returned with
his wife Cora during the summers, and in the year prior
to the 75th anniversary they again took up permanent
residence in Jacksonville and resumed active roles in the
Within the year that Rabbi Lefkowitz became
spiritual leader of the city's Reform Jews, he inaugurated
the Institute on Judaism, to which clergymen and laymen
of all faiths were invited to better understand their Jewish
While Rabbi Lefkowitz refined and expanded the
many programs to foster better interfaith relations and
understanding that were begun and molded into form by
his predecessor, he also turned his attention to the many
vital organs that made Ahavath Chesed a living, breathing,
contributing entity in Jacksonville.
The religious school curriculum was radically revised
and its service was expanded to include a pre-school class
for the youngsters and a 10th grade for the confirmands.
And Hebrew classes were started, which meant for the
first time in the Temple's history its youngsters could read
and understand the prayers that previously had been
recognized only by their melodious sound,
And in the latter half of the 1940's religious educa-
tion reached far beyond the youngsters of Ahavath Chesed
as regular bi-monthly lectures were introduced for adults.
It wasn't long before another extreme was reached with
establishment of the Temple Nursery.
The Temple and its activities were expanding ..
membership was growing and the building on Laura



and Ashley was no longer adequate. A year after Rabbi
Lefkowitz arrived, the Temple Building Fund already had
reached more than $310,000 and before long plans were
drawn up for a new Temple to be built on the site of the
Temple Home.
Morris H. Witten was elected to succeed Benjamin
as president in 1947, and under his guiding hand the new
Temple took form to provide room for all of the activities
already sponsored by the congregation and the new innova-
tions to be born during the final seven years of the
Temple's first 75 years. This period saw the birth of the
Temple Lites for children in the fifth through seventh
religious school grades, and the Temple Teens for the
higher grade religious school children. The Temple youth
group, which prospered briefly after initial organization in
1938, was reorganized and members reformulated its. pro-
gram to provide social activities, cultural and community
service and to participate in religious services. The Girl
Scouts were reorganized and a Brownie troop was formed.
And Ahavath Chesed's young unmarrieds found a new
social outlet through Guys and Dolls, while the older cou-
ples brought more social activity to the Temple with the
Ball and Chain club.
Meanwhile, the Brotherhood, which had been re-
organized in 1940, entered a new era of its own when it
inaugurated the Brotherhood Service at Temple, raised
several thousand dollars toward the new building fund,


and when Brotherhood introduced the first of its annual
inter-faith dinner meetings.
Then, in 1949, the congregation, with its various
arms participating, broke ground for the new Temple and
its companion education-recreational building in Septem-
ber. By February of 1950, the cornerstone was laid, and
on September 8, 1950, the members of the growing con-
gregation left their home of 40 years and moved to a new
address 1708 Mallory.
By that time, a larger percentage of Jacksonville Jews
lived in Riverside than in any other single section of the
city, although the city's Southside, which once was an
incorporated city by itself, had begun to attract more and
more people. And farsighted planners saw the day that
two more bridges would have to be built across the wind-
ing St. Johns River to help the Main street and Acosta

bridges handle the increasing flow of traffic.
For three days, Reform Jews from all sections of
Jacksonville came over those bridges that already were
available to take part in a series of ceremonies in the ded-
ication of the Temple. The president of the Hebrew
Union College, Dr. Nelson Glueck, delivered the message
at the first religious services conducted at St. Johns and
Mallory. Also taking part, along with Rabbi Lefkowitz,
were Rabbi David L. Zielonka of Tampa, and Dr.
Maurice L. Eisendrath, president of the Union of American
Hebrew Congregations, who delivered the principal address
at a dedication banquet in the auditorium of the new
education-recreational building.
Since the arrival of Rabbi Lefkowitz, the nation and
the world settled back to try a new type of political and
military tightrope walking. World War II had scarcely

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President 1955-

ended before it became apparent Communist Russia had
never lost its own world-wide goals. And Winston Church-
ill came to this country to warn the free world that "an
iron curtain" had dropped in Europe, separating the East
and the West. Tensions grew, and with Harry Truman in
the White House, such names as "cold war," "Marshall
Plan" and "Truman Doctrine" took over the headlines. On
the other side of the world, international communism
stirred up turmoil which ultimately resulted in the Korean
conflict, which ended in 1953, a year after Ahavath Chesed
celebrated its 70th birthday. The event was marked by
special services, in which Rabbi Lefkowitz rededicated
the Temple and congregation and called in his sermon for
them to go "from strength to strength." Arthur Rosenthal,
who had long rendered service and his talents to the
progress of the Temple and the entire community until his
untimely death in 1956, was president of the congregation

at the time.
He was succeeded by Leonard Fink. They, along with
Ben Stein, who became president in 1955 and served
through the Diamond anniversary, spearheaded the drive
that late in 1956 culminated in formal plans for a new
educational wing for the Temple. For Jacksonville's
growth in the 1950's outstripped the most farsighted
experts and Ahavath Chesed continued to grow with its
city. The Navy's operations in Jacksonville continued to
increase until thousands of servicemen surrounded the
area at the Naval Air Station, Mayport and Cecil Field.
The Gate City had become home base for the nation's
largest aircraft carriers, and the gallant hurricane hunters
flew from their home at the air station into the teeth of
killer storms. And with the growth that came from na-
tional defense a constant warning on the Jacksonville
scene that new and terrible weapons threatened the



world ironically, there was growth from a direction that
presented some paradox life insurance. Thousands of
new persons of all faiths flowed into Jacksonville from the
North as one company after another decided to set up
national or regional headquarters .And the skyline was
changed and beautified when, in 1955, the Prudential
building and the Independent building rose to glamorize
Jacksonville's silhouette.
January of 1956 marked the end of Rabbi Lefkowitz'
first decade as religious leader of Jacksonville's Reform
Jews, and members of all faiths and of the city's three
Jewish congregations turned out to honor him as a man
who interpreted the title "Rabbi" to mean voluntary civil-
ian chaplain for the military, civic leader, educator,
philosopher and patriot. Two months later plans were
under way to properly bring Ahavath Chesed to still
another landmark in its historic march through North
Florida's pages of time its 75th Anniversary.
In 75 years, Florida had been developed from wilder-
ness in the south and antebellum ruins in the north to a

single progressive unit that provided outlanderss" with a
year-round playground and industry with a new home. The
three-quarters of a century saw Jacksonville grow from a
provincial town of 15,000 to a bustling center of industry
and transportation with 350,000 citizens. Congregation
Ahavath Chesed had grown from its original 29 dedicated
members whose courage made progress possible to a
congregation of more than 450 families. What lies ahead
is in their hands and in the hands of their children.
The elements that provide this history of Ahavath
Chesed with a "Happy ending" courage, desire, work,
dedication, a respect for an ancient religion, a respect for
those of all faiths, and an undying devotion to God and
His work are the same elements that are necessary to
pave the way to the 100th anniversary. With history as a
guide post from the past and with hope and confidence in
the future, the Eternal Light will illuminate Jackson-
ville's Temple Ahavath Chesed's unending journey "from
strength to strength."



Jacksonbille Time 1882

Jactonbille journal 1957


The past 75 years have seen a lot of
changes in Jacksonville and in Jackson-
ville organizations.
No. stranger to change is Congrega-
tion Ahavath Chesed, which is now
celebrating its Diamond Anniversary.
he Congregation, when it was char-
tered in 1882, had 24 members from
all over this section of the state who
met in a borrowed location.
Today, as the Congregation looks
back on its first 75 years, it can point
proudly to the majestic and beautiful
Jewish Temple, it can count 450 mem-
bers, it can number its contributions to
the whole community by the hundreds.
As Jacksonville has grown, so has
the Congregation in its scope. As an
organized body, it has given gener-
ously in the fields of culture, of toler-
ance, of commerce, of government, of
civic leadership.
Two rabbis whose service covers over
half of the total life of the Congrega-
tion have been outstanding contributors.

Two brief illustrations: Rabbi Israel
Kaplan, who now is rabbi emeritus
after 30 years of active work, was the
inspiration for the joint Thanksgiving
service; and the present rabbi who has
served since 1946, Rabbi Sidney Lefko-
witz, has been the leader in sponsoring
the annual Institute on Judaism to pro-
mote better understanding between re-
ligious faiths.
In the fields of government and civic
activity there have been leaders too nu-
merous to mention, dating all the way
back to 1882 and the first president of
the Congregation, M. A. Dzialynski,
who was an alderman, then mayor of
Jacksonville and finally a judge.
In his footsteps of service to com-
munity have followed countless mem-
bers of Congregation Ahavath Chesed.
The steady, solid growth of com-
munity and Congregation have par-
alleled during the past 75 years. Both
community and Congregation can look
forward to even greater things in the
next 75 years.

\. HORLfN O ""1
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On Temple Anniversary,
The Light Is Strong
Throughout its long history the for-
tunes of Congregation Ahavath Chesed,
which observes its 75th anniversary on
this day, have been intimately linked
with those of Jacksonville.
The second oldest Jewish congrega-
tion in Florida, it has prospered with
the city and suffered with the city.
It was young when the New South
was young and Jacksonville was re-
building its economy; its temple was
destroyed in the great fire of 1901, and
the congregation rebuilt along with the
city. Through two world wars and the
great depression it shared the fortunes
and misfortunes of all Jacksonville.
Today's anniversary, therefore, is an
event with community-wide signifi-
Only the Pensacola congregation, or-
ganized in 1874, antedates Congrega-
tion Ahavath Che.ed in Florida. In
this spiritual heritage of the years,
the local congregation symbolizes for
Jacksonville the long tradition of the
Hebrew people.
In this long span of years Congre-
gation Ahavath Chesed has come to
mean much to men of all creeds in
this city. Through its Union Thanks-
giving services, its Institute on Juda-
ism as other activities designed to
promote mutual understanding, the
Jewish Temple has strengthened the
ties that bind together all the people
of this community. It has brought light
to us all.
People of great spirit and rich tra-
dition are givers of light in any free
community. In Jacksonville, Congre-
gation Ahavath Chesed has been truly
a "servant candle," which in giving
its flame to another finds its light
In the years to come, the fortunes
of Congregation Ahavath Chesed will
continue to be closely bound with those
of all Jacksonville, and together we
may grow in understanding and affec-
tiorr, as the light of brotherly love
grows steadily more brilliant.

4tariba Times Union 1957


Dr. Sidney M. Lefkowitz, Rabbi
Michael S. Soloway, Cantor
A Diamond Anniversary Service
Organ Prelude A Psalm of David
FRIDAY EVENING, by Salomone Rossi
FEBRUARY 1st, 1957 Opening Hymn- "Praise To The Living God"
(page 6, verses 1, 3, 5)
Invocation Rabbi Israel L. Kaplan, Rabbi Emeritus
Lighting of Sabbath Candles
Mrs. Sidney M. Lefkowitz
Sabbath Evening Service (Union Prayer Book,
pages 10-24) The Rabbi
; Torah Service (Union Prayer Book, pages 94-97)
Introduction of Guest Preacher The Rabbi
The Sermon "The Unfulfilled Mission"
Rev. Dr. Julian B. Feibelman,
.. Rabbi Temple Sinai, New Orleans, La.
Dedication of Presidents' Plaque The Rabbi
Concluding Service The Rabbi
(Union Prayer Book, pages 71-77)
Closing Hymn "Lord of All"
(page 9, verses 1, 4, 5)
Benediction Rabbi Pizer Jacobs
(Rabbi, Congregation Ahavath Chesed 1906-12)
The Congregation is cordially invited to a
: reception in the Auditorium immediately
following services.
Officers and Members of The Board of Trustees

FEBRUARY 2nd, 1957

FEBRUARY 2, 7:00 o'clock



Officers and Members of Sisterhood

-- Children's Service for February --
Organ Prelude Sabbath Rest by A. W. Binder
Opening Hymn "Ho\ Lovely Are Thy Duwellings"
(page 1)
Reading of the Ritual (Union Prayer Book.
pages 101-140)
Miss Be\erly Rothstein Miss Karen Armel
The Torah Service (Union Prayer Book,
pages 144-150)
Torah Prayers Mr. Cary Yales
Bible Portion Miss Marilyn Marks
Prophetic Portion MJiss Brenda Bartley
Blessing of Children Born in February
Blessing of Members of the Congregation
75 Years of Age and Older
The Sermon "Dimensions of Space and Time"
The Rabbi
Concluding Service (Union Prayer Book,
pages 150-153)
Closing Hymn "Ayn Kaylohaynu" (page 30)
A Sabbath Joy program will follow this service.

Auditorium George Washington Hotel
Nlaster of Ceremonies Mr. Arvin K. Rothschild
PROGRAM 7:00- 9:00
National Anthem
Invocation The Rabbi

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7:00 o'clock

9:30 o'clock

11:00 o'clock

(Dinner Music provided by the Parks Johnson Trio)
"Diamond Jubilee in Rhyme and Song"
(Words and lyrics composed by Mmes. Esther Rosen-
berg, Felix Glickstein, and Mr. Robert N. Myers)
DANCING 9:00- 12:00 Abe Livert's Orchestra

Rededication of First Jewish Cemetery in East Florida
Washington and Union Streets
Chairmen: Messrs. Julien P. Benjamin and
Edgar M. Felson
Dedicatory Prayer
Unveiling of Historical Marker

Ground Breaking Ceremonies for Addition to Temple
Structure on Riverside Avenue
Chairmen: Messrs. Leonard Fink and George Miller
Chairman of Arrangements: Mr. Samuel W. Wolfson
Prayer The Rabbi
Participants in Ground Breaking: Representatives of
the Congregation, Sisterhood, Brotherhood, Youth
Group and all affiliated organizations.



OFFICERS 1956-57
First Vice-President
Second Vice-President
Past President



Dr. Sidney M. Lefkowitz
Israel L. Kaplan, Emeritus
Michael S. Soloway, Cantor

Ben Stein
John Rosenblum
Richard J. Lewinson
Herbert Panken
Malvern B. Fink
Leonard Fink

Edgar M. Felson
Henry Glickman
Joseph M. Glickstein
Sam Green
Julien P. Benjamin
Max Berinhout
Alexander Brest
Donald D. Cohn
Irving L. Roberts

Bennett Hirsh
Norman A. Hofheimer
Robert H. Jacobs
Jerome L. Kipnis
Philip N. Coleman
Albert H. Edwards
David Harris

Julius L. Mack, Jr.
George B. Miller
Robert N. Myers
Arvin K. Rothschild
Joseph Hartman
Morris H. Witten
Louis E. Wolfson

A. H. Rothstein
Robert L. Seitner
Barney S. Witten
Samuel W. Wolfson

Robert D. Edwards Simpson R. Walker, Jr. Uly P. Mack
Miss Diane Katz Mrs. Joseph M. Glickstein


reservation fund
banquet decor
75th edition editor
art and publication

Robert D. Edwards
Albert H. Edwards, Sam Bucholtz*
Mrs. Richard J. Lewinson, Mrs. Jerome L. Kipnis
Mrs. S. S. Jacobs, Mrs. R. Lester Coleman
Mrs. Joseph M. Glickstein, Irving L. Roberts
Mrs. Sol Levy, Mrs. M. A. Kay
Mrs. Donald Zell, Mrs. Marvin Edwards
Robert N. Myers, Mrs. Felix Glickstein, Mrs. Hackel Rosenberg
Mrs. Aaron Z. Oberdorfer, Mrs. I. M. Sulzbacher
Arvin K. Rothschild
Dawson Oppenheimer
Mrs. David J. Meyerhardt, Mrs. Ruth Hope Leon, Mrs. Sidney J. Brown
Mrs. Jack Bear, Norman Freedman


Judaica Book


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