Category Archives: History


Budapest cookiesLast month I told you about a controversial Holocaust memorial in Budapest. Today, on this last day before Hanukkah, let me share a photo I received this week from Budapest. It requires no explanation.


This past Shabbos we had a very nice Kiddush in honor of two members of the Sherman family: Connie and Dr. Sam Sherman. It was hosted by their daughter Patty Barnet and her husband Alan.  Sam was the youngest child of Markus Sherman, our shul’s founder.  I told Patty that each year on the Shabbos before Markus’ yahrzeit we have what amounts to an informal “founders day” simply by remembering Markus and his contribution to us. This year that will fall on Feb 28, and Patty said she would like to be present. Many of you know that the Carnegie Shul was founded primarily by Hungarians, and that includes the Sherman family. Most of the Hungarian immigrants came to Carnegie well over 100 years ago, but the path to Carnegie was not always direct.  There were many Hungarian Jews in the Homestead-Braddock area and some of those families came to Carnegie. Others took a different path. Ike and Miriam Sax left Hungary in 1952 (not a simple feat to accomplish during the early Cold War years) and after some intermediate transit stops, came to settle directly in Carnegie. Aside from Patty, we have contact with the descendants of other original charter signers Benjamin Turk and Falk Kantor. Perhaps this year we can embellish our “founders day” remembrance by inviting them.  Mark your calendar: February 28.

I hope you have a festive Hanukkah, and I welcome your comments about the Hungarian families in our shul.


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Filed under History, Holidays, Uncategorized

50th Anniversary Program

Plaque 50th annivFriends, most of you know the basic story of our congregation’s founding. You know that services were first held in the Sherman home in 1896 and the first High Holidays that same year were held in the Husler Building, now owned by the Historical Society of Carnegie. You may not know that our congregation was officially chartered in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in 1903. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of that charter, the congregation held a celebratory dinner. I have attached the program booklet from that affair. It is quite a fascinating look at our past. Click HERE.

Not only can we reminisce about the businesses on Main St. where we used to shop or eat lunch, we get to see a lot of names and faces of past friends and family. One of the things that caught my attention was that women didn’t appear to have first names back then. They were Mrs. Irving Bendis or Mrs. Bernie Roth. Times have changed and that’s part of the joy of looking at historical documents.

Thanks to my daughter Melissa for scanning this document into the computer. Feel free to share with others in the community who may be interested in Carnegie history.  PS. The shul president at the time of the original charter in 1903 was Falk Kantor. There’s a lot of history to be told about Mr. Kantor. Last year I met with his great granddaughter, Florence Bebo. I will be posting a lengthy story about the Kantors this summer. It’s going to take me a while to assemble all the story which has connections to Liverpool, England, Washington DC, Beaver Falls, PA and our home town of Carnegie.


Filed under History, Uncategorized

Old Shul Board Photo

Shul Board and Officers, circa ?

Shul Board and Officers, circa ?

Occasionally, while rummaging through files at the shul, I come across an item of general interest— in this case a water-damaged photo of what appears to be the Board of Directors and Officers of the shul.  I believe that the officers are sitting in the front and board members in the back.  But since all of these men are before my time, I don’t know their names.  This information is important for our archives, so I am asking for your help.  I also would like your opinion on the possible year (plus or minus) that this may have been taken.  If you know the names of these folks, please respond below where it indicates to Leave a Comment.  Please don’t send your comments by email.

I have a clue that may be helpful.  In very faded handwriting at the bottom of the original photo are the names of the men.  They are barely visible.  But I scanned it, and manipulated the contrast and density the best I could in order to make them even somewhat readable.  Some of the names appear to be Herbert Isaacs, Miller, Ziontz, Moskovitz, George Raskin, and Edward Klee.  You can CLICK on either of these to get the enlarged versions, which also may be helpful.

Happy sleuthing!

Names of Board members

Names of Board members



Filed under History

From Israel to Carnegie to Washington

click to enlarge

Al Brunwasser sent me an interesting story to share with the congregation.  It appeared in the bulletin of Adas Israel congregation in Washington DC.  The story is about Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen.  Please see the article at the right.  Who knew that the guy who started Giant groceries was from Carnegie?  Coincidently, Al tells me that his great uncle Joe Cohen had a fruit market just up the street in Glendale way back in the day.


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Carnegie Rabbis

Rabbi Rudolphe Weiss

When this conversation started, I thought it would a simple one. But it has yielded some very interesting comments and I realized I should have posted it here on the blog so that everyone could see and comment.

This dialogue started with a request from Lynn Donovan asking who were the rabbis when she was a member here between 1958 to 1965. Since my source of historical data, Stan Roth, is no longer with us I sent out an email asking for information. Let me post the responses here and you all can continue the conversation directly.

From Brenda Miller I received the following:
“my husband Larry (Izzy Miller Furniture) and I were married in 1960. Rabbi Rudolph Weiss was the Rabbi who officiated and was the rabbi until 1965. He may have been here longer than that but I do know after he went elsewhere we interviewed a number of rabbi’s, but I don’t remember any being hired. I started teaching Sunday School around 1966 and the only person I recall taking charge was Stan Roth.Hope this helps. I was the one who went to the rabbi’s from Beth El and Temple Emanuel to see if we could start sending our children to one of their Religious school’s. We were taken in by Temple Emanuel, they gave membership to the families who had children in religious school. Some of the families joined on their own after their children were Confirmed. During the High Holidays we hired student rabbi’s to conduct services.”

From Roger Wilk,
“I believe the Rabbi at the time you refer to was Rabbi Rudolph Weiss. I will try and find a document that states that, but since I lived there at that time and Morris was President until 1963 I believe I am correct.”

From Morry Miller,
“Rabbi Rudolph Weiss was a holocost survivor and bore a numbered arm tatoo. Prior to Rabbi Weiss was Rabbi Helfgot. My brother Larry and I had our Bar Mitzvah in the Shule in December of 1949. The Party was held in the downstairs social hall.”

Lynn adds a follow-up question,
“Do you know why Rabbi Weiss left and where he went?

The photo of Rabbi Weiss is from the Shul’s 1953 Jubilee book. At some point I will scan in the entire book and post a link.

In the meantime, please feel free to add your answers/questions/comments below.


Filed under History