Largest city of the state of New Jersey, U. S. A. Its first Jewish congregation was founded Aug. 20, 1848, under the name "B'nai Jeshurun." Religious services were held at various places until 1858, when the first synagogue was built, on Washington street. Isaac Schwarz was ḥazzan at the time, and the mode of worship was Orthodox. His successors were Sigmund Kaufman, in 1860, and S. Seligman, in 1865. In 1867 the congregation built its present temple, at the dedication of which, in 1868, the present incumbent, Rabbi Joseph Leucht, entered upon his office. Solomon Foster has been associated with him since 1902. The worship is now that of the Reform ritual; and the congregation includes the most prominent Israelites of the city.
Congregation Oheb Scholom was organized in 1860. Its pulpit has been occupied by Rabbis Zinsler, B. Drachman, and the present incumbent, Bernhard Glueck. Congregation B'nai Abraham was organized in 1857. It formerly had places of worship in Bank and Washington streets, and since 1899 has occupied its present building at the corner of High street and 13th avenue. Among its ministers have been Isidor Kalish, Meyer S. Hood, Bergman, N. G. Solomon, and Jacob Goldstein. The present incumbent is Julius Silberfeld. A few years ago a number of congregations made up of Russian immigrants, combined under the name Anshe Russia, and built a synagogue in Kinney street. H. Bradsky is the rabbi. There are nine other smaller congregations in the city.
All the Jewish orders have lodges in Newark. The Progress Club, with its own club-house in West Park street, is the leading social organization. There are a number of charitable associations, the most prominent being the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society (founded 1865), which has a commodious Home for Orphans in Clinton avenue. A Hebrew free school, built by the Plaut family (1889) and bearing the name "Plaut Memorial School," gives instruction in religious branches to 800 pupils, mostly children of Russian emigrants, under the superintendency of Meyer S. Hood.
The professions of law and medicine have some very prominent Jewish members. The department stores of L. S. Plaut & Co., L. Bamberger & Co., and David Straus Company are among the principal ones in the city. Among the leading manufacturers Moses Straus & Sons, R. G. Solomon, and Weingarten Bros. are most prominent, the last-named firm having one of the largest corset factories in existence.
The Jews of Newark, of whom at least one-half are Russian immigrants, number (1904) about 20,000, in a total population of nearly 300,000.