Manufacturing city in the state of New Jersey; center of the silk industry in the United States. It has attracted an extensive Jewish population, which possesses three incorporated synagogues: one conservative, chiefly composed of German and German-American Israelites, and organized about 1849, and two Russian Orthodox, of more recent date. In addition there are several temporary congregations for the holy days. The communal societies are: a Talmud Torah school of 400 pupils, two ladies' benevolent societies, a Jewish club (The Progress) of 100 members, a loan society, a literary society of 45 members, and various lodges of the leading Jewish orders.

The community has its representatives in the banks and trade organizations and among the commercial leaders. Paterson elected as mayor for two terms Nathan Barnert, president of the B'nai Jeshurun Synagogue, who has been a generous donor to the Barnert Memorial Temple and who erected a new edifice for the Talmud Torah school in memory of his wife. In 1900 Nathan Fleischer was appointed a park commissioner.

Within the past two decades the Russian element has largely increased in numbers. Many of the Russian Jews are employed in the mills; others engage in various trades and callings.

Several noteworthy incidents of more than local importance have occurred in Paterson of late years. On April 20, 1900, President McKinley, together with Governor Voorhis of New Jersey, Mayor Hinchliffe of Paterson, and some representative citizens, attended the Friday evening services at the Barnert Temple. After the memorable fire of 1902, that synagogue was opened to the Second Presbyterian congregation, whose church had been destroyed and which for two years has utilized the edifice, the ministers of the church and the synagogue frequently exchanging pulpits on national holidays. The entire city participated, without distinction of creed, in the relief movement for the firesufferers; and the same spirit of brotherhood was displayed when the city was overwhelmed by flood in 1902 and 1903. In the latter catastrophe fully 400 Russian Jewish families were among the sufferers; and Catholic, Protestant, and Jew cooperated in their behalf, raising about $25,000, without any outside appeal.

The new Talmud Torah building, which was occupied in the autumn of the year 1904, forms a center of educational effort.

At present (1904) the Jews of Paterson number about 1,250 families in a total population of 105,171.

A. A. S. I.
Images of pages