This week’s focus is for Jewish business and professional offices in and around the Elmwood Avenue and Delaware Avenue section on the West Side of Buffalo as part of a general request for help researching Jewish businesses, neighborhood by neighborhood. Along Elmwood and its near vicinity, as well as on Delaware, and its surroundings, there were a whole range of businesses at various times including Hoffman’s Meat, Weinstein and Cheplowitz Groceries, Chasins Delicatessen, Hoffman’s Fish, Brownrout Seafoods, Rosenblatt Furriers, and Frederic Marshall Photography to name just a few. Can you add more information about these names, or any others? What other businesses do you remember? These names represent a tiny sampling of former services offered in the extended area. Can you add to these lists, and provide further information? We have almost no materials related to Congregation Beth Abraham and, we have absolutely no materials from its short-lived forerunner, Temple Beth Israel, also located on Elmwood Avenue (not to be confused with the congregation in Niagara Falls). Perhaps you have old programs, photographs, anniversary books, or clippings?
Another former congregation that was located on the West Side was Temple Beth El, and one of its former buildings, the Richmond Avenue temple was in the news this week, as the building, since owned by a series of churches, is now up for sale. Recently, the Temple Beth El archives collection were made available at the University Archives, with records from its earliest beginnings, to just prior to merger with Temple Shaarey Zedek in 2008 to form Temple Beth Tzedek. The guide to this collection is over 80 pages long and is available online at: http://www.bjebuffalo.org/jbap by clicking on “Temple Beth El, 1847-2006.” Temple Beth El, Buffalo was the first Jewish congregation established in Buffalo. After a number of homes at Pearl Street and Elm Street, Richmond Avenue was selected in 1909, and a cornerstone was laid in 1910, with the new building dedicated in 1911. The decision to locate the Temple on Richmond Avenue was spearheaded by Charles Polakoff who led the congregation as President over twenty years from 1909 to well into the 1930s. The Richmond Avenue temple was home to Temple Beth El for over fifty years, and until the congregation expanded its Eggert Road school site in the town of Tonawanda.
In the mean time, you can share your stories about businesses, stores and more by contacting me at: 716-204-5388, or email, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also write to: Dr. Chana Kotzin, Jewish Buffalo Archives Project, Bureau of Jewish Education, 2640 North Forest Road, Suite 400, Getzville, NY 14068.