Early Jewish Residents
For many years, the local Wooster community believed that the first Jewish residents in Wooster were David Freedlander and Louis Licofsky, who came to Wooster in the 1880s. After the completion of the Knesseth Israel Temple in 1953, the new congregation hailed these two men as the “leaders of the Jewish community in Wooster” in a commemoration of their new place of worship.1 However, Knesseth Israel Temple’s resident historian, Ed Abramson, who did research as a volunteer at the Wayne County Public Library’s Genealogy Department, believes differently. He cites the the first Jewish resident of Wooster as Abraham Greenbaum, a merchant who arrived in 1841 and applied for American citizenship in 1842.2 While Wooster had a Jewish community since the 1840s, it would take over a century for them to come together and build a synagogue.
1 “Jewish Congregation WIll Honor Wooster Founders,” The Daily Record, October 29, 1954.
2 Linda Hall, “Knesseth Israel Temple Celebrates Past, Future,” The Daily Record, September 19, 2009.