Founding the Knesseth Israel Temple
In 1931, the Jewish community in Wooster was flourishing. Over twenty families, including the Freedlanders and the Licofskys, decided that it was time to start conducting formal religious services.1 The Jewish community gathered in a small house every few weeks and on high holy days for twenty-two years, until a rabbi from Cincinnati came to Wooster and suggested that they build a Temple of their very own. In 1950, the congregation finally placed the cornerstone of their new Knesseth Israel Temple. Democratic congressman John McSweeney, a close friend of Harold Freedlander and member of the House Un-American Activities Committee, spoke at the event, saying “here in Wooster, the newly completed Church of Christ, and the new Temple represent the American spirit of free men digging into free soil to further their spiritual end.”2 Knesseth Israel Temple was completed in 1953, but with the growing number of Jewish families in Wooster, the congregation quickly felt the need to expand again by 1955.
1 Knesseth Israel Temple, “History,” accessed June 17, 2013, http:www.kitemple.org.
2 “Knesseth Israel Cornerstone Placed Sunday,” The Daily Record, September 15, 1950.