In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Maine Memory Network

The Changing Landscape of Jewish Organizations

Text by Jena Hershkowitz

Images from Bangor Public Library, USM Samson Center for Diversity, Portland Public Library, Colby College Special Collections, and Maine Historical Society

Over time, Jewish communities in Maine have established religious and communal organizations to meet their collective needs and provide something they lacked without these organizations.

Maine's varied Jewish organizations have emerged, developed and disbanded in response to this changing landscape. Some of these organizations provide space for religious observance, some for cultural expression, but all represent contemporary ways of engaging with Jewish tradition. The histories of these organizations tell us about what it has meant, and what it means, to be Jewish in Maine.

Jena Hershkowitz of Brooklyn, New York, is a member of the Colby College Class of 2012.