90 Years Ago Today: Community House Breaks Ground
Jewish League of Caldwell broke ground on Community House.
Congregation Agudath Israel (CAI) of West Essex is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2012. Before the congregation moved to a parcel of land on the corner of Academy Road and Elizabeth Street in Caldwell in the 1950s, local Jewish families worshipped in a one-room stucco building on Washburn Place.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Community House of the Jewish League of Caldwell took place on March 13, 1922. Depicted in the image above are some of the founders, including, fourth from right, Isaac Levy.
Levy is the maternal grandfather of longtime Caldwell resident and CAI member Paul Seligman, who provided the photo to Patch.
Seligman said his grandfather was a member of the Jewish League of Caldwell, a group of 30 area families that founded the congregation. Seligman's mother, Julia Levy, was about 12 years old when the building was built in 1922. She and her brothers, according to Seligman, were among the teenagers who gathered here for social functions.
Seligman said his grandfather, who was born in Russia in 1882, is 40 years old in this photo. Levy built several commercial buildings on Bloomfield Avenue and several homes on Ravine Avenue.
Seligman said he does not know the names of the other gentlemen in the 90-year-old photo, but would like to. If you recognize anyone or have more history to add, please contact Caldwells Patch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or feel free to share your recollections in the comments.