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jewish historical society
The Jewish Historical Society of MetroWest (JHSMW) is located at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany, New Jersey. The areas covered by the Society are Morris, Essex, Sussex and northern portion of Union Counties New Jersey

JHSMW Collections

jhsmw Meyer Ellenstein, in the dark trunks in foreground, was Newark's first and only Jewish mayor. His term was from 1933-1941. As a young man he was an amateur boxer and is seen "sparring" with well-known boxer, Max Baer. The JHSMW has a rare collection of photographs of Ellenstein donated to its archives by Martin Kesselhaut.
The inventory of JHSMW Collections can be accessed
click here
The Finding Aids and Container Lists can be accessed
click here

lippel school of dancing

Lippel school of dancing

An eye-catching collection of photographs of dance recitals featuring "Lippel Kutie Kids" held at Newark's Loew's State Theater in the 1920s and 1930s represent the history of the second oldest dancing school in the United States, Lippel School of Dancing. The Lippel School was founded in 1894 by David Lippel and closed in 1991. The first studio was located in The Hill section of Newark, New Jersey, home to numbers of Jewish families who insisted that their children attend dancing school to "learn the social graces". An interview with Freda Lippel Fried, whose father founded the dance studio, is in the October 10, 1991 issue of the "MetroWest Jewish News". Did you attend Lippel School of Dancing? If so, contact executive director, Linda Forgosh, 973-929-2994 or e-mail
kids dancing

still wanted: photographs of metrowest families

The JHSMW continues to gather photographs of MetroWest families in anticipation of next year's May celebration of Jewish Heritage Month. To submit a photograph and paragraph about your family's contributions to MetroWest Jewish life contact curator, Linda Forgosh 973-929-2994 or email

Warren Grover

The Jewish Historical Society of MetroWest is proud to add the papers of Warren Grover, board member and Past President of our Society, to its permanent collections.

The Warren Grover Collection features all research materials related to his landmark publication, Nazis in Newark .

Nazis in Newark tells the story of how Newark's Nazis unsuccessfully tried to convert the city and surrounding area's sizeable German American population to their cause. The book documents the local Jewish resistance to these efforts led by several groups, including the Minutemen, which was a group comprised of Jewish toughs and the non-sectarian anti-Nazi league which sought to weaken Nazi Germany by imposing a boycott on the sale of its goods in the Newark area.
To access the Finding Aid and the Container List, please click on the links below:


weequahic memoirs:
the slide program

Perfect for:
* Older groups who may not be as mobile
*Llibrary & Book groups who are reading Philip Roth novels
* Class Reunions & Alumni Events
* History Buffs
An honorarium to the Jewish Historical Society is required.

This book features photographs from the Society's "Weequahic Memoirs" exhibition. Each photo has a caption and identifies individuals where possible and features a brief but thorough introduction of the history of the neighborhood.
Cost: $25.00 - Checks payable to "JHSMW"
Shipping and handling are an additional $7.00
Please contact Irene Segal at (973) 929-2703 or email:

The "Y" in Elizabeth welcomed World War II servicemen and offered them hospitality, a place to gather, use of all the building's facilities, and hosted dances and entertainment, including this traveling group of young women who performed at USO gatherings. Photograph is courtesy of Ruth Brewster.

Known for her devotion to Israel and her life-long participation in fundraising for the UJA, Mathilda Brailove is seen greeting Israeli prime minister, Golda Meir. Photograph from the biographical files of the former Central Federation in Scotch Plains.

JHS Honors Kleinman
at Annual Gala

On June 27, 2013 JHS honored Max Kleinman, CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest NJ with its Lasting Impressions Award. The event was attended by 150 leaders of the community.

Click HERE for photos.


The Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey has expanded its mission to find and preserve the history of Jewish life in towns in central New Jersey with emphasis on Union and Somerset counties. This will include visits to Jewish institutions, social service agencies, synagogues, and the YM-YWHA located in Union. Private collections are also welcome.

The first successful meeting to locate Central's historic records was held at the Scotch Plains JCC. (Left to right) Ruth Brewster, who donated the private papers of her father Harry Lebau for whom the "Y" in Union is named, JHS past-President Howard Kiesel, JHS executive director, Linda Forgosh who is responsible for the Central outreach program, and Jan Kulick who donated a brief history of the first Jewish family in Warren.

A visit from Bryan Fox, executive director of the YM-YWHA of Union County, leads to a tour of the JHS archives.

JHS volunteer, Rina Eisenberg (left) shared her knowledge of Jewish life in Elizabeth with JHS archivist, Jill Hershorin.

cory booker
Cory Booker receiving Lasting Impressions Award from Howard Kiesel

help from washington
gives history society a digital boost

archives Catalog records for JHSMW collections will be gradually added to the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) via the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) program at the Library of Congress. For instructions on how to search for these records click
click here