The Jewish community of Wyoming Valley starts with the formation of B’nai B’rith congregation.
Temple B’nai B’rith is built on South Washington Street in Wilkes-Barre as a Reform congregation by early German-Jewish residents.
Wilkes-Barre is listed as the 17th oldest Jewish community in the territories.
The Long Family
Many Jews become merchants to the coal industry. Among the first are members of the Long family. Their estate becomes the site of the present Jewish Community Center Day Camp.
Temple B’nai B’rith opens Temple B’nai B’rith housing for the elderly, which provides federally subsidized apartments for low-income senior citizens.
Congregation Ohav Zedek Anshe Ungran (Lover of Righteousness, Men of Hungary) is formed by Austrian-Hungarian immigrants. The Congregation
builds the Ungarishe Synagogue on Canal Street, which is now Pennsylvania Avenue, in 1902 and moves to their present site in 1932.
The Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA) opens and becomes the hub of Jewish social and cultural activity.
Temple Israel is initiated as a Conservative congregation and dedicates their building in 1925.
Julia Lieberman creates Home Camp at the YMHA (summer day camp for children ages 9-15).
S. J. Strauss Lodge
The S. J. Strauss Lodge is formed to help the jobless, promote Americanism, and fight anti-Semitism. The lodge later builds the B’nai B’rith apartments for low-income residents.
The Y acquires the Shoemaker property on South River Street as the site of the new YMHA and changes its name to the Jewish Community Center of the Wyoming Valley in 1947. Home Camp moves to Twin Lakes site in Dallas, PA.
K’Ton Ton camp is created for kindergarten children at JCC.
United Orthodox Synagogue
Four Orthodox congregations merge to form United Orthodox Synagogue. JCC opens on South River Street after five years of construction.
United Hebrew Institute
United Hebrew Institute (UHI) is formed and moves the Israel Ben Zion Academy to Kingston to accommodate the growing Jewish population there. A mikvah is built adjacent to UHI. Congregation B’nai B’rith relocates to their current home in Kingston, combining modern architecture with the original altar, pews, and candelabra.
JCC day camp moves to Holiday House estate.
Flood Emergency Committee
The Jewish community forms the Flood Emergency Committee, providing individual financial and psychological help and restoration of local Jewish institutions after tropical storm Agnes.
Preschool at Camp
Preschool groups are added to the JCC day camp.
The JCC rehabilitation fund increases access to the JCC and provides Jewish Family Service with a separate building. JCC undergoes a $2.3 million rehabilitation, adding a parking lot, new entry, and improvements to the fitness center.
Rifkin Resource Center
The Rifkin Resource Center is dedicated to provide Judaic educational materials to the community.
The Jewish Community Alliance is created through a merger of various Jewish agencies, including Jewish Family Service, Jewish Federation, and the Jewish Community Center.
New Friedman JCC
The Jcc moved to the new Friedman JCC building at 613 S.J. Strauss Lane, Kingston, PA.