TIMELINE OF JEWISH LIFE IN KNOX COUNTY, OHIO
Winter 1846-1847 – First Jewish family, Adolph and Hannah Wolff and their children, arrives in Mount Vernon.
1848 – Adolph Wolff establishes Queen City Clothier Store in the Kremlin Building on the Square. He drops the Cincinnati reference in the store’s name almost immediately.
1850 – Adolph Wolff becomes a naturalized citizen.
1852 – Henry Rosenthall establishes Eagle Clothing Store.
1853 – Leopold Munk (Adolph Wolff’s brother-in-law) opens Lone Star Clothing Store on S. Main Street.
1857 – J. Epstein and Brothers is established and run by Henry and Nathan Epstein. By this date three clothier stores are advertising in the local paper, and all three are Jewish establishments.
1863 – Marcus (Max) and Celia Leopold arrive from Cleveland and open Leopold & Company.
1865 – First Jewish wedding in Mount Vernon is performed at the home of Adolph Wolff as his daughter Sarah marries Albert Goldsmith. Famed Rabbi Isaac M. Wise of Cincinnati officiates.
Max Leopold attends meeting at the courthouse to raise money for the warfund. Leopold donates $23. (About $325 today)
1872 – Max and Sarah Meyers arrive and open Meyers Stove Shop on West Gambier Street.
Samuel and Caroline Weill arrive from New Orleans and open Weill’s Grocery Store on S. Main Street.
1874 – Moses and Ellie Adler and brother Louis open People’s Clothiers on Main Street.
1877 – Aaron and Sarah Stadler open Stadler’s One Price Clothiers.
Michael Glaena might be the first Russian Jew in Mount Vernon.
First bris in Mount Vernon is performed at the home of Samuel Weill for his son Louis Weill. I. M. Schlesinger of Columbus officiates.
1878 – Ike and Rose Rosenthall and Ike’s brothers establish Young America Clothing House (hereafter, YACH).
Leopold and Amelia Hayman open a wholesale liquor and tobacco store.
Louis Hyman and Sophia Weill marry at the home of Samuel Weill. A local justice of the peace officiates.
1879 – Three of Max and Sarah Meyer’s young children die within a week of each other of diphtheria.
1880 – Marcus (Max) and Ricka Hyman purchase Louis Hayman’s liquor and tobacco store. The business is in Ricka’s name.
David and Nettie Schaufarber open the Philadelphia Store.
1881 – Samuel Weill advertises that his grocery store will close early on account of the Jewish holidays.
Lieutenant Charlie Levi returns with his command from Lake Shore.
A bris is held at the home of Louis and Sophia Hyman upon the birth of Harry Abraham. Rabbi B. A Bonnheim of Columbus officiates.
1882 – A. M. Stadler, M. Hyman, I. and D. Rosenthall, D. Khan and Co., and S. Weill take out a combined advertisement announcing that they will close their businesses from 6:00 PM Friday to 6:30 Saturday on account of a Jewish holiday.
1883 – A “Jewish society” negotiates for the “purchase of a strip of land East of” Moundview Cemetery “to establish a burial ground.” Nothing comes of this.
1884 – The Day of Atonement is “duly observed by those of the Hebrew faith on Monday all in business having their stores closed. Religious services were held at the Knights of Honor Hall on the west side of the Public Square.”
1885 – When City Council refuses to pay $50 to purchase weather flags, Aaron Stadler pays for the bunting flags himself. Stretched from the Kirk Block to the Curtis House, the flags warned of severe weather.
Aaron Stadler helps pay for the Mount Vernon City Band to play at the Ohio State Fair.
Twenty friends gather at the home of Louis Hyman of W. High Street for Henry Hyman’s bris.
1887 – Max Meyers “read the prayers” for Yom Kippur services held in the Lodge Room of #20 IOOF.
c.1887 – Max Meyers is elected City Councilman for the Second Ward.
1888 – Aaron and Amelia Rosenthall join brother Isaac in YACH.
1889 – Si Goodfriend, reporter for the New York Sun, returns from his trip around the world with the Sapulding Baseball Team and visits his brother Louis in Mount Vernon.
1890 – Max Hyman runs afoul of temperance reform laws in Ohio.
1891-1897 – Max Meyers represents the Second Ward on Mount Vernon City Council.
1896 – All “Jewish places of business were closed” for the Jewish New Year.
Aaron Rosenthall joins his brother Ike at YACH.
1897 – Eli and Henry Weill become naturalized citizens.
Max Meyers spends $2 on his reelection campaign for City Council from the Second Ward.
1898 – Harry Hyman stars on Mount Vernon High football team.
1900 – Berman, Isaac, and Jacob Dubinsky arrive and set up Dubinsky Brothers, scrap dealers.
1901 – Harry A. Hyman, “fleet-footed young wonder,” wins all his events as member of The Ohio State University track team.
1902 – Harry Hyman transfers to the University of Pennsylvania.
1903 – Mount Vernon goes “dry” and Max Hyman continues to have run-ins with local authorities.
Harry Hyman, “Mt. Vernon Boy Assists in Breaking World’s Record in relay race between U of PA and Georgetown.”
1904 – Rabbi Schanfarber of Columbus, brother of David, speaks about Judaism to the Congregational Church.
“Hyman Breaks a Record in Manchester, England.”
Aaron Stadler and Isaac Rosenthall are pallbearers at famed minstrel Dan Emmett’s funeral.
1905 – Harry and Bessie Lurie open the Lurie Clothing Company.
Harry Hyman is injured in a race in England.
1906 – Harry Hyman is chosen by the Olympic Club to represent United States in the games in Athens. He believes he does not have the time to train and turns down the request.
1909 – Abraham and Dora (Dubinsky) Kurlander establish Kurlander and Company.
1910 – Joel and Anna Levy open the Guarantee Shoe Store.
Joseph Levison opens Buckeye City Clothing and Furnishing.
1910 – 1915 – Jacob Dubinsky is on the Mount Vernon City Council.
1913 – Rosh Hashanah services are held at “the parish house” and officiated by Arthur Ginzler of Columbus. “The services were largely attended.”
A flood destroys buildings at Dubinsky Brothers scrap yard.
1914 – David Levison marries Fannie Smith in Columbus. Rabbi Holland officiates. Mrs. Isaac Dubinsky holds a reception for the Levisons at her home on W. Gambier Street and invites the local Jewish community.
c. 1915 – Jewish Sisterhood is formed – originally called the Daughters of Israel. Charter members include Mrs. Aaron (Amelia) Rosenthall, Mrs. Max (Clara) Hyman, Mrs. Samuel (Stella) Hantman, Mrs. Jaco (Sarah) Dubinsky, and Mrs. Isaac (Rose) Rosenthall.
1917 – Max Meyers is elected President of Citizens' Building and Loan.
1918 – Aaron Rosenthall leaves YACH to start his own business.
1920 – Marcus Rosenthall, vice-chairman of Ohio Jewish Relief Campaign, runs ads requesting “help for people dying of starvation and disease in war-stricken Poland, Lithuania, Czechoslovakia, Galicia, and Palestine.”
1921 – H.V. Smoots, grocer, advertises to poultrymen that “Owing to the Jewish holidays next week, there is a heavy demand for good fat chickens” and that he can use all he can up to Thursday evening, April 21.
1928 – Mount Vernon branch of the Newark Sisterhood has six members.
1929 – Meetings of the Sisterhood begin with the recitation of the Sh’ma.
Members donate Passover matzo to Jewish patients at the local sanatorium.
Sisterhood donates a book Jews Are Like That to the Public Library.
1930 – An article about Hitler is read at the Sisterhood meeting.
Discussion at Sisterhood meeting but no action is taken on having a young man from OSU come to Mount Vernon to teach Sunday School.
1934 – Sisterhood discusses holding “a reception for new Jewish ladies who should arrive with the Shellmar Company.”
1935 – Shellmar excutives arrive from Chicago: Benjamin and Ethel Ann Sussman, Oscar H. and Lena Zwick, Irving and Lillian Gurwick, David and Dena Rabishaw, and Ben and Sarah Verson.
Sisterhood gets in touch with Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati asking forinformation about hiring a rabbi for High Holy Days, but cost of $150 is too much for the organization.
1936 – Lester Smilack buys Aaron Rosenthall’s business.
1939 – Jews of Mount Vernon organize a synagogue, the Mt. Vernon Hebrew Congregation. Jacob Dubinksy elected president; vice-president, D. Julius Shamansky; secretary, Ben Verson; treasurer, I. Gurwick. The Board of Directors consists of Lester Smilack, Samuel Epstein, and Oscar Zwick. Other members are the families of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Shamansky, Maurice Ross, Werner Levi David Rabishaw, Charles Zelkowitz, Leo Erlanger, Lothar Erlanger, Samuel Erlanger, Joseph Landers, Morris Morgan, Ben Sussman, Edwin Frank, Max Hirsch, and Joseph Hantman. A Ladies Auxiliary also is organized.
1940 – Lothar Frankel arrives from Germany.
1944 – Charles Zelkowitz becomes Secretary of the Community Trust of Mount Vernon and Knox County.
1946 – Mount Vernon Hebrew Sisterhood includes the following members:
Mrs. Sam (Anne) Epstein
Mrs. Leo Erlanger
Mrs. Lothar (Minna) Erlanger
Mrs. Jacob (Sarah) Dubinsky
Mrs. Leo Frankel
Mrs. Richard (Mary) Gomer
Mrs. Aaron HasselMrs. David (Dena) Rabishaw
Mrs. Julius Shamanksy
Mrs. Ben (Sarah) Verson
Mrs. Ben (Ann) Sussman
Mrs. Oscar (Lean) Zwick
Phil Abrahams opens Stop N Shop grocery store at 115 S. Main Street.
1951 – Helen Zelkowitz is instrumental in starting radio station WMVO. She becomes secretary/treasurer.
1968 – Eugen Kullman arrives at Kenyon, the first full-time Jewish faculty member in the religion department of a Protestant-affiliated college or university in the United States.
1982 – Helen Zelkowitz elected to the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame
1986 – Hillel is established at Kenyon College, under the leadership of Lenny Gordon. Prior to that time, the College had a “Union of Jewish Students” which—like many student organizations—waxed and waned over the years. It was active as early as 1970 and into the 1980s.
2007 – Kenyon trustee Deborah Salzburg and her husband Michael donate a Torah to Kenyon. Dedication of Kenyon’s magnificent wooden Ark, designed and built by Gambier artists Audrey Fenigstein and Jack Esslinger.
2010 – Kenyon community members and area residents form the Jewish Cemetery Society, with the goal of establishing and maintaining a Jewish cemetery in Knox County.
2013 – Dedication of Jewish cemetery in Gambier.
2014 – Rothenberg Hillel House dedicated at Kenyon College.
2020 – Mount Vernon City Council issues Proclamation Recognizing Holocaust Remembrance Day.