Poile Zedek was initially founded as a mutual aid society on November 18, 1901 in the home of Mr and Mrs Benjamin Elfant, 25 Hiram St, New Brunswick. Originally known as the Independent Laborers' Benefit Association, most early congregants were from Russia or Poland. The congregation purchased its current home on Neilson Street in 1905. On August 19, 1923, the cornerstone ceremony was held and one year later, the present building was completed and began being used for services. At that time, the congregation changed its name to Poile Zedek, which means "doers of righteousness." The building was placed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places in 1995. The synagogue is listed on the national registry of historic places.

Prior to their building's completion, the congregation shared the services of Rabbi Samuel Baskin with Ahavas Achim (1918) and of Rabbi Anton Klein with Congregation Ohav Emeth (1918-31). With the other congregations Poile Zedek shared the services of Rabbi Pesach Raymond, Chief Rabbi of New Brunswick, from 1938 until 1955. Rabbi Abraham Mykoff has been with the synagogue for over 20 years.

Currently, about 100 families belong to the synagogue, which holds daily as well as Sabbath services. In recent years, new families as well as the recent influx of Russian immigrants have begun to revitalize the congregation. Students from Rutgers University, just a few blocks away, often join us for services.

The Archives for Congregation Poile Zedek, can be found in the Special Collections section of Alexander Library, Rutgers University.


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