The History of Moses Montefiore Congregation

The history of Moses Montefiore Congregation goes back to 1890 when Edward Ressman conducted minyans and all religious services in his home. He owned his own Torahs, and the early peddlers, the only other orthodox Jews of the city, attended.

 

The Moses Montefiore Congregation was officially founded in 1903 and the following officers were elected: President, Mr. David Belzer, Vice President, Mr. Abe Levin, Secretary, Mr. A.L. Jacobson, Treasurer, Mr. Isadore Bahcall.

 

In 1910, Mr. Aaron Zussman came to Appleton with his family and became our cantor, teacher, “shochet” and spiritual leader. He served the congregation officially from 1912 to 1919 and continued to be a pillar of strength in our community until he passed away on January 20, 1952.

 

A synagogue was built on the corner of Atlantic and Bateman streets in 1922 and dedicated on June 10, 1923.

 

A new set of by-laws for the congregation were drawn up in 1934, since the original set was “lost.” Dues were $15.00 per year. The congregation was originally orthodox.

 

The Moses Montefiore Congregation thrived and evolved for the next 35 years, some years with a rabbi and some without.

 

In May, 1965, the congregation voted to join United Synagogues of America which officially made MMC part of the conservative movement.

 

Having outgrown the Bateman Street synagogue, a beautiful modern synagogue was dedicated on several acres of land on North Meade St. on June 14, 1970.

However, by 2007, we realized that our building was larger than we needed and it was sold. A smaller building was purchased one mile south, also on Meade Street.

 

Today, more than 118 years later, the Moses Montefiore Congregation is still a thriving and vibrant community of dedicated members who are keeping the Jewish faith alive in the Fox Valley.

Moses Montefiore Synagoge 1923
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Bateman Street Synagogue- 1923

3131 North Meade Street Synagogue- 1970

1620 North Meade Synagogue- 2007