History of the Sheboygan Jewish Community
May 28, 2011 2 pm MST
Constructed by Joel Alpert and Karen Alpert Entous
To contribute material or to help with this site
contact [at] sheboyganbethel [.] pennlinepublishing [.] com
For even more information go to the
First Jewish settlers in Sheboygan
With links to photos and more family information
The Jewish immigrants came to Sheboygan from the following towns in Belorus - family names listed after the towns:
Click on the town names for more information and location of the towns
You may need to click on the right of the map to get a more detailed view
Beshenkovichi - Lepel Uezd , Vitebsk Gubernia , Latitude: 55¼03' Longitude: 29¼27'
Borisov -Borisov Uezd, Minsk Gubernia , Latitude: 54¼15' Longitude: 28¼30'
Dokshitz - Borisov uezd , Minsk gubernia , Latitude: 54¼54' Longitude: 27¼46'
Kaplan, Kohn (Kushenitz), Fiedelman
Kamen - Minsk Uezd , Minsk Gubernia , Latitude: 55¼01' Longitude: 28¼53'
Swerdlow, Holman, Raffelson, Sussman, Axel
Karalina - Latitude: 54¼48' Longitude: 28¼11'
Krasnoluki - Borisov Uezd , Minsk Gubernia , Latitude: 54¼37' Longitude: 28¼50', now in Lithuania
Kublichi - Latitude: 55¼10' Longitude: 28¼20'
Lepel - Lepel Uezd , Vitebs k Gubernia , Latitude: 54¼53' Longitude: 28¼42'
Bensman, Kristal, Golman, Pashkoff, Zaidins
Polotsk - Polotsk Uezd , Vitebsk Gubernia , Latitude: 55¼29' Longitude: 28¼47'
Ulla - Lepel Uezd , Vitebsk Gubernia , Latitude: 55¼14' Longitude: 29¼15'
Blackman, Libman, Raskin
Vitebsk - Vitebsk Gubernia , Latitude: 55¼12' Longitude: 30¼11'
For information on other Shtetlach of Belorus click here
From Historic Sheboygan County by Gustave Buchen page 307-309, published in 1944, and updated and revised in 1975.
Aaron Zion, probably the first Jew to settle in Sheboygan, opened a millinery shop on North 8th street. Shortly afterward Sol Rosenbaum, a clothes peddler and Joseph Buntmann, a fruit merchant were the next Jews to settle in the town. Nearly all the Jewish immigrants to Sheboygan came from a region of Russia that is today part of Belorus, where they lived in small towns and were merchants, tailors, shoemakers, money lenders, and dealers in grain, cattle, furs and hides. They came mainly to improve their opportunities and economic conditions. Usually the man of the family came first by himself, and then earned enough money to bring the rest of his family. Many started their lives in Sheboygan as itinerant peddlers with packs on their backs and ultimately opened small businesses.
Herman J. Holman who came to Sheboygan in 1890, together with his uncles Nachsun and Michael, who immigrated in 1889, first worked as tailors. Herman opened his own shop for tailoring, cleaning and pressing in a building on North 8th Street. Several years later he opened a junk peddling business on the south side. Ultimately he had a building erected at South 14th Street and Broadway and started a dry goods business, with his wife operating the store, and he continued with the junk business. In a small shed next to the store he opened a small factory and installed a cutting table and a number of sewing machines to make pants that he sold to local retail stores. In 1902 he and his brothers Aaron and Harry started an overall manufacturing factory on Michigan Avenue, however the venture was closed after a year. In 1906 he opened a factory on Calumet Drive, which he named H. J. Holman & Sons. In 1925 the business was moved to a large factory at South 14th Street and Alabama Avenue and renamed the Lakeland Manufacturing Company. Aaron Holman founded the Reliable Shirt & Overall Company on North 15th Street and Harry Holman started the Holman Manufacturing Company on N. 13th Street.
Sheboygan Jews remained strictly orthodox in terms of their religious practice, in compliance with the practices that they brought from Russia. This was in contrast to the reform Judiasm practiced by some Jews of German descant in nearby Milwaukee (50 miles south of Sheboygan). There were three synagogues, Adas Israel, Ahavas Sholem and Ohel Moshe. Adas Israel, the oldest congregation, which was started in the home of Nachsun Holman on North 8th street near Bluff Avenue in about 1890. The first synagogue building was a small house, and then moved to a larger building both located on North 8th street. The building was moved to North 13th street and Carl Avenue in 1907 and was used by the congregation until about 1975. Ahavas Sholem was first located in a wooden building on Michigan Avenue just east of North 8th street and in 1903 was moved to 13th street and Geele Avenue, where it remained until 1975 (see photo above). Ohel Moshe, founded in 1920 had its synagogue located at North 15th street and Marie Court.
The Jews of Sheboygan created an amazing number of social and fraternal organizations. The oldest was a mutual benefit society, called the Western Star. The Jewish Workman's Circle (Arbeiter Ring) was founded in 1914(?) (30 years before this publication) There also is a chapter of the B'nai B'rith, one of the largest Jewish organizations in the US and the world. This chapter is called the Davis Lodge, after Herman Davis, one of it founding fathers, and was created in 1919. In 1925 a junior Jewish organization for young men, called A.Z.A., was formed.
From the founding of the Jewish community until the 1960s most of the Jews lived in a neighborhood ion the northwest side of Sheboygan in the vicinity of Geele Avenue (see map above). This was because William Schaetzer, the original owner of the subdivision, who encouraged them to settle there and offered them favorable terms of purchase. There were about 175 Jewish families in Sheboygan at the peak there were about 150 familes. Within the decade before this publication, many have started to move to Milwaukee and some to northern Wisconsin.
Information provided mainly by George Paykel, George Holman and David Rabinovitz.
Click below to access the List of Headstones supplied by Penny Deshur
Thanks too to the late Mayer Alpert for helping.
Go to Part 1 of the Cemetery List ( A - Hoffman)
Go to Part 2 of the Cemetery List (Hoffman -Nichol)
Go to Part 3 of the Cemetery List (Nemzoff - Z)
For further information about the Cemetery, please contact the Beth El Synagogue in Sheboygan.
Address: Beth El Synagogue, 1007 North Ave., Sheboygan, WI 53083
Phone: 920-452-5828 Thursday. Answering machine at all other times
White Shul and window (Wisconsin Historical Society)
Located at 13th and Geele Avenue
The ÒOld CountryÓ
Shtetlach from which they came
Pale Settlement article by Hal Bookbinder, includes:
Map of the Pale
Timeline of the Pale
Geography of the Pale of Jewish Settlement
Emigration records or summary of familiesÕ route to Sheboygan
Business involvement, photos, a written paragraph
Next generation education involvement high school, college, accomplishments
World War II
Registrations of Jewish soldier
Ray Alpert-Southwest Pacific 1943 Photographs of women and men in service
Marriage announcements, wedding photos of couple, marriage certificates
Birth announcements of children
Descendant charts of selected families
Golden Wedding announcements
Death Obituaries and Tombstones
The newspaper articles really detail the life of our ancestors. It allows us to better understand the lives that they lived, their hardships and triumphs.
Involvement in new retirement home; see column 8 for corporation members Mayer Alpert, Rabbi Nathan Barack
This page was created by three Alpert Cousins: Karen Alpert Entous, Susan Alpert Drazen and Joel Alpert
This page was created by Alpert Cousins: Karen Alpert Entous, Susan Alpert Drazen and Joel Alpert