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January 10, 1992 - Image 80

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-01-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I TRAVEL I

JANUARY STOREWIDE
CLEARANCE
RATTAN CLEARANCE

SAVE Up to $2475

on 2 rooms full of quality rattan furni-
ture or buy individual pieces and still
SAVE up to 40%!

REG. SALE
$619
$1030
Sofa
559
935
Loveseat
389
655
Chair
189
320
Ottoman
299
Cocktail Table 500
237
395
End Table
174
290
Dining Chair
289
475
Dining Table

*ALL 11
PIECES

$5470 $2995*

Reg. Price Sale Price

ALSO...
SAVE UP TO 30%
On All
Lane/Venture
Rattan!

The Woodbine synagogue, a historic landmark.

A New Jersey Town
Has A Jewish History

RUTH ROVNER

Special to The Jewish News

All seating pieces feature solid
rattan construction, plushly
upholstered and self-decked
with durable 100%
cotton fabrics!

Sale Ends Jan. 31, 1992

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80

FRIDAY, JANUARY 10, 1992

S fitting on his front
porch in Woodbine,
N.J., Mark Singer
reminisces about the first
time he realized that his
hometown was well-known to
outsiders.
He was 14 and was strolling
the boardwalk in Atlantic Ci-
ty, where he met and started
talking to some visitors from
New York.
"Where are you from?" they
asked. Thinking they'd never
heard of it, he told them he
was from Woodbine.
He was surprised by their
response. "They said, 'Wood-
bine! You're from Woodbine?
That's Little Jerusalem!' " he
recalls. "And they wanted to
shake my hand and give me
a hug just because I came
from Woodbine."
His hometown still has
special appeal. This quiet
town on the border of the New
Jersey Pinelands makes an
interesting side trip from the
well-known Jersey shore
resorts of Cape May or Atlan-
tic City, especially for history-
minded Jewish travelers.
Besides holding a special
place in American Jewish far-
ming history, it has a syna-
gogue that's listed on the Na-
tional Register of Historic
Places. Also, it's a town that
just celebrated its 100th an-
niversary in 1991.
Woodbine was founded in
1891 as a farming communi-
ty after a foundation
established by Baron Maurice
DeHirsch bought 5,300 acres
of land in order to settle
Jewish immigrants on plann-
ed parcels of farmland and
teach them agriculture.
"We were the first all-
Jewish town in the United
States that was a separate en-
tity," says Mark Singer, a

third generation Woodbiner
whose maternal grandmother
and parents were born here.
The early settlers didn't
have an easy time. They
worked hard to clear heavy
brush from land that was
plagued with mosquitoes. But
they were glad for the chance
to learn agriculture in a
southern New Jersey town.
As they learned to farm,
they established a town with
a distinctive Jewish identity.
On Shabbat, the street-
lights and businesses all clos-
ed before sundown and then
re-opened on Saturday night.

The synagogue
was built by
members, without
any
sub-contracting
at all.

Stores also were open on Sun-
days when everywhere else in
New Jersey, they were closed
because of laws against work-
ing on Sunday.
The Woodbiners refused to
close their stores on Sunday,
and it was a dispute over this
that led them to break away
from the township and
establish their town as a
separate borough in 1903.
What a Jewish borough it
was! On the streets, people
spoke Yiddish and shopped in
kosher butcher and bakery
shops, sent their children to
Hebrew school and built their
own synagogue.
Though it's not now a func-
tioning synagogue, it's still a
distinctive sight: a graceful
but simple brick building on
Washington Avenue sur-
rounded by trees and shrubs,
with the letters neatly etch-
ed on its facade: "Woodbine
Brotherhood Synagogue."

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