Documenting the Jews of Morris and Sussex

Documenting the Jews of Morris and Sussex

Linda Forgosh, left, with Suzi Wainer. 
(Courtesy JHS)
Linda Forgosh, left, with Suzi Wainer. (Courtesy JHS)

Suzi Wainer, who lives in White Meadow Lake in Rockaway Township, which is part of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, recently ran into Linda Forgosh, the Jewish Historical Society’s executive director, while they both were shopping for plants. Ms. Wainer, who used to work for MetroWest’s Jewish Education Association, which is in the same building as the JHS, is a long-time member of White Meadow Temple. Coincidentally, White Meadow Lake’s Jewish residents are soon to be the subject of a documentary funded by Robert Wolfson, who used to live in White Meadow Lake.

Ms. Forgosh who wrote “The Jews of Morris & Sussex: A Brief History and Source Guide,” talked about the book and the area’s history with Ms. Wainer. The book documents a Jewish community that grew up on the shores of White Meadow Lake; its members had responded to an advertisement by builder Benjamin Kline touting the town as being “only 55 minutes from New York and over 1,000 feet above sea level.” Ms. Forgosh also prepared a traveling exhibit about the Jews of Morris and Sussex; there’s a link on the JHS website, where you can take a docent-led tour.

The JHS archives contain many photographs, artifacts, and memorabilia that document the growth of White Meadow Lake’s community, with highlights including a 1955 photograph of Eleanor Roosevelt with a White Meadow Temple founding member, Martha Silvershein; a history of White Meadow Lake and the White Meadow Temple in “A Journey Through Time … 1945-1985,” and “Rockaway Temple Celebrates a Half-Century Anniversary” in 2002. To donate “history” or to become a JHS member, email Linda Forgosh

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