Or Ysrael Synagogue
Rosenhayn, Cumberland County
Although a few Jewish settlers were in south Jersey by 1826, most of
the Jewish settlements in Cumberland, Cape May, and Salem took place
in the 1880s. They were largely agricultural colonies and included
Woodbine, Alliance, Brotville, and Carmel. Rosenhayn was established
in 1882 to handle the overflow of colonists from Alliance, but it received
little financial help and within a short time the settlers had abandoned
the place. That was true of several other colonies: The Seventeen,
Mizpah, Reega, Malaga, Ziontown, Halberton, Estelville, and Hebron.
In 1887 new families settled in Rosenhayn, although agriculture did
not take hold for a while and most people worked in the city (Camden
or Philadelphia). Rosenhayn was not exclusively Jewish, as Alliance
was, and eventually grew large enough to merit its own high school.
The Rosenhayn synagogue was erected about 1898. It is one of only seven synagogues
in the state remaining from the nineteenth century. Other than the Star of David
high in the gable end, there is no indication this is a house of worship. The
irregularly-placed windows probably means there is a gallery or balcony.
See Ellen Eisenberg, Jewish
Agricultural Colonies in New Jersey, 1882-1920.
Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1995.