Pinkas Hazahav (The Golden Ledger) of Cincinnati’s Orthodox Community

The “Beth Tefilah” synagogue, or “R’ Shachna’s synagogue”
It was founded in the year 5623 (1862-63) on (the corner of) Richmond and Central streets. It’s founder was R’ Shachna Isaacs along with R’ Kalman Hirschman, Moshe Rosenbaum, Reuven Neitin, Hyman Neitin, Simon Marcus, Nathan Meltzer, Avraham Wolf, Yaakov Dreyfus, Avraham Loth, Yaakov Kasselberg of blessed memory, and – in distinguishing between the dead and the living – R’ Aaron Neitin.
In 5624 (1863-43) they acquired a cemetery in Price Hill, and in 5626 (1865-66) they moved to 8th Street and Central Avenue. In 5631 (1870-71) seeing that there were no Kosher Jewish butchers – the non-Jewish butchers would sell Kosher meat alongside their non-Kosher meat – they established a Kosher butchery and slaughterhouse (?) that was run by R’ Aaron Neitin, which they supported from their own funds. He was the first butcher here who sold exclusively Kosher meat. [The store] was located right next to the Beth Tefilah synagogue. In the year 5642 (1881-82) when the synagogue known as “the Frum (orthodox) shul” closed down its Mikveh (ritual bath), R’ Shachna’s synagogue purchased the house on Ca[r]lyle St. and built a Mikveh there. From then until now the Mikveh and the Beth Tevilah (Mikveh house) for the entire city have been administrated by the Beth Tefilah synagogue which has directed and controlled all matters related to the Beth Tevilah. It is only this year, the year 5692 (1931-32), that the Vaad Ho’Ir (citywide committee (for orthodox congregations)) has agreed to share the burden. The Vaad Ho’Ir will {also} subsidize half of the expenses necessary to operate this Mikveh located on the descent to the city. The other half will continue to be funded by the Beth Tefilah synagogue. In 5667 (1906-07) they acquired the most beautiful building, a tall and imposing old structure prominently located on Mond St. corner 8th St. a very rare and ancient building, of a kind of which there are very few to be found in this country.
It presidents from the time of its founding to the present: its founder, R’ Shachna Isaacs; R’ Kalman Hirschman; R’ Moshe Rosenbaum; R’ Alexander Baier; R’ Avraham Isaacs; R’ Betzalel Scheingold; R’ M. Bachrach of blessed memory; and – in distinguishing between the dead and the living – R’ Moshe Isaacs, who was then 18 years old; R’ Shmuel Baum; R’ Avraham Wottelsky; R’ Y.L. Weinstein; R’ Tzvi Manischewitz; and R’ Tuvia (,) M. Jacobs may he live and be well (lit. may his light shine).
The “Beth Tefilah Synagogue interest-free Loan Society” was founded by R’ M.A. Miller. R’ Yonah Kath of blessed memory, father of the Katz brothers may they live and be well, ran the Hebrew school and the Guest house, toiling and working diligently on behalf of the guests.
Its rabbis were: Rabbi Eliyahu Hilkowitz and Rabbi Avraham Gershon Lesser of blessed memory, and – in distinguishing between the dead and the living – Rabbi S.Y. Finkelstein and Rabbi Betzalel Epstein, may they live and be well. The synagogue has now joined the Vaad Ho’Ir and its rabbi is the Gaon (scholarly genius) and head of the Beth Din of the Igud haKehiloth (association of communities) Rabbi Eliezer Silver, Shlit”a (may he live and be well).
Its members number over two hundred. It is the oldest synagogue in the city and the oldest cemetery for G-d fearing Jews, its elderly members, and the most distinguished members of the [Jewish] community of Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Judaica Fund| 8401 Montgomery Road | Cincinnati, OH 45236 | 513-241-5748
Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education | 8401 Montgomery Road | Cincinnati, OH 45236 | 513-487-3055
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