1941 photo courtesy of Portland Public Library Special Collections & Archives; contemporary photo by Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer.

The black and white photograph above, from the Sept. 17, 1941 Portland Press Herald (page 4), shows Portland’s Etz Chaim Synagogue on Congress Street. The following text comes from the accompanying news story:

“Dedication of the new grounds and entrance to the Etz Chaim Synagogue at Congress and India Streets will take place on the eve of the Jewish New Year next Sunday evening, it has been announced.

“These grounds, the site of the old Cunningham Block built in 1878, have been landscaped under the direction of William Cohen, chairman of the committee comprised of Jesse Rosenberg, Jacob Levinsky, Joseph Shur and Jacob E. Rubinsky. The work was made possible by a bequest in the will of the late Samuel Davis, a past president and former city official…

“Preparations are complete for the High Holidays services to be conducted by Rabbi Samuel Chesney and a trained choir. Service men have been invited to the services and will be greeted by a committee of ex-service men headed by Leo Golodetz and Ben Troen.”

The Portland Room of the Portland Public Library is in the process of organizing and conserving the archival collection of original Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram and Evening Express photographic negatives — a major collection that spans from 1937 to 2005. Find more photos at


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