In the early 1850′s, a small group of German Jewish families settled in the city of Hamilton. In 1853, they banded together to form the Hebrew Benevolent Society
Anshe Sholom of Hamilton. Religious services began in 1856 and in the next year, a half-acre plot was purchased as a cemetery site. With 19 founding members, in 1863 the first synagogue was formally established. Less than 20 years later, with increasing numbers of Jewish newcomers to the city, the necessary funds were raised to construct a synagogue.
The great wave of immigration that swept into Canada in the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought many new families to the community. They founded such vital Jewish organizations as the B’nai Brith, Council of Jewish Organizations, Jewish Social Services and the Council of Jewish Women. Today, Hamilton is home to three synagogues, the Reform Temple Anshe Sholom, the Conservative Beth Jacob Synagogue, and the Orthodox Adas Israel Synagogue.
We have 2 excellent Jewish Day Schools: Kehila Heschel Community Jewish Day School and Hamilton Hebrew Academy, and 2 wonderful Jewish afternoon schools at Temple Anshe Sholom and Beth Jacob Synagogue. Our JCC Camp Kadimah summer camp for Jewish children is a very popular choice for Jewish families throughout the Hamilton area.
With an active Jewish population of over 5000 people, Hamilton’s Jewish community boasts an extensive menu of year-round Jewish social and educational programming. You can find activities and events at the JCC, Hamilton Jewish Federation, Hamilton Jewish Family Services, our local Naamat Canada chapter, the Jewish National Fund, McMaster Hillel, the 3 synagogues, our local B’nai Brith chapter, Beth Tikvah House, and Shalom Village Jewish Home for the Aged. Needless to say, all these resources and programs form the beating heart of Hamilton’s amazing Jewish community.