Introduction

Jews have been living in Maine since the 1800s: There were fully functioning Jewish communities in Bangor in the 1840s, and in Portland in the 1880s. Somewhat improbably, at least to outsiders, those and other Jewish enclaves around the state have endured and thrived. Over the last 100 years, the Jewish population of Maine has ranged from 5,000 to over 10,000.

Today there are active Jewish communities in Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Biddeford-Saco, greater Portland, Lewiston-Auburn, Rockland, and Waterville and smaller Jewish community groupings elsewhere in the State. Information on individual communites is available from the drop down 'places' menu above or from the city/town search option below.
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1. Search DMJ Database for a Maine Jewish Organization
2. View Information on Specific Maine Towns, Cities, or Regions
3. Search DMJ Database for a Maine Jewish Person or Family
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Maine Jewish life brings to mind different things for different Jews. For some it is where they were born, live, and cannot imagine living anywhere else. For others, it is where they grew up and consequently hold special memories of childhood. Other Jews see Maine as the place that they have vacationed for years or went to summer camp. As with other Jewish communities, many families moved in because their relatives had asked them to come. And increasingly other Maine Jews are ones who have opted to move to Maine as the place where they want to live.

Questions unavoidably arise: Who is a Jew? And who is a Mainer? On the former, the project takes no position. On the latter, we have used a broad definition including not only those who were born, grew up, or lived here, but also those who are buried here.


The core of the project is the addition of new information by Maine Jews and other interested people, whether online through the website, by email, or by old-fashioned mail. Building the database DMJ has benefited from support from community centers, synagogues, family historians, Chevra Kiddisha, burial associations, social clubs, sports teams across the state and its partner organizations . Historical documents, oral accounts, photographs of community activities, and print articles can be emailed to dmj@mindspring.com.

We encourage all registered users to supplement or correct existing information on individuals and community organizations using the comment function on each person's page. .

Last Updated : July 27 2016

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