This section of the Documenting Maine Jewry project has information on the communities of Old Orchard Beach and OOB.

Short Jewish History

<div class='donorheading'> <center> <br><h2>OLD ORCHARD BEACH - A SHORT HISTORY </h2> <table><tr><td width=50></td><td width=300></td></tr> <tr><td>&nbsp;</td><td> <p>Old Orchard Beach, once filled with grand summer hotels and world-class entertainers, has been a summer destination for day-trippers and travelers alike since the late 1800s. The construction of an end-of-the-line railroad stop meant a burgeoning of summer activity for the town. And in the midst of that time and activity, with more people packing bags for long summers at the beach, a Jewish community came together. <p>Then as now, people were drawn to Old Orchard Beach thanks to its beautiful coastline dotted with attractions. But in the late 1800s, there were no options for Jews as there were no hotels or kosher restaurants serving them. That all changed because of Joseph H. Goodkowsky whose entrepreneurial spirit paired with his outgoing nature led him to begin the work of opening Old Orchard Beach to Jews. <p>Joseph H. Goodkowsky came to the US from Poland in the late 1800s. He married and raised a family in Lewiston, had many friends and was fluent in French and active in fraternal and social clubs. When he�d made the decision to leave Lewiston, he didn�t set out with the idea of building a hotel; instead he moved to Biddeford to be near family and to work selling clothes wholesale. In the summer when work slowed, he worked in Old Orchard operating one boarding house and t
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Information is available on

Census data is available for these years: 1930, 1940.

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The coordinator(s) of this site, Eber Weinstein., would welcome additional photographs, documents and oral histories sent to