The War Honor Roll Plaques

Destroyed HHCRS plaque honoring the boys who fought in WWI. I can just make out the name of my grandfather, second in the center column.

Destroyed HHCRS plaque honoring the boys who fought in WWI. I can just make out the name of my grandfather, second in the center column.

The synagogue once displayed plaques naming the young men from the community who served during WWI and WWII.  There are two time periods of photographs here.  The first, in which the plaques look golden, are of the original plaques erected by the community after each war.  These pictures were taken by Lockwood Hoehl just before the synagogue closed.  Unfortunately, the original plaques were destroyed in a fire in 1996 along with the yahrzeit plaques and other Homestead Judaica. The second set of photographs, in which the plaques appear dark bronze with gold lettering, are photographs taken by me in fall 2014 of the plaques that were re-made from the original photographs.  At the time of the fire, a synagogue staff member said, “Ed Balis, who does our bronze plaques, will redo all of the destroyed plaques as a donation.”  These new plaques are hanging in the Homestead Hebrew Chapel at Beth Shalom in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh. 

I have been able to find a bit of information about the creation and installation of the original plaques, which you can read below.  (More information about the boys who died in both wars is here.  There is also a war memorial in the cemetery.)

World War I Plaques

The first WWI plaque was dedicated by the Homestead Jewish Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Welfare League on 9/21/1919 at the synagogue.  The second WWI plaque was dedicated by the YMHA 2/22/1920 at the Carnegie Library in Homestead.  “Maj. E. Lowry Humes and Dr. Samuel H. Goldenson were the speakers,” reported the Pittsburgh Post Gazette the following day.  “The tablet was unveiled by Mrs. Libby Goldston of Homestead.”  The Criterion had an even longer report.  

There was a third WWI plaque first came up in the March 5, 1944 meeting of the shul’s Board of Directors, during which, “Mr. Isidor Glick reports that Mr Harry Margolis has given a bronze tablet with the names of all the soldiers thereon who served in World War No. One. Accepted with thanks.”  It does not appear that this tablet exists anymore.

3/19/48 announcement from the Jewish Criterion of the 4/4 banquet honoring the boys from the Homestead community who served in WWII. Click the image to enlarge the article to read it.

3/19/48 announcement from the Jewish Criterion of the 4/4 banquet honoring the boys from the Homestead community who served in WWII. (Click the image to enlarge the article to read it.)

World War II Plaque

The WWII plaque was first mentioned in the 3/8/1946 issue of the Criterion.  The newly-organized Homestead Post No. 412 of the Jewish War Veterans organized a Purim ball in 1946, from which “proceeds will be used for the erection of a memorial plaque.”   At the synagogue discussion of the plaque was first recorded at the January 11, 1948 board meeting:  “I. Glick reported the U.S. War Service Tablet has arrived with corrections to be made…Fred Kaminsky reported that the Bnai Brith Comm is making preparations for a joint banquet of all the Congregational organizations in honor of the Jewish War Vets of the surrounding communities on the presentation of the U.S. War Service Tablet.”  On March 18, progress in planning the“joint banquet for boys who saw service in WWII” was noted; 75 tickets and $1100 in ads had been sold thus far.  After the banquet, the April 11, 1948 board meeting followed up, “Joint memorial banquet was a complete sell out – Congressman Frank Buchanan from our 33rd Congressional District addressed the banqueteers and was well received by those attended. The memorial tablet was unveiled by Mrs. Newman, Mrs. Solomon, + Mr. Markowitz,” parents of the three of the six boys who were killed in action.  1 The total profit from the banquet was expected to be between $800-$900, though I can’t find a final figure since it took time to collect all the pledges.

To the plaques, old and new, please click on the first photograph below to enter the slide show of pictures.  (I’ve also tacked onto the end of the slideshow pictures I took of Homestead-area public war monuments — the WWI monuments from Munhall and Homestead, and the WWII monument in Homestead.)  At the bottom of this post below the pictures, I’ve transcribed all the names from the Homestead plaques for easier reading.  You can use your web browser to search this page to locate names of your family members.


Erected by
the Homestead Jewish
Soldiers and Sailors
Welfare League

In honor of the Jewish soldiers and sailors
who answered the call of our country
in the Great World War 1917-1919

* Joseph W. Feldman
* Oscar Coen
* John Rome
* Louis Glucksman
* Samuel M. Harrison
Abraham Averbach
Isadore Glick
Alex Cohen
Ralph E. Cohen
Harry Markowitz
Samuel Markowitz
Alex Perlman
Maurice J. Haupt
Meyer C. Jacobson
Max M. Jacobson
Harry D. Margolis
Louis N. Margolis
Alex Friedlander
Daniel Siegel
Max L. Nidoff
Robert J. Glueck
Samuel M. Kardon
Charles D. Mervis
– Ralph H. Lasday
Lewis L. Lasday
Isador A. Lasday
Samuel R. Weis
Ernest Valinsky
Gerald C. Davidson
– Jacob M. Hepps
Abraham C. Hepps
Jacob Hepps
Allen I. Goldston
Maurice Bichler
Jacob Schwartz
Joseph Schwartz
Herman Samuels
Abraham Bailey
Benjamin Lazar
Julius Felsher

 


Honor Roll
Dedicated by
The Young Men’s Hebrew Association of Homestead
To Their Members Who Served in the World’s Great War
1917-1919
* Oscar Coen


Abraham Averbach
Abraham Bailey
Maurice Bichler
Gerald C. Davison
Julius Felsher
Alex Friedlander
Isadore Glick
Allen I. Goldston
Robert J. Glueck
Maurice J. Haupt
Abraham C. Hepps
Jacob M. Hepps

* Joseph W. Feldman


Jacob Hepps
Max M. Jacobson
Meyer C. Jacobson
Samuel M. Kardon
Abraham Katz
Arthur Katz
Nathan Kaufman
Lewis L. Lasday
Ralph H. Lasday
Isadore A. Lasday
Benjamin Lazar
Harry Markowitz

* Samuel Harrison


Samuel Markowitz
Harry D. Margolis
Louis N. Margolis
Charles D. Mervis
Max L. Nidoff
Alex Perlman
David Rosenblatt
Herman Samuels
Jacob Schwartz
Daniel Seigel
Marion D. Steinberger

“The right is more precious than peace.
We shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts
To such a task we dedicate our lives”
Woodrow Wilson 1917

 


Honor Roll

Homestead
Jewish Community

Erected as a Lasting Tribute to
Those Who Served Their Country In
World War II

* Jerome Carpe
* Milton Jackson
* Ralph L. Markowitz
* Louis Newman
* Wilbert Newman
* Jerome Solomon
Frank Abrams
Louis Averbach
Joseph Averbach
Edward Berg
Herbert Burechson
Paul Carpe
Sanford Carpe
Isadore Chetlin
Milton Chetlin
Norman Chetlin
Arnold Chaplan
Aaron Cohen
R. Oscar Cohen
Saul Cohen
Teddy Cohen
Gerald Eisner
Irwin DeHaven Fall
Emanuel Feldman
Sidney Feldman
Harry Fischer
Carl Fischman
Louis Forkosh
Melvin Frank
Robert Freed
Gerson E. Friedlander
Merle M. Greenstein
Milton Greenstein
Melvin Greenstein
Sidney Green
Charles Glick
James Glick
Jack Glick
Morris Glick
Robert Goodstein
Allen Grinberg
Leonard Grinberg
David Hadburg
Marvin Hadburg
Max Hadburg
Alvin Handelsman
Oliver Handelsman
Howard Harris
Bernard Hausrath
Edward Hepps
Joseph Hershkovitz
Sam Hershkovitz
Harold Hiedovitz
Louis Jacobson
Leonard Jacobson
Leslie Jacobson
Melvin Jacobson
Merle Jacobson
Samuel E. Jacobson
Alfred Katz
Victor Katz
Morton Keisler
Bernard Keisler
Harold Krell
Oliver Krell
Herbert Kohn
Herbert Lang
Herman Lang
Bernard Lebowitz
Charles Leefer
Leonard Lefkovics
Morris Lefkowitz
Ernest Lembersky
Herman Magram
Roy Magram
Samuel Magram
Robert Markley
Herman G. Marks
Samuel Marks
Allen Markowitz
Arthur Markowitz
Frank Markowitz
Gerald Markowitz
Merle Markowitz
Harold Mermelstein
Harry Mervis
Jack Mervis
Milton Mervis
Norman Mervis
Ralph Mervis
Leon B. Miller
Morris Miller
Allan Newman
Maurice Newman
Meyer Perlman
Jack Port
Sam Rosen
Harry Rosenbaum
Simon Rosenthal
Emanuel Ruben
Samuel Ruben
Lester Rubenstein
Zelmar Sax
Albert Schwadron
Albert Schwartz
David Schwartz
Daniel Schwartz
Jerome Schwartz
Leon Schwartz
Walter Schwartz
Frank Segall
Charles Seiavitch
Julius Shaffer
Norman Shaffer
Sam Sherman
Albert Shermer
Bernard Solomon
Arnold Stein
Bernard Stein
Jerome Valinsky
David Weinberger
M. Davis Weiss
Rudolph Weiss
William Weis
S. Emanuel Zalevsky
Arnold Zukerman
Herbert Zuckerman
Saul Chetlin
Irwin L. Averbach
Henry Olitsky
Jerome Smooke
Allan Smooke
Emerich Steiner
Lawrence Levine

  1. There was a seventh name I expected to see here, but did not:  Daniel I. Coltin.  His parents became very active in the shul after his 11/16/1944 death in France.  He grew up in Duquesne, graduating from high school in 1939 and attending college for a couple years before he enlisted in the army on 8/13/1942 and rose to the rank of First Lieutenant in the 399th Infantry Regiment of the 100th Infantry Division.  His parents lived in Duquesne at the time of his death, but moved to Munhall by the end of ’48.  Daniel is buried in the Beth Shalom cemetery, and there is a yahrzeit tablet dedicated in his name in Poale Zedek.  

  2 comments for “The War Honor Roll Plaques

  1. Erik Wagner
    February 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Herman Samuels, my wife’s grandfather, listed on the Homestead Jewish Soldiers and Sailors Welfare League plaque (1st plaque), was a man of some notoriety in the community. He was the long-serving fire chief of Homestead, and died of a heart attack while commanding his men at the scene of a fire in the early 1950’s.

    • February 10, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Many people have told me about him with pride! I’ll follow up with an email — I’ve been hoping someone would be able to tell me more about him!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *