Many times funerals and burials in southern West Virginia take place in hard to get to places. These pictures are just an example. We could not get the coffin to the grave-site from the closest route, so the hearse driver had to get as close as he could from the backside of the cemetery and the pall bearers had to carry the coffin several yards. The graves are hard to dig often with huge rocks and tree roots to deal with on the side of a mountain like this grave was.
Though the Jewish Community never had more than 15 to 30 Jewish families, they maintained a strong Sisterhood and Congregation that participated fully and enthusiastically in the life of the town of Welch and the surrounding area. Early Jewish families in Welch were: Effron, Herzbrun, Levinson, Lopinsky, Samath, Solins, and Talmage. And early Jewish settler and founder of the synagogue, Josef Herzbrun, served on the Welch City Council and was Director of the First National Bank in Welch. Congregation Emanuel ceased to exist ca. the 1980’s as the Jewish population dwindled to only a few families. The ornate ark, pulpit and reader’s table and pews from the former Congregation Emanuel of Welch, were purchased by the Greenwich Reform Synagogue in Greenwich, Connecticut for use in their new sanctuary. A fitting tribute and place where the history of the Welch congregation can live on.