Orlando’s Jewish History https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/history-ideas/2015/01/orlandos-jewish-history/

January 23, 2015 | Sala Levin
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Jews settled in Florida long before it became a destination for vacationers and retirees. In Orlando, the first recorded Jewish settlers arrived shortly after the Civil War. Sala Levin describes the community’s early days:

Henry Benedict, an immigrant from Germany, settled in Orlando around 1890 and got started in pineapple packing and eventually became a major player in the development of the downtown area. Other Jewish Floridians worked in the dairy and citrus industries. In the early part of the 20th century, Moses Levy—originally from Pittsburgh—bought 24 acres of groves in the area. In addition to producing oranges, the grove also served as a gathering place for prayer services. “On Friday, before Shabbat, they’d hitch up their horses and spend the night, and the small community would gather on that farm,” says local historian Roz Fuchs Schwartz. High holidays were also celebrated at the orange grove. Community members contributed in other ways, too; dairy farmer Peter Wittenstein, for example, moonlighted as the kosher butcher and mohel.

Read more on Moment: http://www.momentmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Routes.pdf