Aves Achim (“Brotherly Love”) Congregation was a small neighborhood congregation started by Jewish households in the Bloomfield District, encompassing the present-day neighborhoods of Bloomfield, Garfield and Friendship. The congregation was founded in 1922 and stopped meeting as early as 1932, according to newspaper advertisements.
Aves Achim was initially formed exclusively for the High Holiday services of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. It rented Linaugh’s Hall at 5022 Penn Ave. and hired a part-time rabbi to lead services. Over the years, the congregation gradually expanded its offerings. It began meeting for regular Shabbat services every Friday night and Saturday morning starting in 1926 and added other holiday services throughout the year in 1930.
Aves Achim never incorporated and doesn’t appear to have drafted bylaws or any other formal governance documents. Although largely limited to worship services, it participated in several communitywide Jewish fundraising campaigns in the early 1920s.
Aves Achim appears to have been founded and led throughout its entire existence by Ruben Shapera, who owned a small department store in Lawrenceville. The congregation stopped advertising in the local Jewish press after Shapera’s death in early 1933. Other members mentioned in available records include Max Landy and William Weinstein.