Hartford's Jewish presence dates back to the mid-1600s. The earliest permanent settlers were German Jews, who purchased the first building for use as a synagogue in 1856. With increasing immigration from Eastern Europe, the population soon expanded. Jewish-owned businesses became part of Hartford's economic life, and numerous civic and social welfare organizations were established. In 1945, many philanthropic groups consolidated to create the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, which later relocated to West Hartford as the community shifted to the surrounding suburbs. Among the Hartford area's most accomplished sons and daughters are entertainer Sophie Tucker, producer Norman Lear, comedienne Totie Fields, artist Sol LeWitt, and significant Zionist leaders, such as Samuel Hoffenberg and Abraham Goldstein. The Jewish Community of Hartford highlights some of the people and institutions that have helped to shape this remarkable community.