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  JEWISH AND KOSHER TEXAS, USA    הקהילה היהודית ומסעדות כשרות בטקסס, ארצות הברית

JEWISH AND KOSHER UNITED STATES   הקהילה היהודית בארצות הברית

 
 
 
  TEXAS, USA  
 

JEWISH PORT ARTHUR, TEXAS:

  1. JEWISH CEMETERIES
Port Arthur is a city in Jefferson County within the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area of the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 57,755 at the 2000 census.

Geography and history

Port Arthur is located on the western bank of Sabine Lake. The Rainbow Bridge across the Neches River connects Port Arthur to Bridge City.

Aurora was located near the mouth of Taylor Bayou on Sabine Lake, at the site of present-day Port Arthur. The town was conceived as early as 1837, and by 1840 promoters led by Almanzon Huston were advertising town lots. Although some lots were sold, Houston's project failed to materialize. The area came to be known as Sparks after John Sparks and his family moved to the shores of Sabine Lake near the Aurora townsite. The Eastern Texas Railroad, completed between Sabine Pass and Beaumont just before the outbreak of the Civil War, passed about four miles west of Sparks. The railroad passing track at this point was named Aurora after the Houston project. The rails were removed during the Civil War. A few scattered settlers remained until 1886, when a destructive hurricane led residents to dismantle their homes and move to Beaumont. By 1895 Aurora was a ghost town. The abandoned community, however, soon became the site of Arthur E. Stilwell's new city, Port Arthur.

Port Arthur was founded by Arthur Edward Stilwell in the late 19th century, and was once the center of the largest oil refinery network in the world.

Port Arthur's Museum of the Gulf Coast is recognized as the area's definitive collection of items and displays for personalities from Port Arthur and the surrounding communities. Notable residents of Port Arthur include singer Janis Joplin, golfer/track star Babe Zaharias, casting director/producer Whitney Valcin, artist Robert Rauschenberg, and former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson. Other professional athletes include Stephen Jackson of the NBA, Kendrick Perkins of the Boston Celtics, and Jamaal Charles of the NFL. In the last two decades, Port Arthur's profile has risen on the hip-hop scene with the emergence of rap duo UGK. Both members, Bun B and the late Pimp C, are from Port Arthur and often refer to their hometown in their songs.

The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway runs past the city, separated from Sabine Lake by Pleasure Island. The 18.5-mile (29.8 km) man-made island was created from dredged material from 1899 and 1908 Corps of Engineers projects.

Port Arthur is located at 29°53′6″N 93°56′24″W / 29.885°N 93.94°W / 29.885; -93.94 (29.884864, -93.939902). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 143.8 square miles (372.3 km˛), of which, 82.9 square miles (214.8 km˛) of it is land and 60.8 square miles (157.6 km˛) of it (42.32%) is water.

Demographics

As of the 2000 census,  there were 57,755 people, 21,839 households, and 14,675 families residing in the city. The population density was 696.5 people per square mile (268.9/km˛). There were 24,713 housing units at an average density of 298.0 per square mile (115.1/km˛). The racial makeup of the city was 43.70% African American, 20.02% White, 0.45% Native American, 5.89% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 8.88% from other races, and 2.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.45% of the population.

There were 21,839 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 19.7%

Historical populations
Census Pop.  
1900 900  
1910 7,663   751.4%
1920 22,251   190.4%
1930 50,902   128.8%
1940 46,140   −9.4%
1950 57,530   24.7%
1960 66,676   15.9%
1970 57,371   −14.0%
1980 61,251   6.8%
1990 58,724   −4.1%
2000 57,755   −1.7%
Est. 2009 56,694   −1.8%

had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.25.

In the city the population had 28.7% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males. The median income for a household in the city was $26,455, and the median income for a family was $32,143. Males had a median income of $30,915 versus $21,063 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,183. About 22.9% of families and 25.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.2% of those under age 18 and 14.4% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

After decades of stagnation and neglect in the area economy, Port Arthur is in the early stages of an economic boom. Several large projects involving the energy infrastructure are underway or proposed, the two largest being the Golden Pass and Sabine Pass LNG terminals. These separate projects under construction in neighboring Sabine Pass have brought cumulative initial investments of $2 billion, and will employ thousands at peak construction.

Home to a large portion of United States refining capacity, Port Arthur is now seeing renewed investment in several key installations. Motiva Enterprises is undertaking a major addition to its western Port Arthur refinery, expanding capacity to 600,000 barrels per day (95,000 m3/d).  This $10.0 billion project is the largest US refinery expansion to occur in 30 years.  Premcor Refining (now Valero) recently  completed a $775 million expansion of its petrochemical plant, and BASF/Fina commenced operations of a new $1.75 billion gasification and cogeneration unit on premises of its current installation, which had just completed its own $1 billion upgrade. These operations are supported by the Port of Port Arthur, one of Texas' leading seaports.

The city was the site of an oil spill in 2010, when an oil tanker and barge collided, causing 450,000 gallons of oil to spill into the Sabine/Neches waterway alongside the city.

Air pollution

Port Arthur also has a significant air pollution problem that some believe has an impact on the health of its residents.  There are 4 large industrial complexes in the southern part of the city. These factories can have upsets, incidents where a dangerous situation at the plant necessitates the release of thousands of pounds of air toxins, often volatile organic compounds or nitrogen oxides, the two major contributors to ground-level ozone.  The chemicals are run through flares that incinerate almost all of the substance through combustion, but may still infrequently emit dangerous amounts. Any such releases are reported to the TCEQ and EPA, and are typically reported to the media through Sabine-Neches Fire Chiefs or the Jefferson County Local Emergency Planning Committee. The high incidences of asthma and cancer among residents in western Port Arthur is often attributed to the frequency and magnitude of the upsets, but could also be attributed to low general health often observed in poor areas.

Tropical cyclones that affected Port Arthur

Hurricane Rita

In September 2005's Hurricane Rita, Port Arthur sustained major wind damage and some flooding.

Hurricane Humberto

Struck in the early hours of September 13, 2007. It formed in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico and intensified faster than any other tropical cyclone on record before making landfall at High Island, Texas. The path of the eye continued northeastward and passed over Port Arthur, Nederland, Port Neches, Groves, and Bridge City, Texas at Category 1 hurricane strength. This was the second time within two years (following Hurricane Rita on September 24, 2005) that these cities experienced a direct hit from a hurricane. Hurricane Hunters reported sustained winds of 85 mph (140 km/h) about two hours after landfall. However, post-storm analysis later determined that the winds were a bit stronger—about 90 mph (150 km/h).

Tropical Storm Edouard

On the morning of August 5, 2008, Port Arthur saw the effects of Tropical Storm Edouard. The tropical storm made landfall to the west of the city, and wind speeds of 55 mph (89 km/h) were recorded.

Hurricane Ike

In September 2008, Port Arthur again sustained major wind damage, with several areas experiencing major flooding. Ike made its final landfall near Galveston, Texas as a strong Category 2 hurricane, with Category 4 equivalent storm surge, on Sept. 13, 2008, at 2:10 a.m. CDT. Hurricane-force winds extended 120 miles (193 km) from the center. Due to its immense size, Ike caused devastation from the Louisiana coastline all the way to the Kennedy County, Texas region near Corpus Christi, Texas. The hurricane also resulted in the largest evacuation of Texans in that state's history. It became the largest search-and-rescue operation in U.S. history. The seawall of Port Arthur protected the city from the storm surge that devastated surrounding communities such as Bridge City, but water did overtop the seawall for about 30 minutes, flooding some of homes along its length with over a foot of water.

 
 
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