A Look Into the History of Norma, NJ

The worker's comp lawyers in Norma, NJ, at Garden State Justice Group, would like to offer some historical details about the neighborhood.


Within the eastern region of Pittsgrove Township in Salem County, New Jersey, lies an unincorporated community called Norma. The town is 37.6 miles south of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 40.9 miles from Atlantic City, New Jersey. The main roadways in the area are Gershal, Shiff, and Rosenfeldt Avenues. 


In 1881 Tsar Alexander II, the Emporer of Russia, was assassinated by a bomb tossed by a member of the Narodnaya Volya. After this, there were several riots throughout Russia in opposition to the Jewish community. Many new restrictions were put on them by the new Alexander III, such as:

  • they could not own land
  • travel was restricted 
  • special taxes were placed on them

Many fled the area to locations such as Saint Petersburg and Moscow, while others emigrated to the United States. New York was a common area for the Jewish settlers, but some desired a life outside the city. 

In 1882 a Jewish agricultural community was formed within the Norma area. Known as the Alliance Colony, it consisted of primarily Jewish farmers but included those skilled in the following:

  • cabinetmaking
  • blacksmithing
  • masonry

Even a clothing factory was established within the community as they strived for self-sufficiency. By 1901 there were 78 farms, and a population of 496, of which 151 were adults and 345 were children. The community consisted of 1,886 acres. They built schools and four synagogues to stay within their own community; the Tifereth Israel synagogue was built in 1889 and still stands today and is referred to as the Alliance Synagogue. 

Although the community has faded away and there are no original survivors of the colony, an Alliance Community Reboot project has begun under the direction of William Levin. Located beside the old synagogue is a section of land that he, and other Jewish farmers, are working to cultivate. 


The median home price in Norma is $219,947, which is less than 84.9% of other neighborhoods in New Jersey. Rent is also lower and averages $1,886 per month. This small town is primarily an upper-middle-income neighborhood, but it does have 8.3% of the children living below poverty. The occupational makeup of the working adults is the following:

  • 36.8% executive, professional, or management roles
  • 29.3% laborer or manufacturing occupations
  • 18.6% sales or service positions
  • 14.8% assistant, clerical, or technical support occupations


As many as 3.8% speak Spanish as a first language. The people of Norma most commonly identify their ethnicity or ancestry as the following: 

  • 19.3% German
  • 19.0% Irish
  • 16.7% Italian
  • 13.4% English
  • 8.5% Polish 
  • 2.7% Swiss
  • 0.7% Croatian

Keep reading: The Past of Brotmanville, NJ

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Date Published: April 19, 2021
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