Guide to the Records of Congregation Beth Israel (Hartford, Connecticut), 1920-1999
 
*I-464

Reprocessed by Stephanie Call

American Jewish Historical Society, New England Archives

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, Massachusetts

Phone: (617) 226-1245

Email: reference@ajhsboston.org

URL: http://www.ajhsboston.org

© 2014, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Stephanie Call as MS Word document, March 2010. Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek on September 2, 2010. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Congregation Beth Israel (Hartford, Connecticut)
Title: Congregation Beth Israel (Hartford, Connecticut), records
Dates:1920-1999
Abstract: Congregation Beth Israel was founded in 1843 and is Connecticut's oldest synagogue. Originally established as an Orthodox congregation, the synagogue eventually converted to Reform and was one of the founding members of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Union for Reform Judaism) in 1877. This collection includes event flyers, programs for services, sermons, anniversary books with historical information, and bulletins.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 2 linear feet (4 manuscript boxes)
Identification: I-464
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location:Located in AJHS, Boston, MA.
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Historical Note1

Congregation Beth Israel, Hartford, Connecticut

Congregation Beth Israel was founded in 1843 and is Connecticut's oldest synagogue. Originally established as an Orthodox congregation, the synagogue eventually converted to Reform and was one of the founding members of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Union for Reform Judaism) in 1877. In 1854, the Ladies' Deborah Society was established, which operated as a charitable group within the synagogue. Until 1856, the congregation met in congregants' homes and buildings throughout the city. The first building to house the synagogue, "Touro Hall," was also the first synagogue in Hartford, but was partially destroyed by fire in 1875. The synagogue then moved to Charter Oak Avenue, where it remained until 1935. In 1868, the synagogue purchased land on Zion Hill for their cemetery, which was dedicated in 1874. The current synagogue building is on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford.

Chronology

1843Congregation established in Hartford.
1847Rev. Moses L. Strauss is contracted as ritual slaughterer and cantor.
1847Congregation meets at the home of A. Rothenberg on Mill Street.
1848-1850Congregation meets in a hall on Main Street.
1848-1850David Engel is the first sexton.
1849Mr. L. Mossbacher is hired as the first teacher for the religious school.
1850-1857Meets in "Potter's Building" at 15 Market Street.
1853Constitution and by-laws drafted.
1854Ladies' Deborah Society established.
1854Lot on Pearl Street purchased for synagogue building. The congregation later exchanges this land for the North Baptist Church on Main Street.
1856"Touro Hall" becomes the first synagogue in Hartford.
1856Rev. Isaac Meyer becomes the first Rabbi of the Congregation.
1856The first choir is introduced, and family pews are established.
1865Touro Hall is remodeled and enlarged.
1867Rev. M.S. Weiner becomes Rabbi.
1868Lots on Zion Hill are purchased for cemetery.


Footnote

1 Information for this administrative sketch is from the following resources:

"History." Congregation Beth Israel. August 17, 2010 (http://www.cbict.org/whoWeAre/index.html)

Materials from the collection.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of flyers, invitations and programs concerning the Congregation's 100th and 125th Anniversaries, general miscellaneous materials and printed pamphlets about services (Bulletins.)

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into three series as follows:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

Marjorie L. Rafal Archives at Congregation Beth Israel, Hartford, CT.
AJHS Subject Files, "Ladies' Deborah Society," Box 3, Folder 34

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Congregation Beth Israel (Hartford, Connecticut), records; I-464; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY.

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Acquisition Information

Acquisition information unknown.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

 

Series I: Anniversaries, 1943, 1968

English.
Box 1, Folders 1-2.
Scope and Content:

Contains the anniversary book, Remember the Days of Old by Rabbi Abraham J. Feldman (written in commemoration of the synagogue's 100th anniversary) and Binding the Generations Each to Each, edited by Theodore Lenn, in honor of the 125th anniversary. An invitation to the 100th anniversary is also included. The books provide a thorough history of the synagogue and its congregants.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 100th/Programs and Invitations 1943
1 2 125th/Programs 1968
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Series II: General, 1927-1970

English.
Box 1, Folder 3.
Scope and Content:

Contains the program to the dedication service for the building opening in 1936, the meeting house in 1955, and the Abraham J. Feldman Hall and Dorothy Silberman Lounge in 1956, meeting notices and call for social action, a sermon by Rabbi Feldman, and an annual meeting program.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 3 Miscellaneous Material 1927-1970
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Series III: Publications, 1920-1969, 1980-1999

English.
Box 1, Folder 4 - Box 4, Folder 5.
Scope and Content:

Contains several bulletins with information about services, as well as newsletters.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 4-7 “Bulletins” 1920-1959
BoxFolderTitleDate
2 1-5 “Bulletins” 1950-1969
BoxFolderTitleDate
3 1-5 “Bulletins” 1960-1989
BoxFolderTitleDate
4 1-5 “Bulletins” 1980-1999
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