Guide to the Records of Temple Israel (Boston, MA), 1924-1996
 
*I-458

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: Temple Israel (Boston, MA)
Title: Temple Israel (Boston, MA), records
Dates:1924-1996
Abstract: Temple Israel was founded as Congregation Adath Israel in 1854 when a group of German Jews broke from Congregation Ohabei Shalom. The congregation was also known as the Pleasant Street Synagogue. In 1859, the congregation purchased cemetery land in Wakefield, Massachusetts. The synagogue was, and remains, a Reform congregation, and has been home to well known Rabbis, including Joshua Loth Liebman and Roland B. Gittelsohn. This collection contains flyers, newsletters, pamphlets, sermons and a yearbook.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 2.25 linear feet (4 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box)
Identification: I-458
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location:Located in AJHS, Boston, MA.
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Historical Note1

Temple Israel, Boston, Massachusetts

Temple Israel was founded as Congregation Adath Israel in 1854, when a group of German Jews broke from Congregation Ohabei Shalom. Also known as the Pleasant Street Synagogue, in 1859 the congregation purchased land for a cemetery in Wakefield, Massachusetts. The synagogue was, and remains, a Reform congregation.

In 1864, Nathan Strauss and fellow congregants of Adath Israel (Temple Israel) and Ohabei Shalom formed the United Hebrew Benevolent Association (UHBA; a forerunner to Combined Jewish Philanthropies.) Temple Israel's Rabbi, Solomon Schindler, later became the first Superintendent of the UHBA.

As with other Boston synagogues, Temple Israel moved several times in response to membership growth and changes in population. However, unlike synagogues in Roxbury and Dorchester, Temple Israel remained in Boston from its establishment. In 1885, the congregation moved to a new location on Columbus Avenue, and in 1907, it moved to Commonwealth Avenue (the building is now Morse Auditorium at Boston University.) In the late 1920s, the congregation began building a structure on the Riverway in the Longwood section of Boston, a plan that was interrupted by the stock market crash of 1929 and World War II. A meeting house and school were dedicated in 1928, with an addition built in 1974.

Temple Israel was well known throughout Boston and the nation, particularly due to the congregation's Rabbis. In addition to Rabbi Schindler, Temple Israel was the congregation of Rabbis Joshua Loth Liebman (1939-1948), author of the bestselling book, Peace of Mind (1946) and Roland B. Gittelsohn (1953-1977), first Jewish chaplain of the U.S. Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) and author.

Chronology

1854Congregation Adath Israel (Pleasant Street synagogue) is founded with a group of German Jews that broke away from Congregation Ohabei Shalom.
1854-1856Joseph Sachs serves as Rabbi.
1856-1874Joseph Shoninger serves as Rabbi.
1859The congregation buys land for a cemetery in Wakefield, Massachusetts.
1864United Hebrew Benevolent Association is founded by Nathan Strauss and other men from Adath Israel and Ohabei Shalom.
1874-1894Solomon Schindler serves as Rabbi.
1885The congregation moves to Columbus Avenue, Boston.
1894-1911Charles Fleischer serves as Rabbi.
1907The congregation moves to Commonwealth Avenue, Boston.
1911-1939Harry Levi serves as Rabbi.
1928New meeting house and school dedicated at the new location on the Riverway, in the Longwood section of Boston.
1939-1948Joshua Loth Liebman serves as Rabbi.
1949-1953Abraham J. Klausner serves as Rabbi.
1953-1977Roland Gittelsohn serves as Rabbi.
1974Addition built on Riverway structure.
1977-1999Bernard H. Mehlman serves as Rabbi.


Footnote

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

"Historic Moments." Temple Israel of Boston. August 16, 2010 (http://www.tisrael.org/historicmoments.asp)

Sarna, Jonathan D. and Ellen Smith. The Jews of Boston. Boston: Combined Jewish Philanthropies, 1995

Materials from the collection.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains addresses, announcements concerning educational programs, event flyers, and pamphlets concerning the general congregation and the Temple Brotherhood. The collection also contains the publication Temple Israel Bulletin, sermons, and other miscellaneous publications.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into five 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

Wyner Family Papers, P-803
Combined Jewish Philanthropies, I-220
Joshua Loth Liebman, P-636
Roland B. Gittelsohn Papers, American Jewish Archives, No. 704
(http://www.americanjewisharchives.org/aja/FindingAids/RolandGittelsohn.htm)
Temple Israel Archives, Boston, MA (http://www.tisrael.org/archivescollection.asp)

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Temple Israel (Boston, MA), records; I-458; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY, and Boston, MA.

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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: Addresses, 1929-1931

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

This series contains one folder of miscellaneous addresses from Sunday services held at the Temple.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 Miscellaneous Sunday Services 1929-1931
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Series II: Brotherhood, 1931-1980

English.
Box 1, Folders 2-3.
Scope and Content:

This series contains the publication, Brotherhood News, as well as miscellaneous materials pertaining to events and activities of the Temple's Brotherhood.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 2 General/Miscellaneous Material 1934-1980
1 3 Publications/“Brotherhood News” 1931-1945
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Series III: Educational Program, 1931-1938

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

This series contains one folder of announcements from educational programs held at the Temple. Programs included those for the Religious School as well as for adult extension courses.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 4 Announcements 1931-1938
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Series IV: General, 1929-1989

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

This series includes flyers, programs and pamphlets for a variety of Temple events and activities.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 5 Miscellaneous Materials 1929-1989
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Series V: Publications, 1924-1996

English.
Boxes 2-5.
Scope and Content:

This series contains the publications, Temple Israel Bulletin, Temple-ite, and The Torchbearer yearbook, as well as materials from the Temple Israel Institute and sermons from various services.

BoxFolderTitleDate
2 1-10 “Temple Israel Bulletin” 1924-1947
BoxFolderTitleDate
3 1-7 “Temple Israel Bulletin” 1948-1977
BoxFolderTitleDate
4 1-6 “Temple Israel Bulletin” 1978-1989
BoxFolderTitleDate
5 1-5 “Temple Israel Bulletin” 1990-1996
5 6 “Temple-ite” 1931-1932
5 7 Temple Israel Institute 1936-1937
5 8 “Torchbearers” (Yearbook) 1955
5 9 Sermons 1957-1958, 1963
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