Guide to the Papers of Joseph Levi (1865-1930), 1801-1914
AR 3251

Processed by Viola Voss

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305



© 2006  Leo Baeck Institute
Finding aid was encoded by Viola Voss on June 29, 2006. Description is in English.
March 23, 2012  Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Levi, Joseph, 1865-1930
Title: Joseph Levi Collection
Dates: 1801-1914
Abstract: Joseph Levi was the rabbi of the Jewish community in Krefeld from 1904 to 1928. The records in this collection document his interest in the history of the community and its rabbis. The materials include documents and correspondence related to Jewish life in Krefeld in the 19th century, as well as items pertaining to the rabbis Löb Carlburg, Lion Ullmann and Löb Bodenheimer. The collection also contains several writings by Joseph Levi about Krefeld and these particular rabbis.
Languages: The collection is in German and Hebrew.
Quantity: 0.5 linear feet
Identification: AR 3251
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Joseph Levi was born in Freudenthal in 1865. He most likely studied at the Jewish seminary in Breslau, where he published a book about Elia Levita in 1888. He was married to Clara Berta Stein. The couple had two children: Alfred (born in 1897) and Ella (born in 1899). From 1904 until 1928, Joseph Levi served as the rabbi of the Jewish community of Krefeld, where he was active in the Chevra Kadisha (burial society). He died after a short illness in 1930.

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Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of materials collected by Joseph Levi for his research on the Jewish community of Krefeld and its rabbis as well as his writings about these topics. The only personal item is a photograph that shows a group of students at the Rabbinical seminary in Breslau, circa 1890. The correspondence included in this collection consists of letters Levi received regarding his research on Löb Carlburg and Krefeld.

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The collection is arranged in four series:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:
Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Joseph Levi Collection; AR 3251; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing Information

Two oversized documents from Series IV have been removed from the collection; copies are available in Folder 18.

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Container List


Series I: Personal, 1890

1 folder
Scope and Content:

This series consists of a photograph of a group of students at the Breslau Seminary. Joseph Levi is believed to be one of the students.

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Photograph 1890
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Series II: Correspondence, 1911-1914

5 folders


Scope and Content:

This series contains letters addressed to Joseph Levi. The letters from Zacharias Auerbach (rabbi in Wuppertal-Elberfeld), Marcus Brann (from the Jewish seminary in Breslau), Gotthard Deutsch (professor at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, OH), and M. Lieber are all related to Levi's research on Löb Carlburg. The letter from Leo Baeck discusses a decree from 1743.

Box Folder Title Date
1 2 Auerbach, Zacharias 1911
1 3 Baeck, Leo 1914
1 4 Brann, Marcus 1911
1 5 Deutsch, Gotthard 1914
1 6 Lieber, M. 1911
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Series III: Writings, undated, 1914

10 folders


Scope and Content:

This series holds both manuscripts and related notes by Joseph Levi. All of his writings are concerned the Jewish communities of Krefeld and nearby Cleve and the first rabbis of Krefeld: Löb Carlburg (1766-1935, rabbi 1809-1935), Lion Ullmann (1804-1843, rabbi 1836-1843), and Löb Bodenheimer (1807-1868, rabbi 1843-1868). However, it should be noted that the handwriting in the manuscript about Löb Carlburg differs significantly from the other manuscripts, so that it possible that it is was written by someone other than Joseph Levi.

The only published item in this series is "Aus der Geschichte der jüdischen Gemeinde Krefelds," which appeared in Die Heimat. Mitteilungen der Vereine für Heimatkunde in Krefeld und Ürdingen. The copy is not complete, and while the author is listed as S. Levi, accompanying correspondence confirms that this was a typo and that Joseph Levi is indeed the author of this article.

A) Manuscripts

Box Folder Title Date
1 7 Aus der Geschichte der Gemeinde Krefeld, Chewra Machnah Jehudah 1914
1 8 Aus der Geschichte der israelitischen Gemeinde Krefeld undated
1 9 Aus der Geschichte der jüdischen Gemeinde Krefelds undated
1 10 Aus der Geschichte der Landjudenschaft Cleve undated
1 11 Der erste Konsistorialrabbiner Löb Carlburg 1809-1835 undated
1 12 Der Konsistorialrabbiner Dr. Löb Bodenheimer 1845-1868 undated
1 13 Der zweite Konsistorialrabbiner Dr. Lion Ullmann 1836-1843 undated

B) Notes

Box Folder Title Date
1 14 Cleve undated
1 15 Krefeld undated
1 16 Lion Ullmann undated
1 17 Löb Bodenheimer undated
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Series IV: Documents, 1801-1911

German and Hebrew
5 folders


Scope and Content:

This series contains documents and transcripts of documents, which Joseph Levi used for his writings on the Jewish community of Krefeld and its rabbis. The bulk of the documents are letters related to the founding of the Chevra Kadisha (burial society) in 1837. Included are letters by the rabbis Abraham Auerbach, Akiba Eger, and Jakob Rosenberg. The series also holds a letter from the banker Amschel Mayer von Rotschild, in which he regrets not being able to attend the opening of the new synagogue in Krefeld in 1853. Also included are transcripts of Löb Carlburg's, Lion Ullmann's, and Löb Bodenheimer's tombstones. Documents related to Löb Carlburg include certificates and speeches. A longer text sheds light on Lion Ullmann's election.

Box Folder Title Date
1 18 Krefeld - Documents 1801-1866
Box Folder Title Date
ROS 12 18r Letter to Joseph Frank 1835

Letter to Mr. Joseph Frank in Crefeld from Rabbi Jakob Rosenberg in Düsseldorf, handwritten Hebrew, 3 pages; Dec. 13, 1835.

Box Folder Title Date
1 19 Krefeld - Transcripts undated
1 20 Lion Ullmann undated, 1835-1843
1 21 Löb Carlburg undated, 1809-1911
1 22 Tombstone Transcripts undated
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