Guide to the Records of Kehillath Israel Synagogue (Brookline, Mass.), undated, 1924-2001 (bulk 1950-1999)
 
*I-488

Processed by Stephanie Call (January 29, 2008)

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160

Fax: (212) 294-6161

Email: reference@ajhs.org

URL: http://www.ajhs.org

© 2014, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek on February 21, 2008. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Kehillath Israel Synagogue (Brookline, Mass.)
Title: Kehillath Israel Synagogue (Brookline, Mass.) records
Dates:undated, 1924-2001 (bulk 1950-1999)
Abstract: The Kehillath Israel Synagogue Collection includes numerous photographs, publications and event information pertaining to services, fundraisers and anniversaries at the Synagogue from its first official year in 1924 to more recently, 2001. The primary bulk of the papers consist of photographs, K.I. Brotherhood papers and ephemera, and activities supported by the Synagogue. Kehillath Israel was home to noteworthy Rabbis, including Louis M. Epstein, Judah Nadich, and Manual Saltzman. Correspondence, photographs and programs about events regarding these three Rabbis are included in this collection. Also part of the collection are several scrapbooks, most of which are very fragile, that offer a glimpse into the synagogue's own historical documentation process.
Languages: The collection is predominantly in English, with Hebrew.
Quantity: 10.8 linear feet (8 manuscript boxes, 4 oversized boxes)
Location: Located at AJHS, Boston, MA.
Identification: I-488
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Return to the Top of Page

Historical Note1

Kehillath Israel Synagogue of Brookline, Massachusetts began as a small collective in 1911 before its establishment, with 36 members, in 1915. The State of Massachusetts granted the Synagogue a State Charter in 1917, and land was then purchased in Brookline, Massachusetts for the development of the Synagogue and Hebrew School. The first Holy Day services were held in the Synagogue in 1924, and in 1925 the building was formally dedicated with Rabbi Louis M. Epstein installed as Rabbi. Rabbi Epstein led the Synagogue until his retirement in 1947. Rabbi Judah Nadich succeeded him until 1957, when Rabbi Manuel Saltzman was installed. Most recently the Synagogue has been under the leadership of Rabbi William Hamilton.

Kehillath Israel established a Sisterhood in 1919, followed several years later by the creation of a Brotherhood in 1927. The two often shared fundraising responsibilities, but the Brotherhood also had an established Glee Club under the direction of Mary Wolfman for many years. Both groups hosted various events, including teas, dances, performances, lectures and Shabbat dinners. The two groups were also responsible for the production of the K.I. Yearbooks.

In addition to its Hebrew School and adult learning opportunities, Kehillath Israel is also home to the Judge and Mrs. Louis Goldberg Nursery School, also known as KINS. The congregation remains active in the community with a Social Action Committee, youth leadership program, and youth department, in addition to regular and holiday services.

1 Historical information obtained from the Kehillath Israel collection and website.

Chronology of the Kehillath Israel Synagogue

1911Initial services are held in a private residence.
1911First Holy Day Services and First Hebrew school classes at Oddfellows Hall.
1915K.I. Congregation established with a membership of 36.
1917K.I. Congregation is granted a State Charter.
1917Land is purchased for the Synagogue and Hebrew School.
1917The Kehillath Israel School is organized.
1919The K.I. Sisterhood is created.
1921Land is purchased for the site of the Temple.
1923The cornerstone of the Temple is laid.
1924First Holy Day services are held in the new Synagogue.
1925Dedication of Kehillath Israel.
1925Louis Epstein is installed as Rabbi.
1925K.I. High School organized.
1927The K.I. Brotherhood is organized.
1929The school building is completed and dedicated.
1946Rabbi Benjamin Kreitman installed.
1947Rabbi Epstein retires.
1947Rabbi Judah Nadich installed.
1957Rabbi Manuel Saltzman installed.
1966Judge and Mrs. Lewis Goldberg Nursery School established.
198770th Anniversary with Senator Ted Kennedy as featured speaker.
Return to the Top of Page

Scope and Content Note

The Kehillath Israel Synagogue Collection includes numerous photographs, publications and event information pertaining to services, fundraisers and anniversaries at the Synagogue from its first official year in 1924 to more recently, 2001. The primary bulk of the papers consist of photographs, K.I. Brotherhood papers and ephemera, and activities supported by the Synagogue. Kehillath Israel was home to noteworthy Rabbis, including Louis M. Epstein, Judah Nadich, and Manual Saltzman. Correspondence, photographs and programs about events regarding these three Rabbis are included in this collection. Also part of the collection are several scrapbooks, most of which are very fragile, that offer a glimpse into the synagogue's own historical documentation process.

Return to the Top of Page

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in five series, as described below:

Return to the Top of Page

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 Executive Director 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

Return to the Top of Page

Related Material

Jewish Community Relations Council (I-123)

Return to the Top of Page

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Kehillath Israel Synagogue (Brookline, Mass.) records; I-488; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY.

Return to the Top of Page

Acquisition Information

Donated to AJHS by Kehillath Israel Synagogue in 2007.

Return to the Top of Page

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: Photographs, undated, 1937-2000

The Series is in English.
1.5 linear feet. Boxes 1-3.
Arrangement:

Alphabetically and chronologically.

Scope and Content:

This large photograph collection primarily consists of undated and unidentified activities and events, but it also includes portraits of Rabbis Epstein, Saltzman and Nadich, as well as Cantor Hammerman. Photographs from the K.I. Sisterhood and Brotherhood events are also in this series, as are photos of children from the primary and Hebrew Schools, the exterior and interior of the Synagogue, and anniversary celebrations.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 Buildings & Staff/Synagogue, Exterior undated, 1964, 1970, 1988
1 2 Buildings & Staff/Synagogue, Interior undated, 1966, 1977
1 3 Buildings & Staff/Rabbinical Clergy & Synagogue Staff undated, 1961, 1965, 2000
1 4 Events & Activities/Autographs undated, 1966-1967, 1969
1 5 Events & Activities/Groups (I) 1937, 1956, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1971, 1976-1977, 1981, 1984, 1986-1987, 1990
1 6 Events & Activities/Groups (II) undated
BoxFolderTitleDate
2 1 Events & Activities/Hebrew School undated, 1945, 1963-1968, 1977, 1984
2 2 Events & Activities/Individuals undated, 1963, 1965-1966, 1972, 1984
2 3 Events & Activities/Military, WWII undated, 1942, 1944-1945
2 4 Events & Activities/Primary School undated, 1964-1965, 1977, 1986, 1990, 2000
2 5 Events & Activities/K.I. Brotherhood undated, 1963, 1977, 1980
2 6 Events & Activities/K.I. Sisterhood undated, 1951, 1953-1954, 1959, 1963, 1968, 1976
2 7 Events & Activities/K.I. 70th Anniversary 1987
BoxFolderTitleDate
3 1 Events & Activities/Miscellaneous Events undated, 1949, 1961, 1963,1968, 1982
3 2 Events & Activities/Rabbi Kushner Lecture 1997-1998
3 3 Events & Activities/Rabbi Saltzman 25th Anniversary 1982
3 4 Events & Activities/Services & Ceremonies undated, 1960, 1975
3 5 Miscellaneous undated, 1968-1969
3 6 Scrapbook Photos undated, 1950-1952, 1959-1960, 1963-1972
Return to the Top of Page
 

Series II: Activities, undated, 1924-2001

The Series is in English.
1.75 linear feet. Boxes 4-7.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by sub-series and chronological.

Scope and Content:

This series contains correspondence from Rabbis Epstein, Nadich, Saltzman and Hamilton, as well as event information regarding K.I. educational, youth and adult activities. The papers of the K.I. Brotherhood are quite expansive, and include programs, Glee Club documents, and newsletters. Numerous social event programs, from installation dinners, farewell and anniversary dinners, are also included. In addition, the series contains an array of K.I. publications, such as yearbooks, newsletters and bulletins. From religious services, the series contains programs and sermons.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 1 Correspondence/BJ 1995-1996
4 2 Correspondence/John Nesson 1945, 1963
4 3 Correspondence/Misc. 1957, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1973, 1982,1 999-2000
4 4 Correspondence/Rabbi Felix Kahn 2001
4 5 Correspondence/Rabbi Judah Nadich 1957
4 6 Correspondence/Rabbi Louis Epstein 1946-1947
4 7 Correspondence/Rabbi Manuel Saltzman 1961, 1964, 1966
4 8 Correspondence/Rabbi Shmuel Sandberg 2001
4 9 Correspondence/Rabbi Sholom Stern 1989
4 10 Correspondence/Rabbi Soloman Reisner 1963
4 11 Correspondence/Rabbi William Hamilton undated, 1997, 2000-2001
4 12 Correspondence/Stationary undated
4 13 Education/Adult Education undated, 1950, 1960, 1965, 1999-2001
4 14 Education/Adult Education: Me’ah 1998-2000
4 15 Education/General undated, 1978, 1999
4 16 Education/Hebrew School 1961-1964, 1969, 1972
4 17 Education/Metropolitan Council of Jewish Religious Schools 1960-1963
4 18 Education/Parent-Teacher Association 1961-1963
4 19 Education/Pre-School undated, 1977, 2001
BoxFolderTitleDate
5 1 Events & Programs/Anniversary Celebrations 1942, 1952, 1966, 1987
5 2 Events & Programs/Awards 1987, 2000
5 3 Events & Programs/Classes & Lectures 1980, 1995, 2000-2001
5 4 Events & Programs/Family & Children undated, 1978
5 5 Events & Programs/Friday Night Shabbat 1997
5 6 Events & Programs/General undated, 1970-1971, 1977, 1980-1981, 1997-1998, 2000-2001
5 7 Events & Programs/Harry Kraft 25th Yarhzeit 2000
5 8 Events & Programs/Installation Dinners 1946-1947, 1957, 1965, 1968
5 9 Events & Programs/Meeting Announcements undated, 2000
5 10 Events & Programs/Program Guides & Highlights 1995-1998, 2000-2001
5 11 Events & Programs/News Clippings & Press Releases undated, 1937-1938, 1946, 1959, 1963-1965, 1978, 1992, 2000
5 12 Events & Programs/Rabbi Epstein Farewell Dinner 1947
5 13 Events & Programs/Rabbi Epstein Yahrzeits 1974-1976, 1978, 1980-1983, 1998-2002
5 14 Events & Programs/Tree Planting 1942, 1946, 1958
5 15 K.I. Brotherhood/Administrative undated, 1957
5 16 K.I. Brotherhood/Awards & Citations undated, 1954, 1956, 1959, 1979
5 17 K.I. Brotherhood/Correspondence undated, 1944, 1946, 1980
5 18 K.I. Brotherhood/Correspondence: Epstein, Benjamin 1955-1957, 1962, 1964-1965, 1983
5 19 K.I. Brotherhood/Events & Programs: Combined K.I. Sisterhood Events undated, 1956-1957, 1963
5 20 K.I. Brotherhood/Events & Programs: General undated, 1936, 1946, 1951-1953, 1955-1957, 1959, 1964-1966, 1976, 1978, 1981
5 21 K.I. Brotherhood/Events & Programs: Glee Club undated, 1947, 1959-1962, 1964-1965, 1967, 1969, 1971
BoxFolderTitleDate
6 1 K.I. Brotherhood/Events & Programs: News Clippings undated, 1935-1937, 1944-1946, 1952-1960, 1968-1969, 1971
6 2 K.I. Brotherhood/Miscellaneous undated, 1937, 1977-1978
6 3 K.I. Brotherhood/Newsletter undated, 1940-1967
6 4 K.I. Sisterhood/Events & Programs: General 1953-1954, 1960, 1962-1964, 1970, 1977-1978, 1998
6 5 K.I. Sisterhood/Events & Programs: News Clippings undated, 1963-1964, 1969, 1971
6 6 Publications/Bulletin undated, 1952, 1958, 1960-1967, 1970, 1972, 1975-1980
6 7 Publications/Chronicle 1924-1925
6 8 Publications/Directory 2001
6 9 Publications/Haruach 1991
BoxFolderTitleDate
7 1 Publications/K.I. Yearbooks 1957-1968
7 2 Publications/K.I. Yearbooks 1971-1976
7 3 Publications/K.I. Yearbooks: Administrative 1973-1975
7 4 Publications/Newsletter undated
7 5 Religious Services/Certificates of Conversion & Marriage Certificates (Blank) undated
7 6 Religious Services/Programs & Notices undated, 1975, 1996, 2001
7 7 Religious Services/Sermons undated
Return to the Top of Page
 

Series III: General, undated, 1953-2001

The Series is in English.
.5 linear feet. Boxes 7-8.
Arrangement:

Alphabetically and chronologically.

Scope and Content:

This series includes numerous papers that are not necessarily related to the events or infrastructure of Kehillath Israel but may have served some other purpose. Of particular note is an oral history done with David Hirson, most likely a member of Kehillath Israel, regarding his experience in the Yiddish theater. In addition there are numerous journals relating to Judaism, including Contact, The B.G. Rudolph Lectures in Judaic Studies from Syracuse University, and numerous scholarly pamphlets from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Programs and information about other area Synagogues also provide a comparison study.

BoxFolderTitleDate
7 8 Entertainment undated, 1978, 1980
7 9 Illustrations undated
7 10 Jewish Theological Seminary of America undated, 1964
BoxFolderTitleDate
8 1 Journals 1970, 1978, 1996, 2000-2001
8 2 Miscellaneous undated
8 3 Music & Plays undated
8 4 News Clippings undated, 1947, 1961-1963, 1992
8 5 Notes undated, 1994
8 6 Oral History: Hirson, David 1972
8 7 Other Synagogues 1965-1966, 1973-1974, 1978-1979
8 8 Program Applications 1997, 2000-2001
8 9 Scholarly Materials undated, 1989
8 10 Unrelated Events undated, 1953, 1956, 1962-1963, 1973, 1994
Return to the Top of Page
 

Series IV: Governance, undated, 1947-2001

The Series is in English.
.25 linear feet. Box 8.
Arrangement:

Alphabetically and chronologically.

Scope and Content:

Among the papers included in this series are the by-laws of Kehillath Israel, a list of signers of the incorporation papers, and a more recent version of a vision statement. A sampling of donation records, financials and membership information is also included.

BoxFolderTitleDate
8 11 By-Laws undated
8 12 Donation Records undated
8 13 Financials & Receipts undated, 1981, 2000-2001
8 14 Grants undated
8 15 Incorporation 1947
8 16 Membership undated
8 17 Vision Statement (Draft) undated
Return to the Top of Page
 

Series V: Oversized Materials, undated, 1927-1999

The Series is in English.
6.8 linear feet. Boxes 9-12.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by sub-series and chronological.

Scope and Content:

This series contains several oversized items relating to the infrastructure and history of Kehillath Israel, including photographs, blueprints, and scrapbooks. Most scrapbooks contain numerous newspaper clippings, programs from Brotherhood and Sisterhood events, invitations to installation dinners, programs and dedications, and photocopies of photographs (originals have been placed in Series I: Photographs.) The scrapbook of Brotherhood President Ben Epstein is also included, highlighting various Brotherhood and Synagogue activities during his presidential tenure. Please note that the scrapbooks are extremely fragile and should be handled with care.

BoxFolderTitleDate
9 1 Blueprints 1939, 1959, 1999
9 Blueprints/Connecting Link 1953
9 Blueprints/Interior undated
9 Blueprints/Landscaping undated
9 Blueprints/Memorial Garden 1963
9 1 Blueprints/Mosaic Drawings undated
9 1 Blueprints/Mosaic Plans undated
9 1 Blueprints/Religious School 1956
9 1 Blueprints/School Building 1952
9 2 Photographs undated, 1927, 1957, 1973-1974
BoxFolderTitleDate
10 Plaques 1962, 1999
10 Scrapbooks 1 and 2 undated
BoxFolderTitleDate
11 1 Scrapbooks 1951
11 Scrapbooks 3, 4, and 5 1950-1952, 1959-1960, 1963-1966
BoxFolderTitleDate
12 Scrapbooks 6 and 7 1966-1972
Return to the Top of Page