Guide to the Records of Temple Israel of Swampscott and Marblehead (Mass.)
undated, 1941-1997
 
I-597

Processed by Stephanie Call and Shannon Struble

Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, MA 02116

Email: jhcreference@nehgs.org

URL: jewishheritagecenter.org

© 2018  Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS, Boston, MA. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Shannon Struble as MS Word document, June 21, 2017. Finding aid was encoded by Shannon Struble on July 15, 2017. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Temple Israel of Swampscott and Marblehead (Mass.)
Title: Temple Israel of Swampscott and Marblehead (Mass.) Records
Dates:undated, 1941-1997
Abstract: Temple Israel of Swampscott and Marblehead was founded in 1946 by former members of Temple Beth El in Lynn. The new congregation purchased land at 837 Humphrey Street in Swampscott in 1947, and the synagogue and school stood at this location until the unification of Temple Israel and Temple Beth El in 2005. The collection contains administrative documents, records from the Brotherhood and Sisterhood organizations and the Hebrew School, publications, photographs of the synagogue and its membership, and documents related to the groundbreaking ceremony for the new temple building in 1955.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: .5 linear feet (1 manuscript box)
Identification: I-597
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS Boston, MA
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Historical Note

A magician entertains children at Temple Israel of Swampscott and Marblehead.

Temple Israel of Swampscott and Marblehead started as a gathering of men at the home of Eli Cohen on July 15, 1946. The group, among them Harry Weinstein, Cecil Weinstein, and Adrian Comins, was dissatisfied with their current synagogue, Temple Beth El in Lynn, and discussed the need for a house of worship and school for the Jewish community of Swampscott and Marblehead. A temporary executive committee under the leadership of Weinstein was established to survey the community and investigate the establishment of a synagogue in the area. Members of this committee also met with sixty wives of charter members who would form the Sisterhood and lead the fundraising, social, and cultural activities for the synagogue.

High Holiday services were held at Odd Fellows Hall in Swampscott that same year, and in December, the Old Ingalls Estate at 837 Humphrey Street in Swampscott was purchased to become their first meeting hall. Ground was broken on a new meeting hall in 1947, and services were held in the basement while the building was still unfinished. Also in 1947, Weinstein became the first president of the new congregation, and Rabbi Abraham Karp became the first full-time rabbi at Temple Israel in 1949.

Land for a cemetery in Peabody was purchased from Temple Beth El in 1948, and the synagogue joined the United Synagogues of America the following year. The first class graduated from the Hebrew School in 1950. Membership continued to grow into the 1950s as a wave of Jewish families migrated to the North Shore from Boston, and in 1955, a new temple building was designed by Modernist architect Pietro Belluschi to meet the increased demand. The new building was dedicated in 1956.

In the early twenty-first century, populations shifts and declining membership led Temple Israel and Temple Beth El (formerly of Lynn, but moved to Swampscott in 1968) to begin talks to merge their congregations. The charter for the new synagogue, Congregation Shirat Hayam, was signed in 2005, and in 2006, Temple Israel’s building and a portion of its property were sold to the Town of Swampscott.

References

Material in the collection.

Alan S. Pierce on behalf of the Jewish Historical Society of the North Shore, “Temple Israel,” in A History of Boston’s Jewish North Shore (Charleston, SC: History Press, 2009).

Chronology

1946Temple Israel of Swampscott and Marblehead is established.
1946The first meeting hall at the Old Ingalls Estate is purchased.
1947Ground is broken on a new building at 837 Humphrey Street in Swampscott.
1948Land for a cemetery is purchased.
1949Rabbi Abraham Karp becomes the first full-time rabbi at Temple Israel.
1949Temple Israel joins the United Synagogues of America.
1950The first class graduates from Hebrew School.
1953-1955Cantor Harry Lubow serves as rabbi.
1955A new temple building is designed by Pietro Belluschi and the groundbreaking ceremony is held.
1955-1957Rabbi Meyer Finkelstein serves as rabbi.
1956The new building is dedicated.
1957-1977Rabbi Peretz Halpern serves as rabbi.
1977-1996Rabbi Sanford Shanblatt serves as rabbi.
2005Temple Israel and Temple Beth El merge to create Congregation Shirat Hayam.
2006The synagogue building and a portion of land are sold to the Town of Swampscott.
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Scope and Content Note

The records of Temple Israel of Swampscott and Marblehead contain administrative documents, consisting of minutes and reports from meetings—including the foundational meeting in 1946—and correspondence, as well as copies of two quitclaim deeds for the land at 837 Humphrey Street. The administrative documents also contain a report and correspondence related to the purchase of land in Peabody to establish a cemetery.

Other records in the collection include publications in the form of calendars, bulletins, programs, brochures, anniversary booklets, newspaper clippings about events hosted by Temple Israel, photographs, and documents from the Brotherhood, Sisterhood, and the Hebrew School. A final folder contains photographs, newspaper clippings, and a program from the 1955 groundbreaking ceremony for the new temple building.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into a single 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 Collections and Engagement 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

Jewish Federation of the North Shore Records, I-572

Jewish Heritage Center of the North Shore Records, I-584

Temple Beth El of Lynn and Swampscott, Mass. Records, I-574

Temple Sinai, Swampscott (Mass.) Records, I-565

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Temple Israel of Swampscott and Marblehead (Mass.) Records; I-597; box number; folder number; Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by the Jewish Heritage Center of the North Shore, 2013.

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Access Points

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

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.

Click the box in the request column to learn more about viewing materials at the Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.

 

Series I: Temple Israel of Swampscott and Marblehead (Mass.), undated, 1941-1997

English.
Box 1, Folders 1-14.
Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content:

See Collection Scope and Content Note.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
11Brotherhood1947, 1949, 1980-1985request_box
12Bulletins1949-1954, 1988-1991request_box
13Business Records—Miscellaneousundated, 1946-1952, 1967, 1983, 1997request_box
14Calendars (Books)1950-1952request_box
15Cemetery Records1947-1951request_box
16Groundbreaking Ceremony1955request_box
17News Clippings—Country Fair and "Raisin' Dough"1948, 1950, 1953request_box
18News Clippings—General1941-1988, 1992request_box
19Photographs—Building1956request_box
110Photographs—Miscellaneousundated, 1948, 1963, 1968, 1992request_box
111Photographs—Ruth Kirsteir Turkanis Collection1950-1952request_box
112Publications—Miscellaneous1946-1997 (with gaps)request_box
113Religious School1947-1955request_box
114Sisterhood1946-1948request_box
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