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Congregation Beth Israel (1843 - present)

Table of Contents

Summary Information
Administrative Information
Collection Inventory
Series I: A-C
Series II: D-N
Series III: O-Z
Series IV: Newsletters, 1900s-2006
Series V: Newsletters, 2007-present

Summary Information

Repository
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford
Title
Congregation Beth Israel (1843 - present)
ID
Synagogue.0010.003.007
Date [inclusive]
1843-present
Extent
2.5 Cubic feet
Language
Biographical/Historical
Biographical/Historical note The history of Congregation Beth Israel has been covered extensively in Hartford Jews, 1659-1970, Making a Life, Building a Community and The Way We Were by Beth Israel, written by archivist Marge Rafel. The Temple maintains its own archives. Therefore this portion of the inventory will not go into great detail and researchers are urged to consult those references. Congregation Beth Israel is the oldest congregation in Hartford and one of the two oldest congregations in Connecticut. The precise date of founding is unknown and has been celebrated as both 1843, the year that Jews were first allowed to form congregations in this state, and as 1847, the date of the first written evidence of the congregation's existence. Beth Israel was founded by German Jews, and although formed as an orthodox congregation, it soon adopted Reform movement practices. The congregation used a converted church as its synagogue for many years, but in 1876 erected the first synagogue building in Connecticut built especially for that purpose, designed by architect Arthur Keller. The building is known today as the Charter Oak Cultural Center. Anticipating the westward movement of the Jewish population in Hartford, the current temple on Farmington Avenue was built in West Hartford and dedicated in 1936. Special mention should be made of Beth Israel's most distinguished Rabbi, Abraham J. Feldman, who served from his arrival from Cincinnati in 1925 until retirement in 1968. Rabbi Feldman occupied a position of national prominence in the Reform movement and helped to lead changes in the branch, most notably the Reform view of Zionism. See the Rabbi Abraham J. Feldman Collection for more information. Because Beth Israel was the only substantial congregation in Hartford for several decades, its members are closely tied to early Jewish communal and fraternal activities. Members of the Deborah Society, for example, enjoyed social activities while carrying out a variety of charitable duties for the poor in both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities.
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents note The collection contains documents relating to the history Congregation Beth Israel. A significant portion of the collection consists of newsletters from the late 1990s until the present day.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford

333 Bloomfield Avenue
West Hartford, CT, 06117
860-727-6171
ekafer@jewishhartford.org

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Collection Inventory

Series I: A-C
Anniversaries/Congregation's 50th (1897)
Anniversaries/Congregation's 100th (1943)
Anniversaries/Congregation's 125th (1968)
Anniversaries/Congregation's 140th (1983)
Anniversaries/Congregation's 150th (1993)
Anniversaries/Sanctuary’s 70th (2006)
Board of Directors/Members
Board of Directors/Minutes/English Translations, 1870-1920
Board of Directors/Policies
Brotherhood
Buildings/Charter Oak Avenue (1876)
Buildings/701 Farmington Avenue (1935)
Buildings/701 Farmington Avenue (1935) - Guide Book
Buildings/701 Farmington Avenue – Additions
Buildings/701 Farmington Avenue/sanctuary rededication, 2006
Buildings/701 Farmington Avenue/renovations, 2007
Cemetery
Charitable Activities
Conferences
Constitution and By-Laws

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Series II: D-N
Education/Adult Education
Education/School Activities
Education/School Activities/Graduation and Confirmation
Fundraising
Historical Highlights
Holocaust Commemorations
Interfaith Activities
Library
Marrieds Club
Members and Membership
Miscellaneous
Museum
Music, Choir, Cantorial Programs
Newsletters, see separate box
Newspaper clippings

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Series III: O-Z
Rabbis/Berman, Howard A.
Rabbis/Cohen, Jody R.
Rabbis/Deutsch, Solomon
Rabbis/Elkin, Meyer
Rabbis/Elkin, Meyer/letter from Isaac M. Wise
Rabbis/Fuchs, Stephen see newspaper clippings
Rabbis/Feldman, Abraham J
Rabbis/Glaser, Simeon I.
Rabbis/Kohen, Elissa Miriam
Rabbis/Mayer, Isaac
Rabbis/Miscellaneous
Rabbis/Olitzky, Kerry M.
Rabbis/Silver, Harold S.
Ritual Matters and Shabbat Events
Ritual Matters/Bar and Bat Mitzvah
Ritual Matters/High Holidays, 1970s
Sisterhood and Deborah Society
Soviet Jews
Staff Members
Staff Members/Strauss, Moses Loeb, Shohet and Hazan, 1847
Tarbuth League
Youth Groups

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Series IV: Newsletters, 1900s-2006
Newsletters/Miscellaneous, 1900s-1990s
Newsletters, 1997
Newsletters, 1998
Newsletters, 2000
Newsletters, 2001
Newsletters, 2002
Newsletters, 2003
Newsletters, 2004
Newsletters, 2005
Newsletters, 2006

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Series V: Newsletters, 2007-present
Newsletters, 2007
Newsletters, 2008
Newsletters, 2009
Newsletters, 2010
Newsletters, 2011
Newsletters, 2012
Newsletters, 2013
Newsletters, 2014

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