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Emanuel Synagogue, West Hartford (1919 - present)

Table of Contents

Summary Information
Administrative Information
Collection Inventory
Series I: A-B
Series II: B-D
Series III: Education
Series IV: F-Newsletters
Series V: Newsletters-Rabbis
Series VI: Ritual Matters-Sisterhood
Series VII: Sisterhood, continued - Z
Series VIII: General Synagogue Events and Members -- Scrapbooks
Series IX: Sisterhood
Series X: Oral Histories
Series XI: Artifacts
Series XII: Scrapbooks
Photo Series I: Photographs A-B
Photo Series II: Photographs C-M
Photo Series III: Photographs N-Z

Summary Information

Repository
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford
Title
Emanuel Synagogue, West Hartford (1919 - present)
ID
Synagogue.0011.001.001
Date [inclusive]
1919-2012
Extent
9.0 Cubic feet
Language
English
Biographical/Historical
Emanuel Synagogue, founded in February 1919 as B'nai Israel, was the first Conservative congregation in Connecticut. Rabbi Leon Spitz conducted the first service. Spitz was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary and sent to communities along the eastern seaboard to help organize new Conservative congregations. Within a year Abraham Nowak was selected as official Rabbi, and the congregation purchased a former church on Windsor Avenue for use as its synagogue. Educator Annie Fisher and a group of women started the Sisterhood. In 1922, Rabbi Nowak moved to Cleveland and was replaced in 1923 by the energetic young Rabbi Morris Silverman who became a nationally known leader in the Conservative movement during his 38 years at Emanuel. (See the Rabbi Morris Silverman Collection inventory for more information.) The congregation grew so rapidly that it sold its building in 1926 to erect a new synagogue on Woodland Street which it occupied in 1927. As the Jewish population of Hartford moved west and northwest to the suburbs, however, younger members of the congregation wanted the synagogue to move as well. Older members who had worked so hard to establish the old building wanted to remain on Woodland Street. This issue became a major controversy that divided the group. To meet the needs of suburban parents who were increasingly unhappy about driving their children into Hartford for religious school, the congregation began planning for a school and auditorium in West Hartford. Discouraged by the lack of plans for a move of the sanctuary, a group of Emanuel members formed their own Conservative congregation in West Hartford in 1953, Beth El Synagogue. The two synagogues established friendly relations and a cooperative school. Within two years of the establishment of Beth El, however, the majority of Emanuel congregants came to see the necessity of moving to West Hartford where most of the congregation now lived. In 1956 Emanuel purchased land on Mohegan Drive, sparking controversy among both the residents on Mohegan and the Beth El congregation that feared encroachment. Objections were overcome, however, and the new synagogue was completed in 1959. In addition to the national renown of Rabbi Silverman, Emanuel Synagogue stands out for other reasons. In 1949, the congregation hired Cantor Arthur Koret, who became a national figure in Jewish liturgical music. In 1962 Emanuel was the first Conservative congregation in the nation to alter its constitution to allow the election of women to its Board of Trustees. A new sanctuary was dedicated in 1972. The sanctuary destroyed by arson in 1983 and rebuilt in 1984.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains early minutes, scrapbooks and other news clippings, and memorabilia that document the early priorities and daily activities of the congregation very thoroughly over the course of its history.

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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-B
A-Board of Directors/minutes, 1936
Anniversaries/Congregation's 10th Anniversary, 1929
Anniversaries/Congregation's 25th Anniversary, 1945
Anniversaries/Congregation's 40th Anniversary, 1961
Anniversaries/Congregation's 50th Anniversary, 1969
Anniversaries/Congregation's 70th Anniversary, 1989
Anniversaries/Congregation's 75th Anniversary, 1994
Anniversaries/Congregation’s/Miscellaneous
Arson Fires, 1983, 3 folders
Art
Awards
Board of Directors/Building Committee/Minutes, 1926
Board of Directors/Members
Board of Directors/Minutes, 1920-1921
Board of Directors/Minutes, 1922-1924
Board of Directors/Minutes, 1925-1927
Board of Directors/Minutes, 1928-1930
Board of Directors/Minutes, 1931-1932
Board of Directors/Minutes, 1933-1934
Board of Directors/Minutes, 1935-May, 1936

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Series II: B-D
Board of Directors/Minutes-C
Board of Directors/Minutes, June 1948-1949
Board of Directors/Minutes, 1950-1951
Board of Directors/Minutes, 1952-June, 1953
Board of Directors/Survey Committee, 1937
Brotherhood/Boy Scout Sponsorship
Brotherhood/Fundraising
Brotherhood/National Federation Participation
Brotherhood/Newsletters, 1957-1959
Brotherhood/Officers
Brotherhood/Programs
Brotherhood/ Leagues and Activities
Buildings/313 Windsor Avenue (1919)
Buildings/500 Woodland Street (1927)
Buildings/160 Mohegan Drive/School Building (1959)
Buildings/160 Mohegan Drive/Sanctuary (1972)
Buildings/160 Mohegan Drive/Fire (1983)
Buildings/160 Mohegan Drive/Garden, 2000s
Cantors/Sanford Cohn
Cemetery and Burial
Charitable Activities
Conferences Confirmation Exercises
Constitution and By-Laws

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Series III: Education
Education/Adult Education/Newspaper clippings
Education/Adult Education, 1920s
Education/Adult Education, 1950s
Education/Adult Education, 1960s
Education/Bible Conference, 1970s
Education/General
Education/School Activities, 1980s
Education/School Activities/Graduation, High School
Education/School Activities/Haggadah
Education/School Activities/Newsletters, 1953-1961
Education/School Activities/Newsletters, 1962-1967
Education/School Activities/Yearbooks, 1950s
Education/Special Needs
Education/Teacher Training

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Series IV: F-Newsletters
Fundraising (general)
Fundraising/Tree of Life
Historical Highlights
Historical Highlights/Chronology to 1961
Holidays
Interfaith Activities
Library
Members and Membership
Members and Membership/Directory, 1920
Members and membership/Directory, 2002-2003
Members and Membership/Weinerman, David
Minyonaires
Miscellaneous
Mr. and Mrs. Club
Music, Choir, Cantorial Programs
Music, Choir, Cantorial Programs/Choraleers
Music, Choir, Cantorial Programs/Koret, Arthur
Music/concerts
Newsletters, 1940s (incomplete)
Newsletters, 1950s (incomplete)
Newsletters, 1960s (incomplete)
Newsletters, 1970s (incomplete)

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Series V: Newsletters-Rabbis
Newsletters, 1970's [not incl.]
Newsletters, 1980s (incomplete)
Newsletters, 1990s (incomplete)
Newsletters, 2005 (incomplete)
Newsletters, 2006 (incomplete)
Newsletters, 2007
Newsletters, 2008-
Newspaper clippings
President/President’s Message to Members of the Emanuel Synagogue, 1921
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Lazowski, Philip [Emeritus]
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Miscellaneous
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Noveck, Simon
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Nowak, Abraham
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Silverman, Althea
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Silverman, Morris
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Silverman, Morris/10th Anniversary. at Emanuel, 1933
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Silverman, Morris/20th Anniversary. at Emanuel, 1943
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Silverman, Morris/25th Anniversary at The Emanuel, 1948
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Silverman, Morris/30th Anniversary. at Emanuel, 1953
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Silverman, Morris/35th Anniversary. at Emanuel, 1958
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Silverman, Morris/38th Anniversary. at Emanuel, 1961
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Silverman, Morris/70th Birthday, 1964
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Singer, Howard
Rabbis/Small, David J.
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Zelermyer, Gerald
Rabbis and Rebbetzens/Zelermyer, Heske

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Series VI: Ritual Matters-Sisterhood
Ritual Matters and Shabbat Events
Ritual Matters and Shabbat Events/Bar and Bat Mitvahs
Ritual Matters and Shabbat Events/Life Cycle
Ritual Matters and Shabbat Events/Memorial Books
Sisterhood/Financial Records/Hospitality, 1960-1984
Sisterhood/Fundraising
Sisterhood/Historical Highlights
Sisterhood/Hospitality Records, 1986-1992
Sisterhood/Interfaith Activities
Sisterhood/Miscellaneous
Sisterhood/Newsletters, 1950s and 1960s and Miscellaneous
Sisterhood/Newsletters, 1969-1976
Sisterhood/Newsletters, 1977-1983
Sisterhood/Newsletters, 1984-1988
Sisterhood/Newsletters, 1988-1989

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Series VII: Sisterhood, continued - Z
Sisterhood/Officers
Sisterhood/Programs
Sisterhood/Programs/”Jewish Women in American History”, organized by Gloria Bein, 1980
Social Events and Groups
Staff members/Weisel, Alfred
Staff Members/Miscellaneous
Strategic planning
Young People’s League, early 1940s, see also Scrapbooks, below
Youth Groups/Kadima
Youth Groups/Leadership Training Fellowship
Youth Groups/United Synagogue Youth (U.S.Y.)
Youth Groups/Young People's League (Y.P.L.)
Youth Groups/Young People's League (Y.P.L.)/Newsletters, 1938-1940
Youth Groups/Young People's League (Y.P.L.)/Scrapbook, 1940s

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Series VIII: General Synagogue Events and Members -- Scrapbooks
1969-1972
1969-1973 [This may be a Sisterhood scrapbook but it covers other groups and general congregational matters.]
1979-1981
1982-1983
1984-1985
1986-1989
1990-1993
1993-1995
1996-1997
2004-2005
2005-2006
2008-2009

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Series IX: Sisterhood
1932-1952
1953-1956
1956-1958
1958-1959
1959-1960
1960-1964
1964-1968
Miscellaneous and 1988
1987-1990
1990-1991
1991-1996
Annie Fisher "This is Your Life" Program, 1959
1999-2006
Young People's League, Business and Professional Group: 1952-1953

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Series X: Oral Histories
1989 interview of Mrs. Leon Spitz and Samuel Spitz

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Series XI: Artifacts
2 American Flags with no identification
1 Girl Scout Flag belonging to Girl Scout Troop #128
Pieces of stained glass found after 1983 fire

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Series XII: Scrapbooks
83rd Anniversary Dinner photos
Construction, 1994
Manuscripts and Records
Book of Life, memorial ledger
Minutes & Articles
Sisterhood, Annie Fisher "This is Your Life" program
Sisterhood, 1958-1959
Sisterhood, 1959-1960
Sisterhood, 1960-1964
Sisterhood, 1964-1968
Sisterhood, Misc. - 1988
Sisterhood, 1990-1991
Sisterhood, 1991-1996
Breastplates
Synagogue highlights 2011-June 2013
Chavurah Tet, 1978-2014

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Photo Series I: Photographs A-B
Anniversaries/70th of congregation, 2 folders
Anniversaries/75th of congregation/slide show
Board of Directors/Members
Brotherhood
Buildings/313 Windsor Ave., 1919
Buildings/500 Woodland Street, 1927
Buildings/160 Mohegan Drive
Buildings/160 Mohegan Drive/Fire, 1983
Buildings/160 Mohegan Drive/Chapel, 1989

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Photo Series II: Photographs C-M
Education/Adult Education
Education/School Activities. Emanuel has had a long tradition of staging plays for both holidays and social events. Photos of plays can be found under Education, Holidays, Social Events, and Ritual.
Education/Religious School. Emanuel has had a long tradition of staging plays for both holidays and social events. Photos of plays can be found under Education, Holidays, Social Events, and Ritual
Fundraising/
Groups/miscellaneous
Holidays. Emanuel has had a long tradition of staging plays for both holidays and social events. Photos of plays can be found under Education, Holidays, Social Events, and Ritual
Members and Membership/
Miscellaneous
Music, choir, cantorial
Music, choir, cantorial/choraliers

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Photo Series III: Photographs N-Z
Rabbis/Miscellaneous
Rabbis/Nowak, Abraham
Rabbis and Rebbetzins/Silverman, Althea
Rabbis/Silverman, Morris
Rabbis/Singer, Howard
Rabbis/Spitz, Leon
Rabbis/Zelermyer, Gerald
Ritual Matters and Shabbat/Miscellaneous (mostly Purim plays) Emanuel has had a long tradition of staging plays for both holidays and social events. Photos of plays can be found under Education, Holidays, Social Events, and Ritual
Ritual Matters and Shabbat/Holidays
Ritual Matters and Sabbat/Minyonaires
Sisterhood
Sisterhood/Adult Education
Sisterhood/ ”You’re invited to a Wedding”
Social Events and Groups. Emanuel has had a long tradition of staging plays for both holidays and social events. Photos of plays can be found under Education, Holidays, Social Events, and Ritual
Social events/Yente’s Follies, 1947
Staff Members
Youth Groups/YPL/conferences

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