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Finding Aid to the Congregation Beth Israel-Judea records, 1862-1999
BANC MSS 2010/641  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Congregation Beth Israel-Judea records
    Date (inclusive): 1862-1999
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 2010/641
    Creators : Congregation Beth Israel-Judea (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Extent: Number of containers: 2 cartons, 3 oversize boxes, 5 volumes, and 2 oversize folders (Linear feet: 3.7)
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: This collection documents over 100 years of Congregation Beth Israel's history from shortly after its founding. It is divided into six series: Corporate, Administrative, and Financial; Congregational Materials; Marriage Licenses; Salem Cemetery; Cornerstone; and Photographs.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English.
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Congregation Beth Israel-Judea records, BANC MSS 2010/641, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Burstein, Elliot Maurice, 1898-1975
    Cycowski, Josef R., 1901-1998
    Rabinowitz, Joseph, 1891-1943
    Congregation Beth Israel-Judea (San Francisco, Calif.)--Archives
    Congregation Beth Israel-Judea (San Francisco, Calif.)--Anniversaries, etc.
    Hebrew Free School (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Jews--California--San Francisco
    Jews--California--San Francisco--Societies, etc.
    Jews--Charities
    Jewish cemeteries--California--Colma
    Jewish religious education--Textbooks
    Jewish women--California--San Francisco--Societies and clubs
    Parents' and teachers' associations--California--San Francisco
    San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, Calif., 1906
    Synagogues--California--San Francisco
    Jews--California--San Francisco--Societies, etc.
    San Francisco (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
    San Francisco (Calif.)--Religious life and customs
    Burial records--California--San Francisco
    By-laws--California--San Francisco
    Ledgers--California--San Francisco
    Marriage records--California--San Francisco
    Photographs--California--San Francisco
    Minutes--California--San Francisco
    Messing, Aaron Joseph, 1843-1916
    B'nai B'rith--District Grand Lodge No. 4
    Chevra Shaare Refooah
    Congregation Beth Israel (San Francisco, Calif.)
    First Hebrew Benevolent Society (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Jewish Ladies' Relief Society (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Mount Zion Hospital Association (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum and Home Society
    Young Men's Hebrew Association (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Western Jewish History Center. 027
    Judah L. Magnes Museum. WJHC 1971.009
    Bancroft Library. Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Congregation Beth Israel-Judea records were gifted to The Bancroft Library by the Judah L. Magnes Museum in 2010.

    Accruals

    No future additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Collection is arranged into eight series: Corporate, Administrative, and Financial; Congregational Materials; Marriage Licenses; Salem Cemetery; Cornerstone; and Photographs.

    Processing Information

    Processed by the Judah L. Magnes Museum staff in 1999. Additional processing by The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life staff in 2011.

    Biographical Information

    Beth Israel was founded in 1860 as the first conservative congregation west of Chicago. Its first building was on Sutter near Stockton. The congregation was in its fourth building at Geary and Octavia at the time of the 1906 earthquake. The cornerstone had been laid for a new building at 1839 Geary near Fillmore in 1905. The construction was almost complete when it was destroyed in the quake. After rebuilding at the same site they moved into their fifth and final building in 1908. The temple offices and religious school moved to 14th and Balboa in 1948. In 1969 Beth Israel and Temple Judea, a young Reform congregation, merged and moved into Temple Judea's buildings on Brotherhood Way. This was one of the first mergers between a Conservative and a Reform congregation. The cornerstone of the final Geary Street building and the contents of the enclosed time capsule were recovered when the building was dismantled in 1989, after a fire.
    Beth Israel's benevolent society, Chebra Beth Yisrael, was organized in 1861, and the Ladies Endeavor Society, later the Beth Israel Sisterhood, was founded in 1895. The Beth Israel Men's Club was founded in 1945. Beth Israel's dedication to religious education included both Sunday School and Weekday Hebrew School programs. Post-Bar Mitzvah and post-Confirmation groups served the congregation's youth. The congregation's rabbis include M. Wolff (1860-1868), W. Weinstein (1868), A. Streisand (1875), H. Grodzinsky (1876), A. J. Messing (1878-1890), M. S. Levy (1891-1916), H. Lissauer (1916-1926), E. M. Burstein (1927-1969, emeritus 1969-1975), and M. Tutnauer (1960-?). The congregation was also served by two outstanding Cantors: Joseph Rabinowitz (1891-1943) and Josef Roman Cycowski (1947-197?).

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection documents over 100 years of Congregation Beth Israel's history from shortly after its founding. It is divided into six series: Corporate, Administrative, and Financial; Congregational Materials; Marriage Licenses; Salem Cemetery; Cornerstone; and Photographs. Significant among the adminstrative records are minute books from 1886-1950 and a dues ledger from 1878-1884. The bulk of the Congregational Materials series consists of files on services and holidays as well as disbound scrapbooks (clippings, letters, tickets, bulletins) documenting congregational news, events and activities for 1948-52. This series also contains files from after the merger of Beth Israel and Temple Judea. The marriage certificates date from 1882 through 1935 and include the names of the bride and the groom. The collection also has items relating to Congregation Beth Israel's cemetery in Colma. The Cornerstone series consists of material from the 1905 cornerstone for the Geary Street building, including documents from other local Jewish institutions such as B'nai B'rith, Chevra Shaare Refooah, the Eureka Benevolent Society, the Jewish Ladies Relief Society, Mount Zion Hospital, the Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Young Men's Hebrew Association, and Congregations Keneseth Israel, Emanu-El, Sherith Israel, and Ohabai Shalome. The photographs in the collection consist of images of people, activities, and building interiors and exteriors associated with Beth Israel. The museum holdings of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life house a series of Beth Israel-Judea objects, including twelve Torah rimonim, two Torah breastplates, three Torah pointers, and an embroidered table covering that was made in 1859 by an unknown congregant of Beth Israel.
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