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Congregation Rodeph Sholom (Bridgeport, Conn.) Records

Identifier: JHCI-006

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains two dedication journals and an anniversary book. The 1949 dedication journal commemorates the completion of the new synagogue on Park Avenue, including the groundbreaking ceremony in 1947 and the first services held in 1949. The 1956 dedication journal commemorates the addition of a new wing to the Talmud Torah. The 1959 book celebrates the congregation's 50th anniversary, as well as the 25th anniversary of Rabbi Harry Nelson.


  • 1949-1959


Language of Materials

This collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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Conditions Governing Use

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Historical Note

Congregation Rodeph Sholom is a synagogue in Bridgeport, Connecticut founded in 1909 by Nathan Schwarz, Samuel Graves, and Nathan Klebansky as an offshoot of Congregation B’nai Moshe, also in Bridgeport. The congregation leased space at Veruna Hall on Court Street and later purchased burial grounds in Fairfield in 1910. They dedicates the grounds in 1911. Klebansky served as the congregation's first president, and was succeeded by Schwarz, who served as president from 1911 until 1923.

In March 1923, the congregation purchased a new building on the corner of Iranistan and Maplewood Avenues, which was dedicated on August 5, 1923. In 1925, a committee was appointed to explore the possibility of forming a Hebrew school, and in 1929, the Talmud Torah was established under Rabbi Elihu Rosenblum. Harry Malin came aboard as Education Director of the Talmud Torah in 1936 and served in this position for 33 years.

In 1932 Congregation Rodeph Sholom merged with another Bridgeport synagogue, the Emanuel Congregation, and in 1934, the merged congregation hired a new rabbi, Harry Nelson. In 1945, the congregation purchased a new plot of land to build a new synagogue on Park Avenue, and the groundbreaking took place in 1947 in front of a crowd of 1,000 people. The first services in the building were held in 1949, and the next decade would witness many more additions and refurbishments, including libraries, air conditioning, the rabbi’s study, along with the Ark and Eternal Light. In 1955-1956, a new wing was built to provide more space for the Talmud Torah.

Nelson served as the congregation's rabbi until his death in 1964, and he was succeeded by Rabbi Sanford Hahn, Rabbi Israel Stein--who served from 1974 until 2003—and Rabbi David A. Cantor.


  1. Materials in the collection.
  2. Wasserman, Helen, Bobbi Markowitz and Carol S. Weinshel. "The History of Congregation Rodeph Sholom."


The congregation is founded.
The congregation rents space at Veruna Hall on Court Street.
The congregation dedicates its burial grounds.
March 1923
The congregation purchases a new building on the corner of Iranistan and Maplewood Avenues.
August 1923
The new building is dedicated.
The congregation's Talmud Torah is formed.
The congregation merges with Emanuel Congregation.
Rabbi Harry Nelson serves as rabbi.
Harry Malin serves as Education Director of the Talmud Torah.
The congregation purchases land on Park Avenue.
The new building on Park Avenue is dedicated.
A new wing to the Talmud Torah is built.
Rabbi Sanford Hahn serves as rabbi.
Rabbi Israel Stein serves as rabbi.


3 folders


Congregation Rodeph Sholom is a synagogue in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This collection contains two dedication journals commemorating major construction projects, as well as a 1959 book celebrating the congregation's 50th anniversary.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition information is unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by Christopher Russell, JHCI-006

Guide to the Congregation Rodeph Sholom (Bridgeport, Conn.) Records, JCI-006
Christopher Russell
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at American Ancestors Repository

99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States