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Congregation Anshai Sfard (Lynn, Mass.) Records

Identifier: I-556

Scope and Content Note

The records of Congregation Anshai Sfard include correspondence, family genealogical histories, meeting minutes from various organizations in the congregation, news clippings, photographs, and purchase and sale agreements. This collection includes a letterpress printing block made of metal and wood used for printing the incorporation of the synagogue in a newspaper in 1899. There is also a large book called the Golden Book of Congregation Anshei Sfard which includes an illuminated manuscript with hand painted and gold-leafed elements, a donor list, newspaper clippings, and photographs.


  • undated, 1899-2001

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

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Use Restrictions

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Historical Note

Congregation Anshai Sfard (Anshe, Anshi) was an Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Lynn, Massachusetts from 1888 to 1999. The first Jewish settlers in Lynn, a group of twenty Hasidic European families, mostly Russian, converted a house into a synagogue on West Street. The congregation was not officially recognized until 1899 when it was incorporated by Bernard Gerber, I. Gold, M. Gold, Jacob Glau, John Grob, David Graubard (Graubart), Jacob Lubmirski (Cohen), and Azrul (Azrub) Zack. In 1919, the congregation acquired an old church at the corner of Commercial and South Common Streets that was erected by Puritan settlers in 1682. President Louis Melman held a dedication ceremony in 1919 for the new temple and its 1,500 members. In 1937, members of the Temple organized the service group Bnai Anshai Sfard, followed by the organization of another, B’nois Anshai Sfard, in 1939. In 1944 the congregation’s 25th anniversary was celebrated and sixty new members were inducted. Services were held at Commercial Street until 1950, when the building was sold and a new property, the Congressional Church on Vine and South Common Streets, was purchased. A dedication ceremony was held in 1950 and the congregation grew to 300 members in 1952. The 1990s brought dwindling membership and the Temple considered possible mergers including with Chevra Tehillim Shul on Breed Street in Lynn, Temple Shalom in Salem, and Temple Ahabat Shalom in Lynn. The synagogue closed its doors in December of 1999. Many religious objects were donated or sent to other congregations for storage.


  1. Information used in this finding aid is from the following sources:
  2. Robinson, Ira. Translating a Tradition: Studies in American Jewish History, Brighton: Academic Studies Press: 2008.
  3. “Anshai Sfard of Lynn Celebrates its 25th Anniversary.” (1944, Apr 27). Jewish Advocate. (1909-1990). Retrieved from />.
  4. “Lynn Holds Memorial for Nazi Victims.” (1942. Dec 18). Jewish Advocate. (1909-1990). Retrieved from />.
  5. Materials from the Collection.


Jewish settlers of Lynn converted a house into the West Street synagogue of Anshai Sfard.
Congregation incorporated and officially recognized.
Acquired old church at Commercial and South Common Streets.
Bnai Anshai Sfard and B’nois Anshai Sfard organized.
Lynn memorial for Nazi victims held at Anshai Sfard.
25th anniversary celebrated.
Vine street church purchased and dedication held.
Congregation closed.


2 linear feet (2 document boxes)


Congregation Anshai Sfard (Anshei, Anshe, Anshi) was an Orthodox Jewish synagogue established by Jewish immigrants in Lynn, Massachusetts from 1888 to December 1999. This collection contains a letterpress printing block used to print the incorporation papers, a large "Golden Book of Congregation Anshei Sfard," which includes an illuminated manuscript with hand-painted and gold-leafed elements, a donor list, newspaper clippings, and photographs; meeting minutes, several family history scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, purchase and sales agreements, and photographs.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

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

Processing Information

Processed by Lael Dalal, 2014

Guide to the Congregation Anshai Sfard (Lynn, Mass.) Records, I-556
Processed by Lael Dalal
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