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David B. Alpert Papers

Identifier: P-82

Scope and Content Note

This collection includes numerous diaries written by DBA from the 1940s to early 1980s. In addition to the diaries, the collection also contains copies of newspaper articles penned by DBA on Jewish issues, as well as minutes and notes from various rabbinical conferences. DBA's Jewish chaplaincy work is reflected in the newsletters and correspondence written on behalf of the institution, although the bulk of newsletters is from Boston City Hospital.


  • 1924-1981


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

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Use Restrictions

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Biographical Note

Rabbi David Alpert was born in Boston in 1900. A graduate of Boston University College of Liberal Arts, Harvard Divinity School and the Jewish Institute of Religion, Alpert was the first Boston born Rabbi and the youngest to be appointed to his own congregation. After serving in World War I, at the age of 24, Alpert was appointed Rabbi of Congregation Beth Hasholom in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. By the 1930s he was living in the Boston area, where he was involved in Jewish chaplaincy at local hospitals, mental health institutions, and in 1947, the State Department. Among those institutions served by Alpert were Boston City Hospital, Jewish Memorial Hospital, Wrenthem State School, Walter E. Fernald State School, Worcester State Hospital, Foxborough State Hospital, and Grafton State Hospital. A prolific writer, Alpert had numerous articles published in local Jewish newspapers. He and his wife Jeannette had a son, Frank. Alpert died in 1982.


2.5 linear feet (5 manuscript boxes)


Rabbi of Boston. Diaries containing notes and reflections on religious and personal matters, on a trip to Israel and Europe, and on current political events. Includes general observations of a hospital chaplain and background information on patients at Boston City Hospital where Alpert served as the Jewish chaplain; includes material from the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis and the Eastern New England Conference of Liberal Rabbis. Material also consists of a scrap book containing newspaper editorials by Alpert, 1945-1949, a booklet containing hand-written notes on the first meeting of Central Conference of American Rabbis in Israel, 1970, as well as newspaper clippings pertaining to the biography of the rabbi and a short, reflective essay, 1979.

Physical Location

Located at Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Rabbi David B. Alpert between 1970 and 1980.

Processing Information

Reprocessed by Judith Garner and Stephanie Call, 2007.

Guide to the Rabbi David B. Alpert Papers, P-82
Reprocessed by Judith Garner and Stephanie Call (December 2007)
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Processed by Judith Garner, Archivist and Stephanie Call, Schilder Assistant Archivist, made possible by a grant from the Schilder Family Fund. This collection has been digitized, made possible by a grant from the Trustees u/w of Herman Dana.

Repository Details

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

99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States