Skip to main content

Temple Israel (Boston, Mass.) Records

Identifier: I-458

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains addresses, announcements concerning educational programs, event flyers, and pamphlets concerning the general congregation and the Temple Brotherhood. The collection also contains the publication Temple Israel Bulletin, sermons, and other miscellaneous publications.


  • 1924-1996


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for researcher use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact

Historical Note

Temple Israel was founded as Congregation Adath Israel in 1854, when a group of German Jews broke from Congregation Ohabei Shalom. Also known as the Pleasant Street Synagogue, in 1859 the congregation purchased land for a cemetery in Wakefield, Massachusetts. The synagogue was, and remains, a Reform congregation.

In 1864, Nathan Strauss and fellow congregants of Adath Israel (Temple Israel) and Ohabei Shalom formed the United Hebrew Benevolent Association (UHBA; a forerunner to Combined Jewish Philanthropies.) Temple Israel's Rabbi, Solomon Schindler, later became the first Superintendent of the UHBA.

As with other Boston synagogues, Temple Israel moved several times in response to membership growth and changes in population. However, unlike synagogues in Roxbury and Dorchester, Temple Israel remained in Boston from its establishment. In 1885, the congregation moved to a new location on Columbus Avenue, and in 1907, it moved to Commonwealth Avenue (the building is now Morse Auditorium at Boston University.) In the late 1920s, the congregation began building a structure on the Riverway in the Longwood section of Boston, a plan that was interrupted by the stock market crash of 1929 and World War II. A meeting house and school were dedicated in 1928, with an addition built in 1974.

Temple Israel was well known throughout Boston and the nation, particularly due to the congregation's Rabbis. In addition to Rabbi Schindler, Temple Israel was the congregation of Rabbis Joshua Loth Liebman (1939-1948), author of the bestselling book, Peace of Mind (1946) and Roland B. Gittelsohn (1953-1977), first Jewish chaplain of the U.S. Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) and author.


  1. "Historic Moments." Temple Israel of Boston. August 16, 2010 (
  2. Sarna, Jonathan D. and Ellen Smith. The Jews of Boston. Boston: Combined Jewish Philanthropies, 1995


Congregation Adath Israel (Pleasant Street synagogue) is founded with a group of German Jews that broke away from Congregation Ohabei Shalom.
Joseph Sachs serves as Rabbi.
Joseph Shoninger serves as Rabbi.
The congregation buys land for a cemetery in Wakefield, Massachusetts.
United Hebrew Benevolent Association is founded by Nathan Strauss and other men from Adath Israel and Ohabei Shalom.
Solomon Schindler serves as Rabbi.
The congregation moves to Columbus Avenue, Boston.
Charles Fleischer serves as Rabbi.
The congregation moves to Commonwealth Avenue, Boston.
Harry Levi serves as Rabbi.
New meeting house and school dedicated at the new location on the Riverway, in the Longwood section of Boston.
Joshua Loth Liebman serves as Rabbi.
Abraham J. Klausner serves as Rabbi.
Roland Gittelsohn serves as Rabbi.
Addition built on Riverway structure.
Bernard H. Mehlman serves as Rabbi.


2.25 linear feet (4 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box)


Temple Israel was founded as Congregation Adath Israel in 1854 when a group of German Jews broke from Congregation Ohabei Shalom. The congregation was also known as the Pleasant Street Synagogue. In 1859, the congregation purchased cemetery land in Wakefield, Massachusetts. The synagogue was, and remains, a Reform congregation, and has been home to well known Rabbis, including Joshua Loth Liebman and Roland B. Gittelsohn. This collection contains flyers, newsletters, pamphlets, sermons and a yearbook.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition information is unknown.

Processing Information

Reprocessed by Stephanie Call, 2010

Guide to the Temple Israel (Boston, Mass.) Records, I-458
Reprocessed by Stephanie Call
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