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Kehillath Israel Synagogue (Brookline, Mass.) Records

 Collection
Identifier: I-488

Scope and Content Note

This collection includes numerous photographs, publications and event information pertaining to services, fundraisers and anniversaries at the Synagogue from its first official year in 1924 to more recently, 2001. The primary bulk of the papers consist of photographs, K.I. Brotherhood papers and ephemera, and activities supported by the Synagogue. Kehillath Israel was home to noteworthy Rabbis, including Louis M. Epstein, Judah Nadich, and Manual Saltzman. Correspondence, photographs and programs about events regarding these three Rabbis are included in this collection. Also part of the collection are several scrapbooks, most of which are very fragile, that offer a glimpse into the synagogue's own historical documentation process.

Dates

  • undated, 1924-2001

Language of Materials

The collection is predominantly in English, with some Hebrew.

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 jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Use Restrictions

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

Historical Note

Kehillath Israel Synagogue of Brookline, Massachusetts began as a small collective in 1911 before its establishment, with 36 members, in 1915. The State of Massachusetts granted the Synagogue a State Charter in 1917, and land was then purchased in Brookline, Massachusetts for the development of the Synagogue and Hebrew School. The first Holy Day services were held in the Synagogue in 1924, and in 1925 the building was formally dedicated with Rabbi Louis M. Epstein installed as Rabbi. Rabbi Epstein led the Synagogue until his retirement in 1947. Rabbi Judah Nadich succeeded him until 1957, when Rabbi Manuel Saltzman was installed. Most recently the Synagogue has been under the leadership of Rabbi William Hamilton.

Kehillath Israel established a Sisterhood in 1919, followed several years later by the creation of a Brotherhood in 1927. The two often shared fundraising responsibilities, but the Brotherhood also had an established Glee Club under the direction of Mary Wolfman for many years. Both groups hosted various events, including teas, dances, performances, lectures and Shabbat dinners. The two groups were also responsible for the production of the K.I. Yearbooks.

In addition to its Hebrew School and adult learning opportunities, Kehillath Israel is also home to the Judge and Mrs. Louis Goldberg Nursery School, also known as KINS. The congregation remains active in the community with a Social Action Committee, youth leadership program, and youth department, in addition to regular and holiday services.

References

  1. Materials from the collection.
  2. "History of KI." https://congki.org/about-2/history-of-kehillath-israel/

Chronology

1911
Initial services are held in a private residence.
1911
First Holy Day Services and First Hebrew school classes at Oddfellows Hall.
1915
K.I. Congregation established with a membership of 36.
1917
K.I. Congregation is granted a State Charter.
1917
Land is purchased for the Synagogue and Hebrew School.
1917
The Kehillath Israel School is organized.
1919
The K.I. Sisterhood is created.
1921
Land is purchased for the site of the Temple.
1923
The cornerstone of the Temple is laid.
1924
First Holy Day services are held in the new Synagogue.
1925
Dedication of Kehillath Israel.
1925
Louis Epstein is installed as Rabbi.
1925
K.I. High School organized.
1927
The K.I. Brotherhood is organized.
1929
The school building is completed and dedicated.
1946
Rabbi Benjamin Kreitman installed.
1947
Rabbi Epstein retires.
1947
Rabbi Judah Nadich installed.
1957
Rabbi Manuel Saltzman installed.
1966
Judge and Mrs. Lewis Goldberg Nursery School established.
1987
70th Anniversary with Senator Ted Kennedy as featured speaker.

Extent

10.8 linear feet (8 manuscript boxes, 4 oversized boxes)

Abstract

The Kehillath Israel Synagogue Collection includes numerous photographs, publications and event information pertaining to services, fundraisers and anniversaries at the Synagogue from its first official year in 1924 to more recently, 2001. The primary bulk of the papers consist of photographs, K.I. Brotherhood papers and ephemera, and activities supported by the Synagogue. Kehillath Israel was home to noteworthy Rabbis, including Louis M. Epstein, Judah Nadich, and Manual Saltzman. Correspondence, photographs and programs about events regarding these three Rabbis are included in this collection. Also part of the collection are several scrapbooks, most of which are very fragile, that offer a glimpse into the synagogue's own historical documentation process.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Kehillath Israel Synagogue in 2007.

Processing Information

Processed by Stephanie Call, 2008
Title
Guide to the Kehillath Israel Synagogue (Brookline, Mass.) Records, I-488
Author
Processed by Stephanie Call
Date
2008
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Sponsor
Processed by 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 New England Historic Genealogical Society Repository

Contact:
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States
617-226-1245