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Massachusetts Board of Rabbis Records

Identifier: I-56 and I-56A

Scope and Content Note

This collection includes correspondence between officers and other members regarding various activities of the Board, as well as minutes to meetings and committee documents. Numerous statements and resolutions regarding Kashruth, intermarriage, Israel and the Vietnam War are also included. The collection also contains information relating to the media.

The addendum contains materials collectively donated by the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis (MBR) and the Associated Synagogues of Massachusetts (ASM). The two organizations worked closely together on a variety of issues, as the MBR was located in the same building as the ASM. However, since the bulk of the records indicate closer ties to the work of the MBR and provenance is not clear, the records have been organized as an addendum to the original MBR collection in the AJHS-New England archives.

Records in this collection include correspondence of several Boston Rabbis, including Rabbis David Weiss, Ephraim Bennett, Leo Shubow and Albert Gordon. There is also information pertaining to Kashruth and the role of the Rabbinical Council of New England during the Queen Elizabeth II cruise to Israel in the mid-1970s, as well as newsletters and bulletins from both ASM and MRB. In addition to administrative records and correspondence, the bulk of the collection contains miscellaneous subject files relating to topics of interest to the Boston Jewish community.


  • undated, 1970-1980

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

The Massachusetts Board of Rabbis was founded in 1938 as the Rabbinical Association of Greater Boston by Rabbi Herman Rubenovitz of Mishkan Tefila, who also served as the President for several years. Rabbis Louis Epstein of Kehillath Israel, Joshua Loth Liebman of Temple Israel, Beryl D. Cohen of Temple Sinai, and Sam Abrams of Ohabei Shalom were co-founders of the organization.

In the 1970s, the organization focused on topics concurrent with the time, including chevruta, social action, and an insurance program for Rabbis. It also continued to maintain its chaplaincy services, which sent Rabbis to hospitals to provide spiritual care to patients.


  1. Materials from the collection.
  2. "A Brief History of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis.", accessed 27 October 2008.


7 linear feet (14 manuscript boxes)


The Massachusetts Board of Rabbis was founded in 1938 as the Rabbinical Association of Greater Boston by Rabbis Herman Rubenovitz, Louis Epstein, Joshua Loth Lieberman, Beryl D. Cohen, and Sam Abrams. During the 1970s the Board focused on its chaplaincy work in hospitals as well as timely topics, such as social action, chevruta, and health insurance for Rabbis. This collection contains minutes, correspondence and statements regarding the Board's work around hospital chaplaincy, kashruth, Israel, intermarriage, and the Vietnam War.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Rabbi Harry Roth.

Processing Information

Reprocessed by Stephanie Call, 2008

Guide to the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis Records, I-56 and I-56A
Reprocessed by Stephanie Call
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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 American Ancestors Repository

99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States