Temple B'rith Kodesh

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Collection Overview
Call Number: D.389
Dates: 1848-1972
Physical Description: 3 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation

Biographical/Historical Note
Temple B'rith Kodesh was founded on October 9, 1848 as an Orthodox synagogue with 12 members. It is the oldest Jewish congregation and the largest Reform temple in the greater Rochester area. From 1849-1856 the home of Temple B'rith Kodesh was on Front Street. After, the congregation moved into the former church on St. Paul St. By 1894 the congregation had grown to over 250 members and a building was purchased in downtown Rochester on Gibbs Street. During this period, a gradual change from Orthodox to Classical Reform began. Horace J. Wolf, senior rabbi from 1915-1927, was the temple's first rabbi born in the United States. He adovcated the temple as a community house, offering a range of classes. lectures and sporting activities to the entire Jewish community.

When Rabbi Philip Bernstein became Senior Rabbi in 1926, the temple was located on Gibbs Street in the downtown area of Rochester. More traditional observances were adopted by the congregation during his tenure including the return from Sunday services to Friday night and Saturday morning services, traditional High Holy Day observances, and celebration of Bar and Bat Mitzvah traditions.

In 1962, a new Temple B'rith Kodesh was erected on Elmwood Ave. The new temple marked the movement of most B'rith members from the city to the suburbs.

This collection documents the development of Rochester, the influence of World Wars, and the rise of radical reform through the efforts of Isaac Mayer, Susan B. Anthony, Willam Warfield and Stephen S. Wise.

The TEMPLE B'RITH KODESH is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact the Rare Books Special Collections & Preservation Department prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.

In consultation with a curator, reproductions may be made upon request. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from a curator. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.

Scope and Content
Included in the collection are financial and marriage reports. It includes writings by Rabbi Wolf and Rabbi Bernstein with travel diaries of Simon N. Stein.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Temple B'rith Kodesh Museum committee, received May 16, 2005 and January 11, 2006.

(Name of item, if applicable), TEMPLE B'RITH KODESH, 1848-1972. Rare Books Special Collections & Preservation Department, University of Rochester.

Related Material
The Rabbi Philip Bernstein Papers, housed in the department, also document the history of the temple.

Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
URL: http://www.library.rochester.edu/rbscp

Content List
Box 1
1. Families-Early Days
2. Financial receipts, bills from buildings on Gibbs St.
3. Estimate of fire damages on temple 1894
4. Financial reports including taxes city and county- 1891-1908
5. Certificates of Marriage 1875-1876, 1898
6. Reports of Marriages1907-December 26, 1911
7. Reports of Marriages December 26, 1911-1925
8. Return of Marriages -1870-1896
9. Rabbi Horace Wolf-Correspondence
10. Works by Rabbi Horace Wolf:
Alternative to Bolshevism-April 27th 1919
Auction Block-February 7, 1921
Barriers to Brotherhood-January 19, 1919
The Bok Prize Peace Plan-January, 1924
Challenge of the Hour
Congregational Report
Crime against Childhood
Free Synagogue
Hard Times-January 1921
Human Cost of War
Jewish View of Jesus
11. Works by Rabbi Horace Wolf:
Is our civilization collapsing? - April 3, 1921
Khi L'Michych shelochani adonoi lfonechem- Menace or Hope?- December 2, 1923
Liberal Judaism versus Liberal Christianity-Jan. 12, 1919
Life that Counts-March 21, 1920
Modern Moloch-January 1924
Neighbors-February 26, 1923
N.Y. morning-no date
Opinions - Ready Made of made to order -March 23, 1922
Pharisees, Gentiles etc.- December 7, 1919
Poison of Asps
The Rabbi as Rabbi
The Rabbi as a Social Worker
Right Start-no date
R.U.R.- March 1923
The Relation of Law to Morality
Spiritual Perspective - February 14, 1918
Strangers- November 9, 1919
Unfashionable-March 14, 1920
Vision-February 20, 1920
Washington's Birthday'20- February 22, 1920
Wastrels-no date
Which is best Religion? December 3, 1922
12. Works by Rabbi Horace Wolf:
Summary of Declarations on Social Justice by the Central Conference of American Rabbis, 1920-1922
Miscellaneous, dates
13. Works by Rabbi Horace Wolf
Box 2
1. Memorials for Rabbi Wolf
2. Jewish Societies
3. Lillian Ward
4. Reverend Max S. Moll
5. Women in History by Frances Lampert
6. Mount Hope Cemetery
7. Works by Rabbi Philip Bernstein:
Israel in Danger ~ Not in Jeopardy
Reflections on the Founding Fathers
Role of Brotherhood in 1946
What do we owe our Dead?
Our Sacred Heritage
Letter dated August 1960
8. Works concerning Rabbi Phillip Bernstein-include small photograph
9. Sister City Charter- Rehovot-Rochester-Rochester
10. Henry M. Seligman Masonic -Certificate
11. Floral Album and Recipe Book-1871-1875
12. Travel Diaries of Samuel Stein, 1895, 1905
Box 3
Samuel Stein-Book of Psalms

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