Guide to the Records of Congregation Anshai Sfard (Lynn, Massachusetts), undated, 1899-2001 [Bulk 1952-2001]
 
*I-556

Processed by Lael Dalal

Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, MA 02116

Email: jhcreference@nehgs.org

URL: jewishheritagecenter.org

© 2018  Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS, Boston, MA. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Lael Dalal as MS Word document, October 2013. Finding aid was encoded by Christine McEvilly on June 16, 2014. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Congregation Anshai Sfard (Lynn, Massachusetts)
Title: Congregation Anshai Sfard (Lynn, Massachusetts) Records
Dates:undated, 1899-2001 [Bulk 1952-2001]
Abstract: Congregation Anshai Sfard (Anshei, Anshe, Anshi) was a Hasidic, conservative Jewish Synagogue established by Jewish immigrants in Lynn, Massachusetts from 1888 to December 1999. This collection contains a letterpress printing block used to print the incorporation papers, a large "Golden Book of Congregation Anshei Sfard," which includes an illuminated manuscript with hand-painted and gold-leafed elements, a donor list, newspaper clippings, and photographs; meeting minutes, several family history scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, purchase and sales agreements, and photographs.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 2 linear feet (2 manuscript boxes)
Identification: I-556
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS Boston, MA
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Historical Note

Congregation Anshai Sfard (Anshe, Anshi) was a Hasidic, conservative Jewish synagogue in Lynn, Massachusetts from 1888 to 1999. Anshai Sfard translates from Hebrew to “men or people of Sfard (or Sephardic) liturgy.” The first Jewish settlers in Lynn, a group of twenty Hasidic European families, mostly Russian, converted a house into a synagogue on West Street. The congregation was not officially recognized until 1899 when it was incorporated by Bernard Gerber, I. Gold, M. Gold, Jacob Glau, John Grob, David Graubard (Graubart), Jacob Lubmirski (Cohen), and Azrul (Azrub) Zack. In 1919, the congregation acquired an old church at the corner of Commercial and South Common Streets that was erected by Puritan settlers in 1682. President Louis Melman held a dedication ceremony in 1919 for the new temple and its 1,500 members. In 1937, members of the Temple organized the service group Bnai Anshai Sfard, followed by the organization of another, B’nois Anshai Sfard, in 1939. In 1944 the congregation’s 25th anniversary was celebrated and sixty new members were inducted. Services were held at Commercial Street until 1950, when the building was sold and a new property, the Congressional Church on Vine and South Common Streets, was purchased. A dedication ceremony was held in 1950 and the congregation grew to 300 members in 1952. The 1990s brought dwindling membership and the Temple considered possible mergers including with Chevra Tehillim Shul on Breed Street in Lynn, Temple Shalom in Salem, and Temple Ahabat Shalom in Lynn. The synagogue closed its doors in December of 1999. Many religious objects were donated or sent to other congregations for storage.1

Chronology

1888 Jewish settlers of Lynn converted a house into the West Street synagogue of Anshai Sfard.
1899 Congregation incorporated and officially recognized.
1919 Acquired old church at Commercial and South Common Streets.
1937-1939 Bnai Anshai Sfard and B’nois Anshai Sfard organized.
1942 Lynn memorial for Nazi victims held at Anshai Sfard.
1944 25th anniversary celebrated.
1950 Vine street church purchased and dedication held.
1999 Congregation closed.
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Scope and Content Note

The records of Congregation Anshai Sfard include correspondence, family genealogical histories, meeting minutes from various organizations in the congregation, news clippings, photographs, and purchase and sale agreements. This collection includes a letterpress printing block made of metal and wood used for printing the incorporation of the synagogue in a newspaper in 1899. There is also a large book called the Golden Book of Congregation Anshei Sfard which includes an illuminated manuscript with hand painted and gold-leafed elements, a donor list, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 4 series as follows:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

Congregation Beth Israel (Cambridge, MA,) I-51

Kellerman Synagogue Photographs, P-931

Louis Winer Papers (unprocessed)

Richard Winer Family Papers P-983

Temple B’nai Jacob (Lexington, Massachusetts), I-102

Temple Israel (Boston, MA), I-458

Temple Shalom Papers I-553

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Congregation Anshai Sfard (Lynn, Massachusetts) Records; I-556; box number; folder number; Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by the Jewish Heritage Center of the North Shore in 2013.

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Access Points

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Click the box in the request column to learn more about viewing materials at the Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.

 

Series I: Genealogy, undated, 1979- 2004

English
Box 1, Folders 1-8.
Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically family name.

Scope and Content:

This series includes several in-depth family histories for various families rooted in Anshai Sfard, which include family trees, photographs, and written material. The families included are: Barron/Goldstein, Charak, Dansky, Hamburger, Lacritz, and Velleman. Series III includes a folder on the Simons family history and the Cousins Club. This series also includes a genealogical request made by a patron regarding the Beck family from when the collection was at the North Shore Historical Society.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 1 Barron and Goldstein Family undated, 1985-1986 request_box
1 2 Rabbi Herman J. Bick 2004 request_box
1 3 Charack Family, “Our Families” by Jerrie Rubenstein Wacholder 2000 request_box
1 4 Joseph Dansky undated request_box
1 5 Hamburger Family 1982 request_box
1 6 Lacritz Family 1979 request_box
1 7-8 Velleman Family 1985-1986, 1993 request_box
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Series II: General, undated, 1952-2008

English.
Box 1, Folders 9-11.
Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically by subject and type of material.

Scope and Content:

This series includes newspaper clippings regarding the history of the Congregation, a robbery that took place at Anshai Sfard, and awards for people in the Congregation. There are also black and white and color photographs of events, services, buildings, members, Rabbis, and religious objects stored at another location. There are photographs of the Sisterhood, a Bar Mitzvah class, and of men in suits and sashes, possibly the Brotherhood. This series also includes newspaper clippings and correspondence regarding the Anshai Sfard Torah, which was loaned to Temple Shalom and then given to a congregation in France.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 9 Anshai Sfard Torah 2005-2006 request_box
1 10 Newspaper Clippings 1954-2008 request_box
1 11 Photographs 1952-2001 request_box
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Series III: Governance, undated, 1899-2000

English
Box 1, Folders 12-21 and Box 2.
Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically by type of material.

Scope and Content:

This series includes a member's balance tickets, a purchase agreement from 1921 and sales agreements from 1999, a Brotherhood membership list, meeting minutes from the Board of Directors, the Sisterhood, and the Cousins Club. The Cousins Club also includes information on the Simons family history. The Board of Directors meeting minutes include papers, a record book, and two meeting minutes books, which are located in box 2. These books mention possible mergers with Ahabat Shalom and other North Shore congregations. The books mention many groups within Anshai Sfard such as the Brotherhood, Sisterhood, cemetery committee, membership committee, house committee, sick committee, ritual committee, and the Jewish War Veterans. There is also an addendum for the two meeting minutes books in box 1, containing loose notes that were in the two meeting minutes books. This series also includes correspondence, a financial report, and a letterpress printing block made of metal and wood used for printing the incorporation of the synagogue in a newspaper in 1899.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 12 Addendum to Meeting Minutes Books 1 and 2 of the Board of Directors 1973-1996 request_box
1 13 Balance Tickets 1960-1961 request_box
1 14 Brotherhood Membership List 1979 request_box
1 15 Correspondence 1976, 1981 request_box
1 16 Financial Report 1982 request_box
1 17 Incorporation Letterpress cut 1899 request_box
1 18 Meeting Minutes of the Board of Directors 1955-2000 request_box
1 19 Meeting Minutes of the Cousins Club/Simons Family undated, 1947-1957 request_box
1 20 Meeting Minutes of the Sisterhood 1979-1996 request_box
1 21 Purchase and Sale Agreements 1920-2000 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
2 Meeting Minutes Book of the Board of Directors (book 1) 1973-1984 request_box
2 Meeting Minutes Book of the Board of Directors (book 2) 1984-1996 request_box
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Series IV: Scrapbooks, undated, 1951-1990

English
Box 1, Folders 22-24 and Box 2.
Arrangement:

Arranged by type of material.

Scope and Content:

This series includes an activities scrapbook (possibly put together by member Mark Solov) which includes a 1952 Ad Journal program, itemized expenses from 1976-1986, notes on coupon bonds, congregation flyers, photographs, receipts, and newspaper clippings. Also in this series is the Golden Book on Congregation Anshei Sfard, a large bound book which includes an illuminated manuscript detailing the history of Anshai Sfard with hand pained and gold-leafed elements, a copy of the corporation, a donor list, newspaper clippings, and many photographs of members and activities.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 22-24 Activities Scrapbook undated, 1952-1990 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
2 Golden Book on Congregation Anshei Sfard undated, 1951, 1975-1979 request_box
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