Guide to the Collection of the Jewish Archival Survey, 1912-1991

Digital Research Library, University Library System

Summary Information

Repository
Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center
Title
Collection of the Jewish Archival Survey
Collector
Jewish Archival Survey (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Collection Number
MSS#196
Date [inclusive]
1912-1991
Extent
1.5 cubic feet (3 boxes)
Language of Materials
The material in this collection is in English.
Abstract
The Jewish Archival Survey was conducted in 1987-1988 by the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania to identify and survey archival materials relating to the Jewish community in Pittsburgh. The survey began the process of developing a Western Pennsylvania Jewish Archives at the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. The collection includes published material, inventories, original materials and news clipings regarding Jewish organizations, synagogues and families, providing researchers with general information regarding the Jewish community in the Pittsburgh region.
Sponsor Note
This finding aid has been encoded as a part of the Historic Pittsburgh project, a joint effort of the University of Pittsburgh and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Funding for this portion of the project has been donated by the Hillman Foundation.

Preferred Citation

Collection of the Jewish Archival Survey, 1912-1991, MSS #196, Western Pennsylvania Jewish Archives, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania.

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History of The Jewish Archival Survey (1987-1988)

In 1987, the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania received a grant from the Allen H. and Selma W. Berkman Endowment Fund to conduct a one year survey to identify archival materials relating to the Jewish community of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. An Advisory Committee was appointed to help direct the project and Michael Pipoly was hired to coordinate the research. Pipoly focused his efforts on identifying historical papers and records of archival repositories, synagogues, organizations, and individuals. Reviews of these materials were conducted and an inventory was taken at each site that included factors such as size, location, physical condition and information content. Many of the sources surveyed contributed publications or copies of archival material to be housed permanently with this collection. The project was completed in 1988 and served as the initial phase in establishing the Western Pennsylvania Jewish Archives at the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania.

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Scope and Content Notes

These records primarily include published material, inventories, original materials, and newsclippings regarding Jewish organizations, synagogues, and families that provide researchers with general information regarding the Jewish community in the Pittsburgh region. While the materials provided in this collection are not comprehensive, they do serve as a general reference and provide some documentation of religious, social, and political institutions within the greater Pittsburgh Jewish community. Of primary note is the summary report of the survey entitled A Guide to Jewish Archival Resources in Pittsburgh (1988), by Michael Pipoly and a revised version (1989). The report provides a brief description of all materials collected and a review of the project.

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Arrangement

Material in this collection is arranged in four groups: archival repositories, organizations, personal papers, and synagogues.

The Jewish Archival Survey Collection is housed in three archival boxes and arranged alphabetically by folder title with the final report arranged to the front.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Digital Research Library, University Library System Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Summer, 1999

Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
library@hswp.org

Revision Description

 Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002 July 1, 2006

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or publish, please contact the curator of the Archives.

Acquisition Information

These materials came in one primary accession, 1992, with some additional materials added at later dates.

Acc# 1992.0266 -- Collected by Michael Pipoly, (Collection. Michael Pipoly was an employee of the Historical Society of Western Pa. and was the coordinator of this survey. This accession number refers to items collected during the survey).

Processing Information

This collection was arranged and described by Rachel Balliet Colker on September 11, 1995.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Jennifer Marshall on August 10, 1999.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Ahvath Achim Congregation (Carnegie, Pa.)
  • B'nai B'rith -- Anti-defamation League
  • Beth Hamedrash Hagodol (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Beth Israel (South Hills, Pa.)
  • Beth Shalom Congregation (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Children's Aid Society of Jewish Women (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Congregation Keser Torah (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Dor Hadash Congregation (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Independent Order of Odd Fellows -- Montefiore Lodge #794 (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Irene Kaufmann Settlement (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Jewish Labor Committee (U.S.)
  • Montefiore Hospital Association (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Pittsburgh Conference on Soviet Jewry
  • Tree of Life Congregation (Ellwood City, Pa.)
  • Tree of Life Congregation (McKeesport, Pa.)
  • Workmans' Circle (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Young People's Synagogue (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • United Jewish Federation (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Allegheny County (Pa.) -- Religion
  • Beaver County (Pa.) -- Religion
  • Lawrence County (Pa.) -- Religion
  • McKeesport (Pa.) -- Religion
  • Monroeville (Pa.) -- Religion
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Education
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Medicine
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Religion
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Social life and customs
  • Westmoreland County (Pa.) -- Religion

Personal Name(s)

  • Epstein, Dana
  • Heldman, Anna B. -- -1940
  • Kaufman, Nate-- 1910-1993
  • Krause, Corinne
  • Mintz, Ida
  • Pipoly, Michael

Subject(s)

  • Friendly societies -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Jewish aged -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Jewish organizations -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Jewish religious education -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Jews -- Pennsylvania
  • Jews -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Jews -- Pennsylvania -- McKeesport
  • Social settlements -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Synagogues -- Pennsylvania -- Beaver Falls
  • Synagogues -- Pennsylvania -- Carnegie
  • Synagogues -- Pennsylvania -- Ellwood City
  • Synagogues -- Pennsylvania -- Greensburg
  • Synagogues -- Pennsylvania -- McKeesport
  • Synagogues -- Pennsylvania -- Monroeville
  • Synagogues -- Pennsylvania -- New Castle
  • Synagogues -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Zionism -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Jewish Archival Survey (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Jewish Archives
  • Women
  • Women's Collection

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Collection Inventory

 
  boxfolder
 1988 11
  folder
Revision 1989 2

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Archival Repositories 

Related Material

The materials collected from archival repositories with manuscript material pertaining to local Jewish life include an inventory of Jewish manuscript material from the Archives of Industrial Society at Hillman Library (University of Pittsburgh) and the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, Ohio. There are several Jewish collections housed at the Archives of Industrial Society and a brief inventory of those collections are included in this survey with a more detailed inventory for the records of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Montefiore Lodge #794 (1920-1962) and Congregation Kether Torah (1914-1958). The materials collected from the American Jewish Archives are limited and primarily include their cataloging entries for all material relating to Pittsburgh. There are some materials collected from the American Jewish Historical Society in Waltham, Massachusetts; however, these materials do not include any information on archival material specific to the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, but rather general published materials on the archives itself.

  folder
American Jewish Archives 1988 3
  folder
American Jewish Historical Society 1988 4
  folder
Archives of Industrial Society 1984-1989 5

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Organizations 

Scope and Content Notes

The materials collected from organizations in the Pittsburgh area include both independent organizations and local chapters or affiliates of national organizations. Represented organizations span the entire community and include educational, medical, social, women's, and Zionist organizations. These materials primarily include brochures and other published materials with some statements of purpose, brief histories, and original records. The earliest material in this collection documents the Children's Aid Society of Jewish Women, Montefiore Hospital Association, and the United Jewish Federation, including photocopies of original charters and the United Jewish Federation's first annual report (1912). The materials collected for each organization vary in volume and scope. Organizations with more comprehensive documentation include the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (1983-1987), the Jewish Labor Committee (c. 1945-1988) and the Pittsburgh Conference on Soviet Jewry (1986-1987).

  folder
General Material 1988 6
  folder
American Jewish Committee 1970-1987 7
  folder
American Zionist Federation 1988 8
  folder
American Defamation League of B'nai B'rith 1983-1987 9
  folder
American Red Magen David for Israel (ARMDI)  1988 10
  folder
Association of Reform Zionist of America (AZRA)  1988 11
  folder
B'nai B'rith of Pittsburgh 1971-1988 12
  folder
Children's Aid Society of Jewish Women 1928-1987 13
  folder
Hadassah 1977-1988 14
  folder
Hashachar/Young Judaea 1985-1988 15
  folder
Hebrew Burial Association 1961-1988 16
  folder
Hebrew Institute c. 1974-1988 17
  folder
Histadrut (General Federation of Labor) 1979-1983 18
  folder
Holocaust Center 1988 19
  folder
Jewish Chronicle 1986-1988 20
  folder
Jewish Community Center 1988 21
  folder
Jewish Education Research Center 1982-1991 22
  boxfolder
Jewish Family and Children's Service 1961- 21
  folder
Jewish Labor Committee c. 1945-1988 2
  folder
Jewish National Fund c. 1945-1988 3
  folder
Jewish Women's League 1988 4
  folder
Ladies Hospital Aid Society 1973-1987 5
  folder
Montefiore Hospital Assn. 1905-1988 6
  folder
Na'amat c. 1986 7
  folder
National Council of Jewish Women 1982 8
  folder
Pittsburgh Conference of Jewish Women's Organization 1988 9
  folder
Pittsburgh Conference on Soviet Jewry 1986-1987 10
  folder
Riverview Center for Jewish Seniors 1961-1986 11
  folder
Solomon Schechter Day School 1982-1988 12
  folder
State of Israel Bonds 1987-1988 13
  folder
United Jewish Federation 1912-1989 14
  folder
Westmoreland County Jewish Community Council c. 1989 15
  folder
Women's American ORT Chapter 1987 16
  folder
Women's League for Conservative Judaism 1988 17
  folder
Workman's Circle 1954-1988 18
  folder
Yeshiva School 1984-1990 19
  folder
Zionist Organization of America c. 1988 20

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Personal Papers 

Scope and Content Notes

The materials designated as personal papers include those of Dena Epstein, Nate Kaufman, Corinne Krause, and Ida Mintz. The Dena Epstein materials include a portion of the manuscript Neighbor's Tales, by Anna B. Heldman, that was edited by Dena Epstein's mother, Hilda Satt Polacheck. Anna B. Heldman, a social worker for the Irene Kaufmann Settlement House (IKS) in Pittsburgh's Hill District for almost forty years, dictated these stories to Polacheck.   Neighbor's Tales is a collection of true stories gathered by Anna B. Heldman during that time. Since the completion of this survey, the Nate Kaufman and Corinne Krause papers have been donated to the Western Pennsylvania Jewish Archives at the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania; however, some original archival material remains in this collection. Materials relating to the papers of Nate Kaufman (1938-1989) include a program and various newspaper clippings relating to the Allegheny County Sesquicentennial (1938) and his involvement with organizing an aqua ballet pageant for that event. The materials relating to the papers of Corinne Krause primarily consist of an inventory of her collection of photographs and a listing of local resources for Jewish archival material. Information regarding the papers of Ida Mintz consists of a brief inventory of her papers, which are still in the possession of her family.

  folder
Epstein, Dana c. 1935-1988 21
  folder
Kaufman, Nate 1938-1989 22
  folder
Krause, Corinne 1988 23
  folder
Mintz, Ida 1988 24

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Synagogues 

Scope and Content Notes

The materials collected from synagogues also vary in volume and scope. Materials primarily consist of programs from various anniversary and dedication events that usually include an historical sketch of the congregation. The synagogues are arranged by geographic location. Since many synagogues have moved their location, researchers should note that the recorded location is from 1988. Several of the synagogues surveyed were originally located in Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood, but in later years moved to other city neighborhoods including East Liberty, Squirrel Hill and Highland Park. It should also be noted that several synagogues whose membership declined in recent years have joined their congregation with other small synagogues. In these cases, both synagogues names are represented. The earliest materials collected include those of the Beth Hamedrash Hagodol Congregation (now a combined congregation with Beth Jacob Congregation in the Hill District), Ahvath Achim Congregation in Carnegie (Allegheny County), Pennsylvania, and the Tree of Life Congregation of Ellwood City (Lawrence County), Pennsylvania. General inventories and location of records for B'nai Emunoh (Squirrel Hill), Temple Sinai (Squirrel Hill), and Tree of Life (Squirrel Hill) were collected without any other general or archival material. The more comprehensive collection of materials from synagogues includes those from Beth Shalom (Squirrel Hill), Ahvath Achim (Carnegie (Allegheny County), Pennsylvania), and Beth Israel (South Hills (Allegheny County) suburbs of Pittsburgh). The materials collected for this survey from synagogues in and around Pittsburgh provide some of the only documentation of these congregations. Of particular interest are the materials collected from the more recently established synagogues such as Young People's Synagogue/Bohnai Yisroel (Squirrel Hill) and Dor Hadash (Squirrel Hill) and the materials collected from the congregations in the small towns outside of Pittsburgh. The most comprehensive of these are the materials from the synagogues of McKeesport (Allegheny County), Pennsylvania, particularly that from the Tree of Life Congregation of White Oak which includes a lengthy and detailed history by Iggy Lefkowitz entitled A History of Jews in McKeesport.

  boxfolder
General Material 1988 31
Beaver Falls (Beaver County) 
  folder
Agudath Achim c. 1960 2
Carnegie (Allegheny County) 
  folder
Ahvath Achim c. 1903-1963 3
Ellwood City (Lawrence County) 
  folder
Tree of Life 1910-1988 4
Greensburg (Westmoreland County) 
  folder
Enamu-El Israel 1951-1987 5
McKeesport (Allegheny County) 
  folder
Gemilas Chesed 1986-1990 6
  folder
Temple B'nai Israel c. 1930-1987 7
  folder
Tree of Life (White Oak) c. 1940-1973 8
Monroeville (Allegheny County) 
  folder
Parkway Jewish Center 1956-1988 9
  folder
Temple David 1987 10
New Castle (Lawrence County) 
  folder
Tifereth Israel 1958-1980 11
Pittsburgh (Allegheny County) 
Highland Park 
  folder
Adath Jeshurun/C'neth Israel c. 1955-1965 12
  folder
Machsikei Hadas c. 1989 13
Hill District 
  folder
Beth Hamedrash Hagadol/Beth Jacob 1954-1990 14
Oakland 
  folder
Adath Israel 1921-1955 15
Shadyside 
  folder
Rodef Shalom 1921-1991 16
Squirrel Hill 
  folder
Beth Shalom 1967-1987 17
  folder
B'nai Emunoh 1985 18
  folder
Dor Hadash 1963-1987 19
  folder
Kether Torah 1975-1977 20
  folder
New Light Synagogue 1990 21
  folder
Poale Zedeck c. 1990 22
  folder
Temple Sinai c. 1990 23
  folder
Tree of Life c. 1974-1990 24
  folder
Young Israel/Shaare Zedeck c. 1955 25
  folder
Young People's Synagogue 1988 26
South Hills (Allegheny County) 
  folder
Beth El 1977-1982 27
  folder
Beth Israel 1958-1988 28
  folder
Temple Emanuel 1962-1976 29

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