Re: Location of archived records when synagogue closes down #general

Joseph Hirschfield

When a ketubah is not available, a good substitute for this is may be the
New York City Certificate and Record of Marriage. That record is signed by
the marrying official. If the signature can be researched and proven to
be that of a rabbi, that should be all that is needed to prove a Jewish
marriage. But it will depend on how long ago the marriage was performed. Back
in the day, no rabbi would preside at an inter-faith ceremony. We know that
is not true of more recent times when only Orthodox and most conservative
rabbis follow the marriage protocol.

Joseph Hirschfield
Portage, Michigan USA
Bienkow, Jaryczow Nowy, Glinyany-GALICIA

In a message dated 5/30/2011 5:06:28 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
Dana Lytel asked what happens to the records of a synagogue when it goes
defunct. She's trying to prove her Jewish lineage, and her mother got
married in a synagogue in the Bronx that no longer exists.
I don't think there's a single answer to this. It most likely depends on
non-religious matters, like whether there were any debts like a building
mortgage. But the religious records are much less likely to be kept than
financial information, which may have had to be given to a bank or the New
York Secretary of State's Office.
However, it seems like the ketubah is as good as anything that the
synagogue might have kept in their file.

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