JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen RE: information from synagogues #general

Ida & Joseph Schwarcz <idayosef@...>

Unfortunately what you say is all too true. Many shuls were run by
volunteers who kept the records at home. My late father was the treasurer of
his shul for many years and kept the records at home, until someone else
took over and the records were transferred to him. It is not only in
synagogues that this occurs. I did my dissertation on Columbian Council of
Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh section of the National Council of Jewish Women.
Trying to reconstruct the early years was very difficult. I was told that
the secretary kept the minutes at home and after she died no one really knew
where they were. I had to use newspaper accounts of meetings for my data.
While trying to track down the names of the charter members of Hadassah,
founded in 1912, the archivist of Hadassah sent me all the materials she had
available, and the only accounts were recollections of members fifty or more
years later.

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Monday, July 01, 2002 11:58 PM
To: JewishGen Discussion Group
Subject: information >from synagogues
Dear friends,

It seems to me that the records of our Synagogues, where we live the
landmarks of our lives, should contain a wealth of information. Since
notices are sent out for Yarzeit, I would think that the names of parents,
siblings, and others, many of whom died and have been lost to memory in the
old country, would be included.

A few years ago, I contacted the large Conservative Synagogue in Providence,
Rhode Island, of which my grandfather was a founder, hoping to find the date
of death of his father. I was told that no such records existed. Only a
note of a loan >from my grandfather, and a one line mention of my grandmother
as the founding President of the Sisterhood. And this >from a long lifetime
of involvement. I'm wondering if anyone else has experience or thoughts on
the subject.

On a related note, can anyone say what's happened to the records of the many
now defunct Synagogues of New York? My great grandparent's Shul, on
Rochester Avenue in Brooklyn, has become an African American church. Are
these records destroyed, absorbed by other congregations, kept by private
members of the congregation, have they found their way to Yivo or the New
York Public Library, or some combination of the above?

I seldom hear of Synagogues in the new world as a source of genealogical
information. I would think there'd be a bevy of information to mine here.


Robert Corwin

Researching KREMENETSKY/KENNER and BECKERMAN >from Kremenets/Odessa,
LITTMAN and KRAVIATSKY >from Proshnits,
COHEN >from London/Vilna,
ARONSON and FRIEDMAN >from Warsaw.

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