MS 187 The Randallstown Synagogue Center Collection, 1954-2003

Posted on January 20, 2011 by

One of our archives volunteers, Rachael Shapira, processed MS 187.  Though she’d been working with us for awhile this was the first archival collection that she handled from start to finish (organization to finding aid.)  Rachael had this to say about the experience:

“Processing the Randallstown Synagogue Center collection was fascinating, and I really enjoyed learning about how the Synagogue evolved. The office records, congregational activities, school records and most of all the correspondence of the Rabbis, culminated in a vibrant picture of a community in growth and change.”

One of the most notorious processing tasks is removing metal fasteners (usually paperclips and staples). Some people hate this job, some people find it almost meditative, others just wonder why we would do it. This piece of paper shows you one of the reasons why.

The Randallstown Synagogue Center Collection, 1954-2003

MS 187

The Randallstown Synagogue Center Collection was donated to the Jewish Museum of Maryland in 2005 as part of accession 2005.002 by Tova Rosenblatt. The collection was processed by Rachael Shapira in 2010.

Access to the collection is unrestricted and is available to researchers at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.  Researchers must obtain the written permission of the Jewish Museum of Maryland before publishing quotations from materials in the collection.  Papers may be copied in accordance with the library’s usual procedures.

HISTORICAL NOTE

The Ahavas Sholom Agudas Achim Anshe Sphard, Randallstown Synagogue Center was formed in 1971 after the merger of several synagogues.  Old Court-Liberty Road Synagogue, incorporated 2 July, 1962, merged with Ahavas Sholom Congregation in 1966, and again with Agudas Achim Anshe Sphard of Baltimore City, incorporated on 4 February, 1922, signed 11 January, 1971.  With the last merger, it became the Ahavas Sholom-Agudas Achim Anshe Sphard, Randallstown Synagogue Center.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The Randallstown Synagogue Center Collection encompasses the Randallstown Synagogue’s business, administrative and financial information, as well as documents regarding the activities of the Synagogue in the community.  Early records of the incorporation of the Synagogue through the mergers and eventual closing are included. There are financial records, including receipts from purchases, sales, and loans, as well as invoices and member dues.  Correspondence related to the clergy and the business aspects of the Synagogue and related school, primarily from the Rabbis, as well as information regarding events at the Synagogue are found in the files.  Most of the files include undated materials.

The records have been divided into four series: Series I. Administrative, n.d., 1954-2002; Series II. Congregation, n.d., 1956-2003; Series III. Correspondence, n.d., 1963-2003; Series IV. Financial, n.d., 1965-2000.

Series I. Administrative, n.d., 1954-2002. This Series is primarily comprised of legal agreements made by the Synagogue, as well as documents relating to administrative functions such as committees and business agreements. These documents include constitution and mergers, as well as related leases and business agreements with caterers, etc.  Committee rosters, membership lists, meeting notes and minutes, the Sisterhood papers and similar information regarding the administrative activities of the Synagogue are in the collection.  Business agreements related to the perpetual care of graves, agreements with a cemetery, and purchases of memorial plaques are also contained therein.  In this Series are documents regarding the upkeep of the Hebrew School, including registration reminders and similar information.

Series II. Congregation, n.d., 1956-2003. This Series contains documents that are related to the activities of the Synagogue, as well as those produced by organizations within the Synagogue. Bar and Bat Mitzvah “Benchers” and programs, as well as Book of Life memorials are included in the Series.  Synagogue event announcements and forms, information for the High Holidays events, and information from other Shuls are also found, as are copies of the Sisterhood Cookbook.

Series III. Correspondence, n.d., 1963-2003. This Series contains extensive correspondence from the Rabbis.  Much of this consists of daily business for the Synagogue and school, including requests for donations and thank you notes for receipt of same.  Some correspondence reference business issues, specifically leases and contracts, which overlap with information from the first Series.  Included also are personal and rabbinical letters, for example letters of congratulations on weddings, or of sympathy for illness or death

1960s letterhead

Series IV. Financial, n.d., 1965-2000.  This Series contains the financial documents for the Synagogue.  Included are detailed accounts for several years of Bingo games.  The Synagogue offered bonds to its members, and there are also extensive receipts for primarily 1983 and various other financial reports. Detailed ledger sheets for membership dues and receivables are included in the collection, as well as the Building Fund checks from 1974-75.

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2 Comments

  1. Looking for family info about Jacob Smith. Might died in the 1980′s. There is a Jacob Smith buried in the Adath Yeshurujn-Shadover cemetery. Any idea if there is anyone I can call/email to find out more about this Jacob Smith’s family. I am a relative doing family tree research. He had a son named Barry Smith, possibly living in Annapolis.
    Thansk.