In 2002 we created the exhibition We Call This Place Home: Jewish Life in Maryland’s Small Towns. The exhibition looked at the many Jewish families and communities outside of Baltimore. Though most Jewish families chose to stay in the city, many others went out, settling in the state capital, western towns or along the eastern shore. The JMM has a number of archives and photographs reflecting these communities. The following manuscript collection contains original documents and research materials mostly related to Frederick, Maryland.
The Gordon Maryland Jewish Community Collection
The Jewish Museum of Maryland
ACCESS AND PROVENANCE
The Gordon Maryland Jewish Community Collection was donated by Paul and Rita Gordon of Frederick, MD in 1995 as accession 1995.104. The finding aid was written by Leslie McNamara.
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.
Frederick, Md had a thriving Jewish community beginning around the late nineteenth century. Prominent members of the Frederick Jewish community include: David Lowenstein and Benjamin Rosenour, businessmen, and Leo Weinberg, a lawyer. These members of the Jewish community in Frederick were influential in establishing a local synagogue.
Frederick Hebrew Congregation was established in 1840 to serve the religious needs of the Jewish community in Frederick. In 1858, Rabbi Sussman Goebricher became their first rabbi. By the early 1900’s Frederick Hebrew Congregation was renamed Beth Shalom Congregation and on October 16, 1917, Beth Shalom was chartered and later incorporated in 1919. On September 2, 1923, Leo Weinberg donated a synagogue to the members of Beth Shalom Congregation, located at 20 West Second Street in Frederick. Preceding the generous donation of Weinberg, services for members of Beth Shalom had been held at a MasonicTemple. In 1976, the building was rededicated and renovated. In 1984, Beth Shalom acquired its first Community Center which housed all religious and social activities for the congregation.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The Gordon Maryland Jewish Community Collection contains documents related to the Jewish community in Frederick, Md, the Jewish community in various communities within Maryland as well as various Jewish communities in other regions of the United States and Europe. The collection contains documents produced by organizations and individuals in the Jewish community as well as articles about the Jewish community in these areas.
The collection is divided into the following two series: Series I. Frederick, Md, 1850-1995 and Series II. Jewish Community outside of Frederick, Md, 1894-1985.
Series I: Frederick, MD, 1850-1995 contains historical documents and newspaper articles relating to the Jewish community in Frederick, Md including Beth Shalom Congregation, the Frederick section of the Council of Jewish Women, and prominent members of the Jewish community. The series is divided into two subseries. They are: Subseries A. Beth Shalom Congregation, 1882-1995 and Subseries B. Jewish Community in Frederick, Md, 1850-1989.
Sub-Series A: Beth Shalom Congregation, 1882-1995 contains newsletters, bulletins, programs, and media articles relating to Beth Shalom Congregation. Materials are arranged with newsletters and bulletins first, events at Beth Shalom second, and newspaper articles and historical material arranged last. The papers within each group are arranged chronologically.
Sub-Series B: Jewish Community in Frederick, MD, 1850-1989 contains materials relating to the Frederick section of the Jewish Council of Women which include programs, directories, treasury and minute’s books, and newspaper clippings that relate to the organization. This sub-series also includes business cards and receipts of Jewish businesses in Frederick, newspaper clippings and historic material relating to the Jewish community in Frederick, and biographical information about prominent citizens of the Jewish community in Frederick. Materials are arranged with the Jewish Council of Jewish Women first, Jewish businesses second, David Lowenstein third, Leo Weinberg fourth, and newspapers and historical material relating to Frederick arranged last. Materials within the Council of Jewish Women are arranged chronologically.
Series II. Jewish Community outside of Frederick, Md, 1894-1985 contains information relating to the Jewish community outside of Frederick, Md. This part of the collection contains materials relating to B’nai Abraham Congregation in Hagerstown, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in Baltimore city, Ner Israel Rabbinical College, and other various Jewish communities in Maryland. Also, there are various materials relating to Jewish communities outside the state of Maryland such as a copy of the book The Jews in Philadelphia Prior to 1800, a paper titled “Soviet Jewry: the Nationality Dilemma,” and materials relating to the article “Orthodox and Reform in the 19th Century Baltimore Jewish Community.” The series is divide into two subseries: Subseries A: Jewish Community in MD,1930-1973 and Subseries B: Jewish Community outside of Maryland, 1883-1985.
Sub-series A: Jewish Community in MD, 1930-1973 contains information about various Jewish communities and institutions within Maryland. This sub-series contains programs relating to B’nai Abraham Congregation, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation (BHC) in BaltimoreCity, the Council of Jewish Women-Baltimore section, NerIsraelRabbinicalCollege as well as a paper relating to the split that occurred within the congregation at BHC. Also, there are materials in this sub-series relating to various Jewish communities in Md which include programs of various synagogues, historical publications of Jewish communities within Maryland, and an article titled “Orthodox and Reform in the Nineteenth-Century Baltimore Jewish Community.” Materials are arranged alphabetically.
Sub-series B: Jewish Community outside of MD, 1883-1985 contains information that relate to various Jewish communities within the United States and in Europe. This sub-series contains various publications that relate to Jewish communities within the United States and Europe. In this sub-series, there is a publication titled The Jews in Philadelphia before 1800, a paper titled Soviet Jewry: The National Dilemma, and a collection of letters from the late nineteenth century that are written in Hebrew and Yiddish.. Materials are arranged chronologically by publication date.