MS 18 Temple B’nai Sholom Papers

Posted on June 23rd, 2011 by

Letterhead from the archives. 1983.2


Temple B’nai Sholom Papers


 MS 18



The Temple B’nai Sholom Papers were donated to Jewish Museum of Maryland by Temple B'nai Sholom and accepted into the archives as accession 1983.002. Alison Reppert processed the collection in August 2009.

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.

Temple Sisterhood brochure. 1983.2


Temple B’nai Sholom was begun in 1948 when a group of Jewish families from Essex, Middle River and Dundalk areas met at the Essex Community Center and voted to become a Reform congregation where their children could be raised Jewish in a non-Jewish community.  They initially met for services at the Victory Villa Community Center in Middle River, and later conducted Sunday school classes at the Essex Seventh Day Adventist Church and in rented second-floor quarters on the 400 block of Eastern Avenue.  In June 1951, the congregation bought a brick house located at 1108 E. Homburg Avenue in Essex, which became their location until 1968, when they sold it.  In 1969, High Holiday Services were held in the Fellowship Hall of the Essex Methodist Church.  In the years that followed, these services were held on the rear patio of the home of Pauline Baker at 2203 Baker Avenue in Middle River until the congregation disbanded in 1982.

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Dr. Mordecai I. Soloff was the first rabbi of the congregation, and when he left Baltimore, a current board member, Dr. Samuel Glasner took his place as rabbi and stayed until 1955.  From 1955-1965, the congregation was served by student rabbis from the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, who performed Friday night services.  No Saturday services were provided.  Mr. Victor Kandel led services from 1967-1982.

Some of the preceding information provided by: Jewish Baltimore: A Family Album. By Gilbert Sandler. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.

Uniongram sent by the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation sisterhood to the sisterhood at Temple B'nai Sholom. 1983.2


The Temple B’nai Sholom Papers consists of constitutions, minutes, reports, announcements, correspondence, ledgers, receipts, sermons, calendars and taxes related to the congregation’s existence from 1948-1982.  This collection contains information on the congregation’s beginning, such as its constitution and correspondence concerning B’nai Sholom’s application and acceptance to the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods. It also contains information about B’nai Sholom’s selling of their building in 1968, as well as their final disbandment in 1982.
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Songs from a sisterhood event. 1983.2


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The Secret Lives of Interns: Spotlight on Archives

Posted on July 2nd, 2009 by

So…lately I’ve been working on processing and creating a finding aid for a collection, specifically the Brandeis University National Women’s Committee – Baltimore Chapter. One of my tasks, to familiarize myself with the collection, is to read the 8-9 scrapbooks kept by the committee to document every newspaper and every event the committee ever was a part of.

“Founded in 1948, the same year as Brandeis University, the National Committee provides financial support for Brandeis and its Libraries. The National Committee is the largest friends-of-a-library group in the world with 30,000 members nationwide. A volunteer fundraising organization, BNC has contributed over $117 million to Brandeis University, while utilizing the resources of the university to provide unique education programs for its members.” (http:/// Check out this great article highlighting the BNC: http:/// !

The Baltimore Chapter was set up in 1950, two years after the BUNWC was begun, and it is still active today (they have a website: http:///!

The Baltimore Chapter really did a lot of good things for BU. On June 17th, 1951, Brandeis built an athletic field dedicated to Abraham Marcus, a Baltimore business man and philanthropist. Furthermore, in 1955, the Baltimore Chapter established the Richard Marcus Memorial Fund, in honor of the same family.

The Baltimore Chapter was also the first to start a study group, to promote higher education and further learning among its members. This study group later inspired The Brandeis Study Group, a national series, which began in 1959.

Some of the interesting things I’ve come across thus far:

In 1954, Eleanor Roosevelt (aka the widow of a pretty famous president) spoke at the fourth annual meeting of the Baltimore Chapter. Who wouldn’t like a little one-on-one time with that lady?

In 1955, Brandeis University built three chapels on their campus, to accommodate ALL students, even though BU is a predominantly Jewish crowd. The three chapels were Catholic, Protestant and Jewish. I found this idea really progressive, especially in the 1950s. The university got a lot of criticism from the community because of their decision to build these chapels, from what I read in the news articles. However, they stood by their decision and really embraced the idea that all should be welcome at an academic institution, no matter what your faith. I even read in an article that if we believe that we all come from “One Father”, why shouldn’t BU embrace and make all religions feel welcome? Awesome idea and kudos to Brandeis for being so progressive. (photos by

Mike Lovett/Brandeis University)

Lastly, although this has nothing to do with the National Women’s Committee, I came across an article today that a Brandeis University professor in 1963 crystallized a cancer virus and determined its chemical components – the FIRST to do so! I believe the professor’s name was Dr. William T. Murakami…kudos to him as well!

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