MS 186 Ohel Yakov Ledger Collection, 1921-1960

After a little hiatus, your peek into our archival collections is back! Today I have an excerpt from one our newest finding aids for the Ohel Yakov Ledgers of 1921 to 1960. Ledgers don’t usually excite a lot of interest in people, but they can give us insight into an institution and the people connected with it. The Ohel Yakov Ledgers not only show numbers and accounts, they can also provide genealogical information.

This page shows the accounts pertaining to one of Ohel Yakov’s members in 1923.
Detail of ledger page showing the full name of one of the congregants and his address.

Ohel Yakov Ledger Collection

MS 186

The Ohel Yakov Ledgers were purchased by the Jewish Museum of Maryland in 2006 as accession 2006.031. The collection was processed by Jennifer Vess in July 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.


Ohel Yakov was founded in 1875 by immigrants from Bialistock, which gave it the additional name of the Bialistoker Shul. Later it acquired the nickname Die Franzaizisheh Shul – the French Shul – because of the formal way in which officers dressed rather than any connection to France. The first synagogue was located at Aisquith and Gay Streets where the congregation stayed until 1958. They moved to Glen Avenue and used a pre-existing building until 1962 when the original building was raised and a new synagogue built. Ohel Yakov is an active congregation.

Weinstein, Joseph. “On Tour Thru Baltimore.” Baltimore Jewish Times. May 30, 1975 pg. 26.


The Ohel Yakov Ledger collection consists of photocopies of five ledgers which track members’ payments from 1921 through 1960. Accounts for the years 1937 through 1941 are not part of the collection. The ledgers are written in English and Hebrew or Yiddish. The information within the first ledger is organized alphabetically by the last name of the congregation member. Information in the rest of the ledgers is organized by date.

The boys choir of Ohel Yakov, 1938. 1998.128.1
Collections For Researchers jewish museum of maryland

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