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Historic Synagogue Bulletins to be Available Online through Grant Awarded YU Libraries

Shovuoth BulletinFor many decades prior to our digital era, printed bulletins were the key means used by synagogues to communicate with their memberships and through which these institutions represented themselves to their broader communities. The bulletins regularly featured minutes of synagogue meetings, summaries of club and committee activities, news and opinion pieces on Jewish and community issues, and sermon excerpts and seasonal and holiday essays from clergy. They also contained brief public service announcements, event notices and local advertisements. As such, synagogue bulletins provide a valuable window into their parent organizations’ mission, philosophy and activities, as well as into the local community in which they participated.

Yeshiva University Archives’ historic collections include records of various American synagogues, many of which contain these important publications. The Archives has been awarded a grant to digitize approximately 2,000 individual issues dating from the early 1920s, published by five Modern Orthodox synagogues. The synagogues are Congregation Beth Hillel-Beth Israel, Institutional Synagogue, Lincoln Square Synagogue, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, and Young Israel of Parkchester. The grant, awarded by the Metropolitan New York Library Council (Metro) as part of its program to expand access to Metropolitan New York historic and rare cultural heritage materials, will enable this collection to be made freely available online for study and research through the Libraries’ Digital Library. The project should be completed in fall 2015.

Posted by Deena M. Schwimmer