Individual folders are identified in the following way on the left side of each folder: Name of Collection, box #/folder#, as in Ben Zion Bokser Papers, 4/22. Please use this format in citations and when referring to files for any other reason.
The Forest Hills Jewish Center was founded in 1931 in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser served as its rabbi from 1934 until his death in 1984. The synagogue was first located in rented rooms in a wooden building on Kessel Street; later on the congregation bought the Kessel Street building. As the Forest Hills community grew, the Jewish Center required a larger building. In 1947 there was a ground breaking ceremony for the new building on Queens Boulevard; in 1949 the synagogue moved into the new building. In the same year, the Forest Hills Jewish Center merged with the Midwood Jewish Center, another conservative synagogue.
The Forest Hills Jewish Center had a pre-school, a Hebrew High school, and an adult education program. In 1978 a parent education program was established. Summer programs were stressed for young adults as were programs of the United Synagogue of America Youth. In 1959, over 2,000 children participated in youth activities. The Hebrew School adopted the new Biblical Hebrew Program of the Melton Research Center of The Jewish Theological Seminary.
In 1981, when the synagogue celebrated its jubilee year, the building housed a sanctuary with a 1,500 seat capacity and a "little synagogue" of 1,000 seats. The building also contained a gift shop, library, offices, game rooms, swimming pool, gymnasium, meeting rooms, and meat and dairy kitchens.
This small group of records of the Forest Hills Jewish Center consists solely of publications bound into volumes, some of which are numbered. These include: bulletins, 1938-1939, bound in one volume; issues (bound) of the synagogue newsletter, The Message, 1944-1983; three yearbooks, 1949, 1957, and 1959; and a golden anniversary journal, 1981. Also included is a program for the dedication of the new synagogue building in September, 1949.
|I. Forest Hills Jewish Center Bulletin, 1938-1939|
|II. The Message, 1944-1983|
|22||1966-1967 (three copies)|
|33||1977-1978 (two copies)|
|Additional Copies of the Message:|
|Loose (in folder)||January 24; May 30; October 16; April 17, 1969|
|III. Yearbooks, 1949-1959|
|1959 (two copies)|
|IV. The Forest Hills Jewish Center Golden Anniversary Journal, 1981|
|V. Program, Dedication of Forest Hills Jewish Center, 1949|