Charles Rubel (1905-1980), Papers.

  • Dates: 1927-1980
  • Size: 8.25 linear ft.
  • Number of Boxes: 14
  • Languages:
    • English
    • Hebrew
  • Location: Special Collections Reading Room, Jewish Theological Seminary Library.
  • Restrictions: Reproduction of fragile items is not permitted; consult the archivist about literary rights.
  • Gift Of: Sheila Schertzer
  • Date: January 29, 1991

RP 7/29/94

Table of Contents:

A Note on Folder Headings

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.

Biographical Note

Rabbi Charles Rubel was born in New York City in 1905. He received his primary education at the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School, then attended the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, graduating from the high school department of Yeshiva University. In 1928 Rubel received a BA from the City College of New York, and in 1931 was ordained as a rabbi at The Jewish Theological Seminary.

From 1929 to 1947 Rabbi Rubel served as rabbi at six different congregations in New York City and New Jersey: Northside Hebrew Congregation, Corona, Queens, 1929-1931; Beth Judah Temple, Wildwood, New Jersey, 1931-1932; Temple Gates of Israel, Washington Heights, 1933-1934; Beth El Jewish Center of Flatbush, Brooklyn, 1934-1940; Congregation B'nai Zion, Newark, New Jersey, 1940-1942; and the Kingsway Jewish Community Center, Flatbush, Brooklyn, 1942-1947.

In 1947, Rubel moved to Macon, Georgia to serve as rabbi at Congregation Sherah Israel. He remained until 1958 when he moved to Newburgh, New York to become rabbi of Congregation Agudas Achim, remaining there until 1963. In that year he went to Providence, Rhode Island to fill the pulpit at Temple Beth Sholom, remaining there until 1967. Between 1967 and 1972 Rabbi Rubel served at Congregation B'nai Raphael in Miami, Florida. After an attempt at retirement, Rabbi took the pulpit at Temple Beth Tov in Miami in 1972, remaining there until his death in 1980.

In addition to his rabbinical career, Rubel was active in a variety of civic activities, including interfaith ministerial organizations, clubs and fraternal orders, and Jewish Boy Scout troops. He was a member of the New York and the Rhode Island boards of rabbis and of the executive council of the Rabbinical Assembly of America. In Providence, he served as a chaplain at the Veterans Administration Hospital, at the Howard Medical Center, and with the Providence Police Department. In Miami, he was chaplain for the greater Miami Jewish Federation, serving nine different nursing homes.

Rabbi Rubel was also a pianist and singer, sometimes serving as both rabbi and cantor at his congregations. He was interested in Jewish music and folk songs, and he regularly gave lectures on Jewish music.

Rabbi Rubel's wife, Lillian Yedlin, was a 1926 graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary's Teachers Institute.

Collection Description

Rabbi Rubel's papers, ca.1927-1980, consist of sparse personal materials; some correspondence; some material documenting his work with civic organizations; a thin miscellany of items (largely printed items) from most of the synagogues he served; subject files documenting a wide range of areas of interest; a good collection of sermons and sermon notes dating from the twenties to the seventies; substantial Bar and Bat Mitzvah materials, including speeches delivered by the children; confirmation and conversion materials; materials on Jewish education; and some United Synagogue and Rabbinical Assembly material.

The personal papers contain a 1979 appointment book, biographical synopses, letters and invitations, material from a trip to Israel in 1972, and texts of prayers Rabbi Rubel delivered before the United States Senate in 1958 and 1971 with related correspondence.

Correspondence, 1933-1980, documents both personal and professional matters. Of note here is correspondence and related printed material concerning Rabbi Rubel's work as a chaplain at the seventh national Boy Scouts jamboree, 1969. Also of note is a letter from Rabbi Jonah B. Wise, May 18, 1933, written after his return from Germany, where he was chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee campaign, reporting on conditions there.

Synagogue material consists largely of printed material - mainly bulletins. Rabbi Rubel's rabbinical career is more thoroughly documented through the substantial group of sermon manuscripts and notes contained here. Confirmation and conversion records, and some Hebrew school material is also included. Of particular interest are substantial files of Bar and Bat Mitzvah speeches and prayers, 1950s-1970s.

Box List

Box  Folder(s)  Description
1 (no folder)  Appointment book, 1979
 1 Biographical materials, n.d.
 2 City College Alumni Association, 1967-1979
 3 Invitations, 1963-1969
 4 Israel trip, 1972
 5 Letters of recommendation (for congregants), 1963; n.d.
 6 Miscellaneous events, articles, notes, 1959-1977
 7 Prayers delivered before the Senate, 1958; 1971
 8 Seminary honorary degree, 1971
 9 Thank you letters received by Rabbi Rubel, 1961-1971
  II. Correspondence, 1933-1980
 10 Boy Scouts, 1969
 11 Employment inquiries, 1966-1972
 12 Family, 1963-1972
 13-14 Important letters, (Jonah B. Wise) 1933
 15 Jewish Floridian, 1968-1977
 16 Miscellaneous, 1933-1980
 17 New York Board of Rabbis, 1971-1974
 18 Personal, 1966-1979
 19 Police chaplaincy, 1964-1968
 20 Political leaders, 1951-1976
 21 Rabbinical Assembly, 1963-1979
 22 Seminary (Jewish Theological), 1968-1969
 23 Social, 1960s-1970s
 24 United Synagogue, 1952-1980
 25 Weddings and anniversaries, 1963-1978
 26 Women's ordination, 1975-1980
 27 Zionism, 1963-1979
 28-33 III. Civic Activities, 1962-1979
  IV. Synagogue Records, 1937-1970s
2 1 Agudas Achim, Newburgh, NY, 1958-1961
 2-5 Beth Sholom, Providence, RI, 1962-1968
 6-11 Beth Tov, Miami, FL, 1970s
3 1 Beth Tov, Miami, FL, 1970s
 2 B'nai Raphael, Miami, FL, 1967-1968
 3 Emanu-El, Providence, RI (religious school), 1963
 4 Kingsway Jewish Community Center, Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY, 1942
 5-8 Miscellaneous invitations, programs, other material, 1937-1978; n.d.
 10 Nursing home chaplaincies, 1947-1972
 10a Photograph of Rabbi Rubel, n.d.
 11 Sherah Israel, Macon, GA, 1953-1957
 12 Special services, n.d.
  V. Subject Files, 1930s-1970s
 13-14 Clippings, ca. 1930s-1970s
4 1 Codes material, 1942
 2 Hebrew material, 1943; 1944; 1969; n.d.
 3 Invitations, book reviews, clippings, 1942-1974
 4-5 Israel, 1949-1975
 6 Jewish history and personalities, 1933-1953
 7 Kashrut, 1972-1978
 8 Lectures, printed material, ca 1937-1977
 9 Mercaz, 1977-1978
 10 Miscellaneous, 1963-1974
5 1 Miscellaneous lectures by Rubel and others, 1955-1960
 2 Music, 1939-1960
 3 Music (notes), n.d.
 4 Music month, 1948-1975
 5 Others' lectures and talks, 1960-1967
 6 Preparatory material on miscellaneous topics
 7 Public functions and kashrut, 1956
 8 Role of women in Judaism, n.d.
 9-10 Scrapbook, 1950s-1960s
 11 Senate prayer, 1958
 12 Social justice material, 1963-1974
 13 Television and radio talks, 1951-1965
   VI. Sermons, ca. 1920s-1970s
6 1-17 Weekly, ca. 1930s-1970s
 18-22 Holiday, ca. 1920s-1970s
7 1-18 "       "
Fileboxes 12-14  Notecards, ca. 1930s-1970s
  VIII. Bar Mitzvah Records, 1955-1970s
 19-20 Prayers, 1960s-1970s
 21-27 Speeches, 1955-1972
8 1 "       "
 2-3 IX. Confirmation Records, 1939-1968
 4-5 X. Conversion Records, 1950s-1960s
  XI. Jewish Education Materials, 1933-1979
 6 ACJ (American College in Jerusalem), 1967
 7-9 Adult education, 1945-1966
9 1-3 Boy Scouts, 1959-1977
 4 Christmas, 1955-1956
 5 Family, 1965-1966
 6 Hebrew high school, 1960s
 7 Hebrew kindergarten, 1934-1960
 8 Hebrew school (including Kingsway Talmud Torah, Brooklyn, NY)
 9 Jewish college students, 1960s
10 1 Kiwanis Club, 1979
 2 Material on Birkat Hamazon, n.d.
 3 Messages to parents, 1933-1943
 4 Miscellaneous material, 1976-1978
 5 Programs, invitations, 1935-1970
 6 PTA material, 1938-1949
  XII. Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue, 1938-1978; n.d.
 7-10 Rabbinical Assembly, 1975-1978
 11 United Synagogue, 1959-1966
11 1-7 United Synagogue, 1938-1976; n.d.