Temple Israel, Wilkes-Barre, PA.

  • Dates: 1925-1981
  • Size: .2 linear ft.
  • Number of Boxes: 1
  • Languages: English
  • 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: Temple Israel, Wilkes-Barre, PA.
  • Date: 1991
  • Related Collections: Papers of Louis Levitsky

MCS, 6/9/94

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.

Historical Note

Temple Israel was founded in 1922 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Initial meetings were held in the basement of a store on South Main Street. A committee of four congregational members traveled to New York in August to hire a rabbi and cantor. Regular Sabbath services, under the leadership of Jewish Theological Seminary graduate (1923) Rabbi Louis M. Levitsky commenced after the High Holy Days of 1922. Rabbi Levitsky remained at Temple Israel until 1940.

Lacking the facilities for a Hebrew School, the rapidly growing congregation made do with a program of juvenile activities held at other local educational institutions. Meanwhile, fundraising was underway for the building that was finally dedicated in 1925. The new facility allowed space for community activities as well as for the new Temple Israel Religious School, which grew rapidly over its initial decade. In 1952, Dr. Abraham D. Barras took over as rabbi.

Collection Description

The records of Temple Israel consist of publications, 1925- 1981, most of which are photocopies. Items in the collection include photocopies of The Journal of Temple Israel, the synagogue's newsletter, 1925; 1936; 1951-1952 (with gaps); a synagogue dedication volume, 1925; the tenth anniversary record of the Temple Israel Religious School, 1935; and a volume listing officers, committee members, congregants, and including portrait photographs, ca. 1920s (first page and cover missing).

Original publications include a register of the religious school, 1932-1933; two Eternal Light membership brochures, 1970-1971 and n.d.; a dinner dance program, 1972; a program for the twenty-fifth anniversary dinner, 1977; and the annual dinner meeting issue of the Temple Israel Chronicle, November 15, 1981.

Box List

Box Folder(s) Description 
I. The Journal of Temple Israel, 1925; 1936; 1951-1952
 2 II. Other Publications, 1925-1981