Benjamin H. Tumim (1913-1983), Papers.

  • Dates: 1936-1983
  • 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: Mrs. Ethel Tumim

NRW, 6/30/94

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

Benjamin Tumim was born in Poland in 1913. He and his family emigrated to the United States and settled in the Bronx. Rabbi Tumim graduated from City College, then received an MA from The Jewish Theological Seminary's Teachers Institute in 1933. He was ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1937. While a student in rabbinical school Tumim served as the officiating rabbi at the Seminary synagogue. Tumim then did his graduate work at Columbia University. In 1975 Tumim received an honorary doctorate from The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Rabbi Tumim's first pulpit was Beth El Conservative Congregation of South Norwalk, Connecticut. In 1947 he left Connecticut to take a pulpit in Philadelphia. From 1950 to1952 Rabbi Tumim served as the rabbi of Lincoln Park Jewish Center in Yonkers, New York. In 1952 he accepted the pulpit at Temple Emanu-El of Englewood, New Jersey. By 1960 Rabbi Tumim had moved back to Pennsylvania to serve as rabbi at Oheb Zedek Synagogue Center in Pottsville.

From 1961 to1963 Rabbi Tumim was the rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom in Hamden, Connecticut where he also served as chaplain to Quinnipiac College. Before making his final move to Massachusetts Rabbi Tumim served as rabbi at the Conservative Synagogue of Fifth Avenue, New York City. In 1966 Rabbi Tumim accepted the pulpit from Temple Beth El of Lowell, Massachusetts. While rabbi at Beth El Tumim was also a chaplain at Lowell University and Salem State University. He also taught a course, "On Moral Problems in a Technological Age," at the Lowell Technological Institute. In 1972 Rabbi Tumim moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts where he served as spiritual leader of Congregation Tifereth Anshai Sfard and Sons of Israel. He remained at that post until his death in 1983.

In addition to his rabbinical career, Rabbi Tumim was always involved in the local politics of the community he was serving, and was outspoken on national and international issues.

Collection Description

Rabbi Benjamin Tumim's papers include: a small group of certificates and letters, 1971-1977 and n.d., documenting awards, honors, and prizes received during Rabbi Tumim's student and rabbinical years; photocopies of clippings, 1945-1983, and correspondence, 1936-1974, documenting Tumim's rabbinical career and his political activities, as well as participation in holiday observances; photocopies of typescripts of sermons and eulogies; and photocopies of two photographs, a portrait, and Rabbi Tumim with Walter Annenberg at the dedication of the ark at Beth Zion in Philadelphia donated in memory of Moses Annenberg. 

Box List

Box  Folder(s)  Description 
1 1 Honors, prizes, and awards, 1971; 1975; 1977; n.d.
 2 Newspaper and magazine clippings, 1945-1983.
 3 Correspondence, 1936; 1946-1974.
 4 Sermons, 1982; n.d.
 5 Eulogies, 1980; 1982.
 6 Photographs, n.d.