Guide to the Congregation Anshei Libovitz (Boston, Mass.) Records

undated, 1894-1965

alt text


Processed by Amir Zelinger

Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS

99-101 Newbury Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02116

Phone: (617) 226-1245



© 2019, Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS. All rights reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Amir Zelinger in August 2018. Finding aid was encoded by Amir Zelinger and Lindsay Sprechman in August 2018 and February 2019. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Congregation Anshei Libovitz (Boston, Mass.)
Title: Congregation Anshei Libovitz (Boston, Mass.) Records
Dates: undated, 1894-1965
Congregation Anshei Libovitz (alternatively referred to as Lebowitz, Libawitz, Libavitz, and Lebavitz) was founded in 1890 in Downtown Boston. The collection contains meeting minutes and financial records that provide information on the congregation’s membership and the day-to-day management of the synagogue.
Languages:   The collection is in English and Yiddish.
Quantity: 3.5 linear feet (4 manuscript boxes and 1 OS box)
ID:   I-103
Repository: Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS
Location: Located in Boston, Mass.

Minutes (in Yiddish) from a 1907 meeting.

Historical Note

Congregation Anshei Libovitz was founded in 1890. In 1898 or 1899, the congregation left its old synagogue in Downtown Boston and purchased the African Meeting House at 8 Smith Court in Beacon Hill. This building, which had previously belonged to the First African Baptist Church (the first black church in Boston) and served as a center of the abolitionist movement, was the congregation’s synagogue until 1972 when it was sold to the Museum of Afro-American History. The congregation’s cemetery is located in Woburn, Massachusetts.


Clingan, Carol. “Massachusetts Synagogues and Their Records, Past and Present.”

Horton, James Oliver. Landmarks of African American History. 57-58. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005

Kaufman, David. “Temples in the American Athens: A History of the Synagogues of Boston." In The Jews of Boston, edited by Jonathan D. Sarna, Ellen Smith, and Scott Martin Kosofsky, 188. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005.


1890 Congregation Anshei Libovitz is founded.
1862 The congregation purchases and moves to 8 Smith Court in Beacon Hill.
1863 The congregation closes and sells its building to the Museum of African American History Boston.

Scope and Content Note

This collection has two main areas of focus: minute books and financial records. The minute books contain information about the congregation’s finances and management and provide information about the congregation’s relations with other Jewish institutions and synagogues in Boston. The bulk of the financial records document the monthly fees paid by the congregation’s members, and include personal information about the members such as their names and home addresses.


The collection is arranged into a four series as follows:

  • Series I: Minute Books, 1907-1964
  • Series II: Financial Records, 1930-1965
  • Series III: Miscellaneous, undated, 1894-1963

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for researcher use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Congregation Anshei Libovitz (Boston, Mass.) Records; I-103; box number; folder number; Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS, Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition information is unknown.

Access Points

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Subject Organizations:

Subject Topics:

Subject Places:

Document Types:

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I: Minute Books, 1907-1964

  • In English and Yiddish.
  • Box 1.


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content:

This series contains minute books with protocols from the congregation’s meetings. The first three books (for the years 1907-1915, 1923-1928, and 1928-1936) are in Yiddish, and the last book (for the years 1955-1964) is in English. The protocols contain discussions about the day-to-day management of the synagogue and the congregation’s finances, often in relation to technical issues like renovation works in the synagogue and the cemetery. They also provide details about monetary donations and physical donations of Torah books made by the congregation to support other local synagogues and Jewish organizations, such as the Jewish Memorial Hospital and the Vilna Shul, as well as contains discussions about the acceptance of new members.

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Minute Book 1907-1915
1 2 Minute Book 1923-1928
1 3 Minute Book 1928-1936
1 4 Minute Book 1955-1964


Series II: Financial Records, 1930-1965

  • In English and Yiddish.
  • Boxes 2-4, 5OS.


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content:

This series contains cash books and financial ledgers that document the expenses and incomes of the congregation. Some of the ledgers, as well as the book with the payments for the “Chanukah Club,” provide information about members’ names and home addresses. They reflect their concentration in the West End as well as in the neighborhoods of Roxbury and Dorchester, and, increasingly since the 1940s, in communities west of Boston, especially Brookline and Newton. The ledgers of the Chevra Kadisha record the expenses and incomes of the cemetery.

Box Folder Title Date
2 1 Cash Book 1930-1934
2 2 General Ledger 1931-1937
2 3 Cash Book—Cemetery 1931-1947
2 4 Cash Book 1935-1937
2 5 Financial Ledger 1935-1937
2 6 Chanukah Club Ledger 1936-1937
3 1 Chevra Kadisha Ledger 1937-1944
3 2 General Ledger 1937-1944
3 3 Miscellaneous Ledger 1937-1947
3 4 Miscellaneous Ledger 1942-1948
3 5 Cash Book 1942-1953
4 1 General Ledger 1945-1953
4 2 Cash Book 1953-1965
5OS 1 Chevra Kadisha Ledger 1964


Series III: Miscellaneous, undated, 1894-1963

  • In English and Yiddish.
  • Box 4.


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content:

This series contains miscellaneous materials, including a book with the bylaws of the congregation, lists by Chevra Kadisha with an outline of the cemetery plot, entry tickets to High Holidays prayers, a thank you note for a donation made by the congregation to the Jewish National Fund, receipts for different services acquired by the congregation, and a short summary (in English) of the meeting minutes from the years 1907-1914 that highlights the renovations made at the synagogue during that period.

Box Folder Title Date
4 3 Constitution and Bylaws 1894-1934
4 4 Miscellaneous Material 1907-1963
4 5 Chevra Kadisha List and Cemetery Plot undated, 1924