Processed by Christopher Russell
Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Phone: (617) 226-1245
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Machine-readable finding aid created by Christoper Russel in February 2019. Finding aid was encoded by Lindsay Sprechman in March 2019. Description is in English.
Title page from the 1956 dedication book commemorating the new addition to the congregation's Talmud Torah.
Congregation Rodeph Sholom is a synagogue in Bridgeport, Connecticut founded in 1909 by Nathan Schwarz, Samuel Graves, and Nathan Klebansky as an offshoot of Congregation B’nai Moshe, also in Bridgeport. The congregation leased space at Veruna Hall on Court Street and later purchased burial grounds in Fairfield in 1910. They dedicates the grounds in 1911. Klebansky served as the congregation's first president, and was succeeded by Schwarz, who served as president from 1911 until 1923.
In March 1923, the congregation purchased a new building on the corner of Iranistan and Maplewood Avenues, which was dedicated on August 5, 1923. In 1925, a committee was appointed to explore the possibility of forming a Hebrew school, and in 1929, the Talmud Torah was established under Rabbi Elihu Rosenblum. Harry Malin came aboard as Education Director of the Talmud Torah in 1936 and served in this position for 33 years.
In 1932 Congregation Rodeph Sholom merged with another Bridgeport synagogue, the Emanuel Congregation, and in 1934, the merged congregation hired a new rabbi, Harry Nelson.
In 1945, the congregation purchased a new plot of land to build a new synagogue on Park Avenue, and the groundbreaking took place in 1947 in front of a crowd of 1,000 people. The first services in the building were held in 1949, and the next decade would witness many more additions and refurbishments, including libraries, air conditioning, the rabbi’s study, along with the Ark and Eternal Light. In 1955-1956, a new wing was built to provide more space for the Talmud Torah.
Nelson served as the congregation's rabbi until his death in 1964, and he was succeeded by Rabbi Sanford Hahn, Rabbi Israel Stein--who served from 1974 until 2003—and Rabbi David A. Cantor.
Materials from this collection
Wasserman, Helen, Bobbi Markowitz and Carol S. Weinshel. "The History of Congregation Rodeph Sholom." https://rodephsholom.com/sites/default/files/uploaded_documents/rshistory.pdf
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains two dedication journals and an anniversary book. The 1949 dedication journal commemorates the completion of the new synagogue on Park Avenue, including the groundbreaking ceremony in 1947 and the first services held in 1949. The 1956 dedication journal commemorates the addition of a new wing to the Talmud Torah. The 1959 book celebrates the congregation's 50th anniversary, as well as the 25th anniversary of Rabbi Harry Nelson.
The collection is arranged into a a single series as follows:
- Series I: Congregation Rodeph Sholom (Bridgeport, Conn.) Records, 1949-1959
Access and Use
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Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Congregation Rodeph Sholom (Bridgeport, Conn.) Records; JHCI-0006; box number; folder number; Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS, Boston, Mass.
Acquisition information is unknown.
This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.
Series I: Congregation Rodeph Sholom (Bridgeport, Conn.) Records, 1949-1959
Scope and Content:
See Collection Scope and Content Note.
|1||2||Talmud Torah Dedication Book||1956|
|1||3||50th Anniversary Book||1959|