Guide to the Congregation Rodeph Sholom (Bridgeport, Conn.) Records

1949-1959

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JHCI-0006


Processed by Christopher Russell

Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS

99-101 Newbury Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02116

Phone: (617) 226-1245

Email: jhcreference@nehgs.org

Website: jewishheritagecenter.org

© 2019, Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS. All rights reserved.
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.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Congregation Rodeph Sholom (Bridgeport, Conn.)
Title: Congregation Rodeph Sholom (Bridgeport, Conn.) Records
Dates: 1949-1959
Abstract: Congregation Rodeph Sholom is a synagogue in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This collection contains two dedication journals commemorating major construction projects, as well as a 1959 book celebrating the congregation's 50th anniversary.
Languages:   The collection is in English.
Quantity: 3 folders
ID:   JHCI-0006
Repository: Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS
Location: Located in Boston, Mass.

Title page from the 1956 dedication book commemorating the new addition to the congregation's Talmud Torah.

Historical Note

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.


References

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

Chronology

1909 The congregation in founded.
1910 The congregation rents space at Veruna Hall on Court Street.
1911 The congregation dedicates its burial grounds.
March 1923 The congregation purchases a new building on the corner of Iranistan and Maplewood Avenues.
August 1923 The new building is dedicated.
1929 The congregation's Talmud Torah is formed.
1932 The congregation merges with Emanuel Congregation.
1934-1964 Rabbi Harry Nelson serves as rabbi.
1936-1969 Harry Malin serves as Education Director of the Talmud Torah.
1945 The congregation purchases land on Park Avenue.
1949 The new building on Park Avenue is dedicated.
1959 A new wing to the Talmud Torah is built.
1965-1974 Rabbi Sanford Hahn serves as rabbi.
1974-2003 Rabbi Israel Stein serves as rabbi.

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. 


Arrangement

The collection is arranged into a a single series as follows:

  • Series I: Congregation Rodeph Sholom (Bridgeport, Conn.) Records, 1949-1959

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 jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Use Restrictions

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


Related Material

Congregation Adath Israel (Newtown, Conn.) Records, I-323
Congregation Beth Israel (Hartford, Conn.) Records, I-464
Congregation Mishkan Israel (Hamden, Conn.) Records, I-465


Preferred Citation

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

Acquisition information is unknown.


Access Points

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

Subject Names:

Subject Organizations:

Subject Topics:

Subject Places:


Container List

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

Series I: Congregation Rodeph Sholom (Bridgeport, Conn.) Records, 1949-1959

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content:

See Collection Scope and Content Note.

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Dedication Journal 1949
1 2 Talmud Torah Dedication Book 1956
1 3 50th Anniversary Book 1959