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Congregation Emanuel Records

 Collection
Identifier: B258

Congregation Emanuel, the oldest synagogue in Colorado, was founded in Denver by a group of mostly German Jewish immigrants. At a meeting in 1874, members of the congregation decided to draft a constitution and incorporate the congregation as an institution of Reform Judaism. Rabbi Samuel Weil became the congregation's first rabbi in 1876; he served the congregation for only a year and was followed by a number of rabbis whose terms were short-lived. Rabbi William S. Friedman became the spiritual leader of Temple Emanuel in 1889 and led the congregation for nearly 50 years. The Sisterhood of Temple Emanuel originated as the Ladies' Sewing Society, in 1915 changed its name to the Ladies' Auxiliary, and became the Sisterhood of Temple Emanuel in 1915. Congregation Emanuel is still active today and its current synagogue is located at 51 Grape Street. The collection consists of Congregation Emanuel records, the Sisterhood and Brotherhood records, and the Emanuel cemetery records.

Dates

  • 1874-2012

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are predominantly in English, but some materials are in Hebrew.

Extent

135 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

Materials in this collection consist of Congregation Emanuel records, The Sisterhood and Brotherhood records, and the Emanuel cemetery records.

Biographical / Historical

Congregation Emanuel, the oldest synagogue in Colorado, was founded in Denver by a group of mostly German Jewish immigrants. A. H. Fleischer started leading services for Congregation Emanuel in 1872. At a meeting in 1874, members of the congregation, including Fleischer, Leon Alexander, Emanuel Anfenger, Louis Anfenger, Jacob S. Appel, Emanuel Block, Joseph Block, Samuel Cole, M. I. Garson, Benjamin Hamburger, Michael Hattenbach, Emanuel Heitler, Abraham Jacobs, Montagu Leverson, Julius Londoner, Samuel Rose, N. Rosenthal, Charles M. Schayer, M. R. Sperborg, Phil Trounstine, Edward Whitehead, and David Kline decided to draft a constitution and incorporate the congregation as an institution of Reform Judaism. Louis Anfenger was the first president of Congregation Emanuel, David Kline its first vice president, Jacob S. Appel its first secretary, and Charles M. Schayer its first treasurer.

Congregation Emanuel's first temple was built at 19th and Curtis streets in 1875. The congregation dedicated this temple and created a religious school in 1876. Rabbi Samuel Weil became the congregation's first rabbi that same year; he served the congregation for only a year and was followed by a number of rabbis whose terms were short-lived. In 1881, the congregation's board of trustees decided to move into a larger building to accommodate a growing membership. A second temple was built at 24th and Curtis streets and was dedicated in 1882. Rabbi William S. Friedman became the spiritual leader of Congregation Emanuel in 1889, and he led Temple Emanuel for nearly 50 years. Congregation Emanuel moved into its third building, at 16th and Pearl streets, in 1899 and remained there until 1957, when it relocated to its present location at 51 Grape Street.

The Sisterhood of Temple Emanuel originated as the Ladies' Sewing Society, in 1915 changed its name to the Ladies' Auxiliary, and became the Sisterhood of Temple Emanuel in 1915. The first president was Mrs. William Weil. The Sisterhood maintained a community religious school in West Denver. The sewing circle made clothing for the patients at the National Jewish Hospital, Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society, and for the children at the National Sheltering Home. During World War II, the Sisterhood organized the Sisterhood Canteen and the Sisterhood continues to organize many programs and activities.

Arrangement

The records are arranged in nine series:; 1. Administrative Records.; 2. Financial Records.; 3. Rabbis.; 4. Sisterhood Records.; 5. Brotherhood Records.; 6. Scrapbooks, Photographs, and Paintings.; 7. Confirmation, Marriage, and Cemetery Records.; 8. Publications.; 9. Historical Information and Objects; 10 Audio Visual.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Marjorie Hornbein, October 1976; gift of Congregation Emanuel, May and June 1982; gift of Betty Naster, February 1983.

Accruals

Further accruals are expected.

Related Materials

Related materials can be found in the following collection: Collection on Rabbi William S. Friedman (B225).

General

Congregation Emanuel is also referred to as "Temple Emanuel" in many documents, although the official incorporated name is Congregation Emanuel.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428