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Projects/Collections

Indiana Jewish History Printed Materials Collection, 1958–2002. M 0929. Three manuscript boxes. Collection guide online. The Indiana Jewish Historical Society was founded in 1972. The organization is headquartered in Fort Wayne, however it holds events throughout the state. IJHS's mission is to collect, preserve and publish information on the 250 years of Jewish Life in Indiana. IJHS is the only organization in the state which focuses exclusively on the entire Hoosier Jewish experience. The Indiana Jewish Historical Society's archive collection at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis contains more than 7,000 items of Jewish interest and the society continues to seek materials for the collection. Bulletins and newsletters from various temples throughout Indiana comprise this collection. Some of these synagogues include Sons of Abraham from Lafayette, Temple B’nai Israel from Kokomo, Congregation Beth-El Zedeck from Indianapolis, Temple Beth El from Muncie, Sinai Temple from Marion, Hebrew Orthodox Congregation from South Bend, and Congregation B’nai Jacob from Fort Wayne. Shofar, a bulletin from Congregation B’nai Torah in Indianapolis figures prominently. Jewish newspapers like The Indiana Jewish Post & Opinion, Jewish Federation News and Illiana News are included in this collection.

The Indiana Jewish Post & Opinion Collection, 1943–2000. BV 3738–3779. Forty-two bound volumes. No collection guide available. In 1930, Gabriel Cohen (1908–2007) began publishing a Kentucky version of The Jewish Post & Opinion, founding the Indiana Edition in 1933. The National Jewish Post & Opinion premiered in 1948. The Indiana edition has gone by multiple titles: The Jewish Post: A Journal for Indiana Jewry, The National Jewish Post: Indiana Edition and The Indiana Jewish Post & Opinion, which is still in publication today. This collection includes 42 bound volumes of archived issues of The Jewish Post: A Journal for Indiana Jewry (1943–46, 1948), The National Jewish Post: Indiana Edition (1950, 1953–56, 1960–61, 1964–65, 1968–69), and The Indiana Jewish Post & Opinion (1970, 1973–75, 1978–97, 1999–2000).

The Jewish Experience Oral History Project, 1994–1996. M 0894. One manuscript box. Collection guide online. Between 1994 and 1996, as part of The Jewish Experience Oral History Project, 18Jewish men and women whose families had emigrated from Europe during the early 20th century were interviewed. All 18 settled in the Michiana region of South Bend and Mishawaka. The project was sponsored by the Michiana Jewish Historical Society. The interviewees discussed how their families adjusted to their new lives in the United States. This collection contains 18 oral history interview transcriptions and related papers (1994–96). The materials are arranged alphabetically.

Jewish Newsletters Collection, 2009–2010. M 1012. One manuscript box. Collection Guide online. The history of Sinai Temple dates back to 1904, when the first reform Jewish services were held in Michigan City. In 1912 to 1913, a congregation under the leadership of Moses Moritz adopted the name “Sinai Congregation.” After an increase in membership post-World War II, a new Temple Center imperative emerged, leading to the construction of the current Temple building (which opened in May of 1953). The Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis is the central philanthropic, planning and community relations organization of the Jewish community. The Federation and its agencies, in cooperation with the synagogues, function to promote the general welfare of the Jewish community and to ensure the creative survival and continuity of the Jewish people. This collection includes nine issues of the Sinai Temple Bulletin (Michigan City, Indiana), ranging from July 2009 to April 2010. These occupy folders 1 and 2. Folder 3 contains two issues of the Congregation Beth-El Zedeck monthly newsletter, Besamim (No. 5-6, 2010), addressed to Sheila Greenwald. Folder 4 contains the January/February 2010 edition of the JFGI news.

The Wabash Jewish Experience Monograph, 2007. SC 2889. One manuscript folder. No collection guide available. A retired teacher of the Wabash City Schools, Ronald L. Woodward was appointed the Wabash County Historian in 1981, and has served continuously since. From 1981 to 1992, Woodward held the position of assistant curator at the Wabash County Historical Museum. A past president of both the Wabash County Historical Society and the Wabash County Genealogical Society, Woodward has also served as the editor of the Wabash County Historical Society Peek at the Past and the Wabash County Genealogical Society Family Branches newsletters. In 2000, Woodward was selected by the Indiana Historical Society as that year’s Hoosier Historian and in May 2011, he was honored by IHS for 30 years of services as County Historian. This collection is comprised solely of a monograph written by Ronald L. Woodward titled “The Wabash Jewish Experience.” It was given as a handout to accompany a program and walking tour presented by Woodward at the Indiana Jewish Historical Society 2007 spring meeting held at the Honeywell Center in Wabash on April 22. Woodward’s talk followed the program closely. The monograph is stored in one legal-sized manuscript folder.

What They Said: Oral Histories from Jewish Citizens Around the State Transcription, 1974–1981. SC 2815. Seven manuscript folders. Collection guide online. Longtime Jewish residents from Muncie, Ligonier, Evansville, Lafayette, South Bend, Gary, Kokomo, and Crawfordsville were interviewed individually and collectively through a focus group. The interviews took place between 1974 and 1975, although several transcripts are not dated. The panel discussion took place in Muncie in 1981. Interviewees discussed anti-Semitism, KKK influence in their town, growing up, temple and synagogue life. The project was funded through an Indiana Heritage Research Grant through the Indiana Historical Society. Seven typed transcripts of six individual interviews done in 1974 and 1975, and one panel discussion conducted in 1981 make up the collection. Each transcription is in a legal size manuscript folder.