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Our Archives

Shearith Israel proudly maintains what is arguably the most important archive of American Jewish history. Although our congregation does not currently have an archivist on staff, we try to assist with inquiries and requests as best we can, whether for scholarly research, genealogical inquiries, or other purposes.

 

Requests for information or access to our archives:

Our archives are overseen by our Sexton, Zachary Edinger. Some of our historical documents and paraphernalia are located in our synagogue building, but the majority of our collection - especially older and more delicate materials - is housed offsite at a specialized storage facility in New Jersey. Mr. Edinger visits the facility from time to time for congregational purposes and attempts to handle other requests at that time. For extenuating needs, he will arrange for a special visit.

Your request will be evaluated upon receipt. Within a few days you will receive an email determination whether we are able to access the information you have requested.  You will also receive a fee estimate at that time.  

 

Fees:

For requests that can be looked up, scanned, or copied from records located in the synagogue building, our standard administrative fee is $25. 

For records that require access to our NJ storage facility, a fee of $150 will apply. 

For rushed or immediate needs, additional fees may apply. 

Soon after submitting a request, usually within a few days, you will be notified of the costs and an approximate timeframe. 

 

To submit a request, click here.

Revolutionary War Torah Scrolls

In 1776, several British soldiers desecrated two of Shearith Israel’s Torah scrolls.

1776
West 11th Street Cemetery

The West Eleventh Street cemetery, the second historic cemetery of Congregation Shearith Israel, was consecrated on February 27, 1805.  

1805