D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Congregation Beth Israel Papers

Summary Information

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives
Congregation Beth Israel Papers
Date [inclusive]
6.5 Linear feet
Physical Description
Collection contains documents, publications, photographs, and newspaper articles.
Located in Special Collections Row 5 Section 6 [Boxes 1 to 8] and Row 12 Section [Box OS1]

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item] Congregation Beth Israel Papers, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville 28804

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Scope and Contents

The collection includes document covering various synagogue activities, minutes of meetings, photographs, membership lists, service bulletins, and the plans for construction of the synagogue and some financial records. There are also papers relating to the Board of Trustees of the Congregation (minutes, annual reports and correspondence), the activities of the Synagogue Sisterhood (scrapbook and assorted financial records), newspaper clippings, and documents related to the construction of the synagogue on Murdock Avenue.

Addendum materials were received in 2017 and 2018. The first addendum comprised documents related to Walter Ziffer, and the second addendum included CDs of digital photographs and documents of memories and memorials of the Holocaust.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives

Ramsey Library, CPO # 1500
One University Heights
Asheville, North Carolina, 28804-8504


Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


Congregation and Board of Trustees, Beth Israel Synagogue, Asheville, NC ; Jay Jacoby

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections staff, 2008 and 2012. Additional materials added by Grace Sederis, and new finding aid by Colin Reeve, 2017. Second addendum materials added by Colin Reeve, 2018

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Collection Inventory

Box 1: Charter Ledger Books 

Charter Ledger Book, 1924 - 1925. Dues listed by members on each page. 

Charter Ledger Book, 1926 - 1935. Dues listed by members on each page. 

Charter Ledger Book, 1931 - 1935. Dues listed by members on each page. 

Charter Ledger Book, 1935 - 1936. Dues listed by members on each page. 

Charter Ledger Book, 1939 - 1941. Dues listed by members on each page. 

Charter Ledger Book, 1943 - 1944. Dues listed by members on each page. 

Charter Ledger Book, 1945 - 1946. Dues listed by members on each page. 

Charter Ledger Book, 1947 - 1951. Dues listed by members on each page. 

Folder 1 

Deposit book for Beth Israel, issued by the Bank of Asheville. Dates from 1949 - 1961. 

Folder 2 

Financial records for 1963 - 1965. 

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Box 2: Member Documents 

Membership dues and transactions. Dated 1964. 

Book of member receipts from 1951 to 1953. 

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Box 3: Minutes and Record Books 

Minutes of the Congregation Bikur Cholim. Ledger book of minutes of general meetings of the members and officers of Bikur Cholim from October 1927 to August 1933. 100 pages, includes additional documents within the book. 

Minutes of Congregation Bikur Cholim. Spiral notebook of minutes of general meetings of the members and officers of Bikur Cholim from January 1943 to August 1944. 27 pages and some inserted documents within the book. 

Yahrzeit Record Book. Ledger book containing records of deaths and yahrzeitdates of synagogue members and relatives, "Found, Compiled, and Revised from Sept. 15, 1950." Also revised in 1973, 1975, 1977, 1980, and 1987. Listings are chronological according to the Hebrew calendar, Tishri 1-Elul 28. Records were transferred to computer as of June 1, 1989. 

Miscellaneous documents for the Congregation Bikur Cholim. Includes additional documents within the book. Documents dated 1944 - 1951. 

Folder 1: Old Memorial Tablets 

Old Memorial Tablets - English Names Only. Dated 1979. 

Additional Names Not on Tablets - dated 1979. 

Folder 2: CBI Board Minutes, August, 1969 - September, 1974. 

Contains Congregational Meeting minutes for monthly meetings from August, 1969 to September, 1974. 

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Box 4: Beth Israel Sisterhood 

Copies of Scrapbook Newspaper Clippings 

Disbursements, 1958-1959. 

Disbursements, 1960-1961. 

Disbursements, 1961-1967. 

Disbursements, 1961-1964. 

Disbursements, 1963-1966. 

Alphabetical File Box containing Invoices from various vendors related to Sisterhood purchases. Dated 1959-1968. 

Beth Israel Sisterhood Scrapbook (1973-1977) containing News Articles/Photos. Subjects include Purim Celebration (5 items); Sisterhood "Grand Bazaar" (3 items); Sisterhood Spring Festival (2 items); Recognition of Rabbi Friedman's 40 years of service (1 item); Article/Photo on CBI Mailbox Post made by Ben Rudow (2 items); Beth Israel Seder (1 item) 

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Box 5: Photographs 

Folder 1: Photographs from the 1998 Purim Ball, held at the Asheville Jewish Community Center. [cbi_001-cbi_027] 

Folder 2: Folder containing photographs from a single album with various labels. Some include "80th Anniversary of Beth Israel Synagogue 1979 1980", "Reception of Rabbi Grob 1980", "Beth Israel Synagogue Chanukah 1980", "Congregational Meeting 1981", "Election of Officers 1983", "Holocaust Program April 1983", "Chanukah Candle Lighting Dec. 1983". Photographs are not consistently labeled and were not reordered from the original album. [cbi_028-cbi_125] 

Folder 3: Photographs of the Murdock Avenue Dedication Ceremony. Dated May 25th, 1969. [cbi_126-cbi_166] 

Folder 4: Photographs from the Congregation's Centennial Dinner of 1999, held at the Asheville Jewish Community Center. [cbi_167-cbi_345] 



Folder 5: Miscellaneous Photographs [cbi_346-cbi_403 & cbi_528] 

Two men at a lectern, dated July, 1977. [cbi_346] 

Various photos of synagogue activities. [cbi_347-cbi_387] 

Rabbi Grob and others at worship service in a Christian church. [cbi_ 388-cbi_403] 

Dedication of the Lou Pollack Cemetery, donated by Leo Finkelstein. [cbi_528] 

Folder 6: Photographs of the Murdock Avenue Groundbreaking Ceremony. Dated May, 1969. [cbi_404-cbi_406] 

Folder 7: Photographs labeled "Sukkot -- Sept 1985". [cbi_407-cbi_410] 

Folder 8: misc. photos from Feb. 2012 donation [cbi_411-cbi_439] 

Sisterhood Beth Israel Purim Play 1954 Booklet of photographs Contents: 21 items Photographed by: John L. Sher [cbi_411a-u] 

2 photos; A: 6x4 5/8 7-14-87; B: Thomas Dangherty from Hendersonville 6 3/4x9 7-14-87 (photos correspond with newspaper article "Rabbi Learns Karate" Rabbi Eliott Pearlson Roger Jones) [cbi_412a-b] 

1985 Jack Feingold turning presidents gave L to Abe Freedman with Rabbi Grob presiding photo by Joe Rotowitz Beth Israel Asheville, N.C. Abe Freedman's Photo (relates cbi_103) [cbi413] 

Ground-breaking photo of CBI [cbi_414] 

Unknown girl's Bat Mitzvah [cbi_415] 

Keystone Dedication at Congregation Beth Israel 1 photograph 1 negative (related to cbi_439) [cbi_416] 

Three Rabbis (?) shaking hands 1 photograph [cbi_417] 

North Carolina Summer Council Convention June 1963 Asheville, N.C. 1 photograph [cbi_418] 

Exterior view of Congregation Beth Israel 11/4/90 Photographer: Bob Prigoff. 1 photograph (1 duplicate) [cbi_419] 

"Old" Shule on Liberty St. N.B. 1 photograph [cbi_420] 

Photos from meeting/assembly [cbi_421a-e] 

Banquet Table [cbi_422] 

Congregation Beth Israel Sisterhood "Kuchen Tzutzamin" [cbi_423a-d] 

Ext.view of Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue (6 dups 1 photo) [cbi_424a-g] 

"Photos fro New Tree of Life Brochure" Photographer: Bob Prigoff [cbi_425a-f] 

Tree of Life Sculpture (prospective sculpture for Congregation Beth Israel) [cbi_246] 

Interior view of Bikur Cholim Synagogue (?) 1972 [cbi_427] 

Photos of the synagogue, Purim celebration and service [cbi_428-cbi_432] 

Photos of the synagogues from afar [cbi_433] 

Photos of CBI site sign with anti-semetic graffiti and view of lot from afar. [cbi_434-cbi_435] 

2 groundbreaking photos for synagogue on Murdock Ave [cbi_436-cbi_437] 

Photo of menorah in front of CBI [cbi_438] 

Photo of Keystone Dedication Ceremony at CBI (Related to cbi_416) [cbi_439] 

Folder 9: con't. misc. photos from Feb 2012 donation [cbi_440-cbi_527] 

Congregation Beth Israel [cbi_440-cbi_475] 

Congregation Beth Israel [cbi_476-cbi_496] 

Found within the Annual Membership Meeting for Beth Israel Synagogue [cbi_497-cbi_513] 

Congregation Beth Israel [cbi_514-cbi_527] 

Folder 10: 1985 Religious Landmarks Calendar 

Photo: Sat Morning Minyun July 1977 by Morry Bard, Photographer (Andrew Moskowitz, Bernie Goldstein, Sam Slosman, Lefkowitz (visitor-summer), Milton Lurey, Ricky Slosman, Mannie Erhilch) [cbi_529] 

miscellaneous photos [cbi_530-cbi_536] 

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Box 6: Centennial, Bulletins, and Office Records 

1: Bikur Cholim 50th Anniversary Booklet 1899-1949 

2: Beth Israel Centennial - w/ Neuringer History 

3: Beth Israel Centennial - w/ Historical Narrative by Silverman 

4: CBI 100th Anniversary Gala Dinner Dance & Celebration May 9, 1999 Program 

5: CBI Bulletins September 1979 - December 1979 

6: CBI Bulletins Jan-Feb 1980; April-December 1980 

7: CBI Bulletins Jan. 1981-May 1981; July-August 1981 -- Dec. 1981 

8: CBI Bulletins Jan. 1982-Dec. 1982 

9: CBI Membership Directory 1998-1999 

10: Membership Applications, 1954 

11: "Trees for Israel" Certificate, Feb. 1966 

12: CBI Office Records/Correspondence 1964-1966 

13: CBI Newspaper Article Synagogue groundbreaking Dec. 17, 1967 

14: Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue Centennial Gala Sponsors 

15: Items Relating to CBI Property - Liberty St. & Murdock Ave - And Construction 

16: Congregation Beth Israel Histories 

17: 1998 Purim Ball Album 

18: CBI Contract & rebuild Bikur Cholim Synagogue 

19: CBI: Fundraising and Other High Holiday Appeals 

20: CBI Bulletins Feb 1967-Summber 1969 

21: Jazzical, (2013) 

22: Mountain Jewish Festival, 2016 

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Box 7: Financial and Membership Records. Newspaper clippings 

Folder 1: CBI - Finances 

Folder 2: Beth Israel Synagogue Expense Receipts 

Folder 3: Beth Israel - Items Related to the Board 

Folder 4: Beth Israel Synagogue Board Meeting Reports/Schedules 

Folder 5: Beth Israel Congregation Mortgage Burning 10-16-83 

Folder 6: Beth Israel Annual Membership Meeting, June 12, 1988 

Folder 7: Congregation Beth Israel Congregation Remember the Building Find 

Folder 8: Congregation Beth Israel; Items related to the Building Committee 

Folder 9: Beth Israel Original building contributors 

Folder 10: Beth Israel Synagogue 1960s-1970s Finances/Building Reports 

Folder 11: Beth Israel Synagogue Construction/Improvements 

Folder 12: Beth Israel Congregation Histories 

Folder 13: Beth Israel Congregation Bulletins, Committee Reports & services of dedication 

Folder 14: Beth Israel Synagogue Services 

Folder 15: Congregation Beth Israel Letters to Joseph Schandler (re contributions & new temple) 

Folder 16: Beth Israel Congregation misc. Correspondence 1986/87 

Folder 17: Beth Israel Congregation Newspaper Clippings 

Folder 18: Beth Israel Congregation Newspaper Clippings 

Folder 19: CBI - Newspaper Clippings 

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Box 8: Addendum Materials 

Walter Ziffer (March 20, 2017 addendum) 

Folder 1: Jay Jacoby Correspondence 2008 

Folder 2: Jay Jacoby Correspondences 2009 

Folder 3: Jay Jacoby Correspondences 2010 

Folder 4: Ziffer Video (Produced by Marty Gillen) 

Folder 5: One Light (Honoring Walter Ziffer) May 2, 2010 

Folder 6: One Light Planning 

Folder 7: Writings and Lectures by Walter Ziffer 

Folder 8: Asheville Daily Planet Article by Jim Genaro May 3, 2006 

Folder 9: Vanderbilt Magazine Spring 2008 

Folder 10: Misc. 

Photographs and Holocaust Materials (June 29, 2018 addendum) 

Folder 11: Photographs - Beth Israel Ritual Fair, May 5, 2002 [59 images on CD] 

Folder 12: Photographs - Installation of Officers Ceremony, August 11, 2002 [20 images on CD] 

Folder 13: Photographs - A Tribute to Genevieve Gestre, Jewish Community Center, November 10, 2002 [97 images on CD] 

Folder 14: Documents related the the Holocaust. Includes, "Observations on the Holocaust", Interfaith Holocaust Memorial Program 1986, "What do we say to our children?", Holocaust Memorial Service 2001, message of Julius Blum 1985, and (speech) from Holocaust Memorial opening 1985 

Other Materials

Folder 15: One Light, 2018

Folder 16: Ritual Committee

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Box OS1: Oversize Materials 

Materials arising from 1999 centennial celebrations, removed from original accordion folder [Part 1] 

Materials arising from 1999 centennial celebrations, removed from original accordion folder [Part 2] 

Various certificates and awards; membership list (?) revised June 1975, written on board; photographs of temple officers, and original temple, possibly used as exhibits 

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