"This was more than a house of worship. This was the portal of a new life in a new land for the largest wave of immigrants ever."

Bill Moyers


Running the Congregation


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Learn more about running the congregation:

Minute book

Leather bound book with handwritten entries
14 x 9.25 inches (closed)

The minutes of the Eldridge Street Synagogue provide a window onto the workings of a congregation with a thorough understanding of American economic, social and cultural trends and management techniques. In this volume and two others are handwritten entries summarizing meetings held two to five times a month from 1890 through the 1950s. The pages shown here from 1900 are signed by congregation secretary Leib Matalawsky. Among the many topics routinely covered are the admission of new members, resignations and suspensions of members for failure to pay dues, nomination and election of officers, hiring of synagogue workers, charitable activities, burial arrangements, selling and renting of seats for services and repairs and renovation of the building. Although the minutes are written almost entirely in Yiddish, by 1905 English words are used with increasing frequency, a good measure of the rate at which the congregants were assimilating.

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