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Temple Israel records

Identifier: umja0036

Scope and Content

This collection includes various types of materials dating between 1880 and 2014, including: correspondence, sermons, High Holy Day planning documents, bulletins, newsletters, programs, directories, news clippings, member handbooks, publicity and event materials, groups (such as the Brotherhood and Sisterhood) and programs (such as Neighborhood Involvement Program and Jewish Dating Service) materials, inactive member files, budget and dues information, and committee meeting minutes. There are also various media including cassette tapes, CDs, and VHS tapes (all of which are noted as such in contents below).


  • Creation: 1880-2014
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1970s-2010s


Use of Materials

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives; please contact the archives for more detailed copyright information.

Historical Note

Temple Israel, originally called Shaarai Tov (Gates of Goodness), was founded in 1878 by German-speaking Jewish merchants. Their first house of worship, built in 1880, was located on Fifth Street between First Avenue (later Marquette Avenue) and Second Avenue South; in 1888 they would move to Tenth Street and Fifth Avenue South. In 1901 Shaarai Tov hired rabbi Samuel N. Deinard, an influential rabbi who helped grow the congregation. He acted as mediator between his Americanized congregants and the Eastern European Jewish immigrants who lived in North Minneapolis. Deinard also founded a local Jewish weekly newspaper, the American Jewish World, in 1912. In 1914, the congregation moved again, this time to the corner of West Twenty-Forth Street and Emerson Avenue South, and in 1920 changed their name to Temple Israel. In 1928 a new synagogue was built on the same site, this time by the firm of Jack Liebenberg and Seeman Kaplan; this neoclassical revival-style building remains a landmark overlooking Hennepin Avenue in Uptown Minneapolis.

Rabbi Deinard died suddenly and unexpectedly in 1921. His successor was Rabbi Albert Minda, who acted as head rabbi from 1922 to 1963. Rabbi Max Shapiro, Temple Israel's assistant rabbi since 1955 succeeded Minda and was named rabbi emeritus in 1985. Marcia Zimmerman was hired as assistant rabbi in 1988 and in 2001 was named senior rabbi, making her the first woman senior rabbi of a congregation of more than two thousand families in the United States.

Temple Israel has long had active organizations in their congregation, including the Sisterhood which began in 1877 as the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society until 1903 when they reorganized to specifically serve the needs of Temple Israel. The Men's Club was established in 1922. The Temple Youth Group (TYG) was originated in 1952. Camp Teko, started in 1945, began as a day camp at Lake Nokomis until 1965 when the Men's Club developed a campsite at Lake Minnetonka. Temple Israel still resides in Minneapolis and is one of the ten largest congregations in the United States. Their website can be found at

Much more historical information can be found on Temple Israel: see Rabbi Albert G. Minda's publication The Story of Temple Israel: A Personal Account(1971), Temple Israel: A Brief History, 1878-1987by Rhoda G. Lewin, and Temple Israel: The First 85 Yearsby Roland Minda.


20.8 Cubic Feet (24 boxes -- 16 Paige boxes, 2 half Hollinger boxes, 4 cassette tape boxes, 2 Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of the records of Temple Israel, a Reform congregation that is the oldest synagogue in Minneapolis and one of the largest congregations in the United States.


This collection is divided into series:

Series 1: Administrative

Series 2: Bulletins, Newsletters, and Programs

Series 3: Sermons and High Holy Days

Series 4: Rabbi Shapiro materials

Source of acquisition

Donated by Temple Israel. Materials supplemented by donations to the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest from Max Shapiro between 1993 and 2003.

Temple Israel records, 1880-2014
Finding aid created by Kate Dietrick
April 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Jewish Archives Collecting Area