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Beth Jacob Congregation records

Identifier: umja0082

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of administrative materials related to Beth Jacob congregation, including: correspondence and planning documents; board materials and meeting minutes; bulletins, newsletters, and programs; cemetery records; membership materials and member lists; newspaper clippings; budget and financial materials; and administrative materials related to mergers of congregations.


  • 1897-1988
  • Majority of material found within 1950-1988


Conditions Governing Access

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


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Beth Jacob Congregation dates back to 1869 when a group of Yiddish speaking Eastern European Jews desired forming their own congregation rather than joining the already established Mount Zion Temple in Saint Paul. The group took the name Chevra B'nai Ya'akov (Sons of Jacob) and incorporated in 1875. Known as the Polish shul, the congregation met in various locations in St. Paul near the capitol. In 1888 their first building was erected at 16 College Avenue. This location led to their second nickname, the College Avenue shul.

In 1946 the congregation merged with the Hebrew Seminary Congregation and began going by the Anglicized version of their name, Sons of Jacob. By the 1980s the congregation's support was dwindling and they sold their building at 1466 Portland Avenue and later the congregation met at the St. Paul Jewish Community Center. Mergers with both Adath Israel and Temple of Aaron were discussed by ultimately rejected. By 1985 they merged with the New Conservative Congregation and began going by the name Beth Jacob and began aligning with the Conservative movement rather than the Orthodox movement. They moved to their present location at 1179 Victoria Curve in Mendota Heights. For more information on Beth Jacob, visit their website at


1.15 Cubic Feet (1 paige box)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of administrative materials from the Beth Jacob Congregation, previously known as Sons of Jacob, the second oldest Jewish congregation in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest between 1989 and 2007 by various donors related to Sons of Jacob and Beth Jacob: Jack Karter, Bernard Sweet, Jerry Gold, and Gary Tankenoff.

Beth Jacob Congregation records, 1897-1988
Erin Smerage, Kate Dietrick
February 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Jewish Archives Collecting Area