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Minnesota Synagogues collection

Identifier: umja0114

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a wide range of materials, including: ledger books with meeting minutes, account books, board meeting minutes, programs, pamphlets, correspondence, annual meeting reports, contracts, articles of incorporation, membership lists, sermons, newsletters, and clippings.


  • 1903-2019

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

The first Jews to arrive in Minnesota came in the 1840s, before Minnesota was officially a state. The first synagogue was founded in 1856 when eight St. Paul Jewish families began Mount Zion Temple. In 1876 the first synagogue in Minneapolis was founded as Shaarai Tov, later named Temple Israel. There have been various congregations that have formed, thrived, merged, closed, and opened in the years since.

For more information related to specific congregations, visit, where entries for various Jewish congregations have been written by historian Laura Weber.


3 Cubic Feet (3 boxes -- 2 Paige boxes, 1 Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of various materials from synagogues throughout Minnesota including: Adath Jeshurun, Beth El, Sons of Abraham, Temple of Aaron, and Temple Israel.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection is comprised of materials donated to the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest by various people and institutions over various years. If the donor is known, it is listed in a note in each record. Some folders were donated directly to UMJA from synagogues in 2019.

Processing Information

This collection is comprised of various donations to the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest from various people through the years. These donations were one or two folders each and related to Minnesota synagogues. If a large amount of materials were donated by a single congregation, that congregation will have their own collection. If there was only a small amount of materials, the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest added the materials to this collection.

Minnesota Synagogues collection, 1903-2019
Erin Smerage
August 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