Saturday, February 4, 2012

A visit to the American Jewish Archives

On Thursday of this week, I took a 2 hour drive to Cincinnati to visit the American Jewish Archives (AJA) at Hebrew Union College. The Ahavath Scholom congregation files are held here and I wanted to take a look. Well, the first thing I found out was that the congregation actually spelled their name "Ahavas Sholom." I first noticed a discrepancy in the spelling over a year ago when I recognized the differences between what was listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, what the Auditor's website lists, and what the synagogue is commonly referred to in Ligonier. For my purposes, I am going to go by the historical documents. This is prompting me to do a bit of name replacing on the blog as well as in my grant materials that are being sent out next month.

The Ahavas Sholom folio at AJA (1890-1935)
The majority of the Ahavas Sholom holdings at AJA were compiled for the Ligonier centennial in 1935. There were about 200 pieces of paper included in this folder and I took digital photos of every piece. The setting was perfect actually.  I grabbed a table that had sunlight pouring in- and in this way, I think I was able to capture some wonderful details of the documents.

Upon first glance, it looks as if the documents are primarily synagogue meeting minutes and recordings of donation amounts by various families. There were also a few invoices and receipts from vendors who must have worked with the congregation on projects for the synagogue and cemetery.

Now that I've taken all the photos- it's time to get down to work and actually READ! I can't wait to see what treasures are hidden in the folder and when I do uncover them, I will be sure to post the findings here. 

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