Finding Aid

Finding Aid




DESCRIPTION: The EMJC Archives preserve and document the history of the congregation:  its membership and lay leaders, its rabbis, cantors, activities , and buildings since its founding in 1924. We encourage research and study of EMJC’s history  and its contribution to the development of Conservative Judaism and the Jewish Community of Brooklyn. The boxes and folders are located in a special room in the East Midwood Jewish Center and are arranged in simple alphabetical order to facilitate research. However, certain subjects are grouped together:  Architects, Cantors, Committees, Executive Directors, Mergers, Presidents, and Rabbis.   


CREATOR: The EMJC Archives were arranged and described by Toby Carliner Sanchez, EMJC’s Historian and Archivist

PREFERRED CITATION: Item, Folder Title, Records of the East Midwood Jewish Center, Inc. 

EXTENT: 32 linear feet of documents in 60 archival boxes; 8 linear feet of weekly and bi-monthly bulletins; several hundred  photographs not yet processed, and 4 linear feet of the records of the congregations which merged with EMJC (Jewish Communal Center of Flatbush and Shaare Torah).  which merged with EMJC. 


The Founders: The East Midwood Jewish Center was organized in 1924 by a group of new residents in what was then an undeveloped, almost rural neighborhood promoted by real estate brokers as “New Brooklyn.”  Many streets were unpaved, and houses were far apart. The organizers started out by holding meetings in each other’s homes. Their goal from the very beginning was to create a combination synagogue and a community center. It was to be a 7 day a week facility to serve the religious, social and recreational needs of the entire family from childhood to old age and to be open to the wider community. That’s why EMJC was built with a very large sanctuary, seating over 850 people, with two ballrooms, meeting rooms, a gym, steam room and pool.  Many similar synagogue/community centers were created throughout the U.S. in the 1920s, but most of them were sold long ago to churches, converted into schools or demolished. EMJC is one of the last remaining “shules with a pool.” (The Shule with a Pool: The Synagogue Center in American Jewish Life  by David Kaufmann (University Press of New England/Brandeis University Press, 1999)

The founders decided to place their new congregation on a triple lot on Ocean Avenue, a major north-south road. This was a bold statement at a time when anti-Semitism was prevalent, and the 1924 Federal immigration law sharply limited the number of people from Eastern and Southern Europe, namely, Jews and Catholics, who could enter the U.S. each year.     

The groundbreaking took place in 1925 and the building was completed in 1929 at a cost of one million dollars.  It was designed by Louis Allen Abramson and Maurice Courland, well known synagogue architects. The exterior is in the style of an Italian Renaissance palacio and the sanctuary is distinguished by its Greek style columns and decorations and a large, multi-colored stained glass globe and 12 stained glass windows in the Tiffany style.     

Membership grew consistently from 100 in 1924 to 300 in 1929 (with a significant decline during the Depression) and then reached its maximum of 1 430 in 1963.  It was close to 1000 throughout the 1980s but then began a steady decline as families moved to the suburbs.  In recent years there has been considerable growth in new younger families.   

Creation of a Day School

In 1948 EMJC constructed a separate building at 1256 East 21st Street, connected to the Ocean Avenue building by a shared courtyard and a bridge,  to house its very large weekday and Sunday Hebrew School classes (nearly 1000 students). Then in 1956 EMJC opened the East Midwood Academy , a State chartered kindergarten to 8th grade dual language school.  The school has had several different names but was known as Rabbi Harry Halpern Day School from 1978-2006. It was renamed the East Midwood Hebrew Day School until it closed  in 2019.       

Placement on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006 

East Midwood Jewish Center received this honor, because its original architectural features are unchanged, and because it represents “a distinctive form of American Judaism and is part of the evolution of urban ethnicity in the 20th century.” It was created entirely by local residents, lay people, not by rabbis or Manhattan elites; services were from the beginning conducted in English and Hebrew, and not in Yiddish (as was the rule in older neighborhoods); its members were mostly American born and were a mix of people whose families came from different parts of Europe and not just a specific Russian, Polish, Hungarian or other European town or region, as was usually the case with small congregations).  The placement on Ocean Avenue announced to the world that there was no contradiction between being a loyal American and being a loyal Jew and that a minority group has both the right and duty to retain and develop its culture, while contributing to American life. East Midwood and similar synagogue/ community centers are a unique American invention. 


The records of the East Midwood Jewish Center, Inc. (1924 – 20019) contain legal documents, minutes, reports, financial statements, publications, brochures,  and related materials pertaining to its creation and governance its clergy, rituals, educational programs, social activities and its financial history, construction and repairs.  Except for the very early years, the archives contain the minutes of most of the annual membership meeting and the monthly meetings of the board of trustees. Also available are many boxes of membership lists, cemetery records, lists of bar/bat mitzvahs, the students and faculties of the Hebrew school and the day school, the names of brides and grooms, plus records of confirmations and conversions.  Also available are copies of the weekly bulletins published from 1935 to the present, commemorative journals, news clippings and hundreds of photographs of members, students and social events.   

The records of its Rabbis (Reuben Kaufman, 1925-28, Harry Halpern , 1929-1977, Alvin Kass, 1978-2014, Aaron Pomerantz, 1980-20080, Matt Carl, 2014-2019) and several associate rabbis are grouped  together under Rabbis. The same is true for its various Cantors (Abraham Hyman, 1936-1955, Joseph Eidelson, 1956-1995, Samuel Levine 2004 to date) and various associate cantors and choir leaders), Executive Directors and Architects.   The records of EMJC’s mergers with Shaare Torah, The Jewish Communal Center of Flatbush and Progresive Shaare Zedek Synagogue are grouped together under Mergers. The membership and student lists have been digitized, but not the rest of the documents.  



Abramson, Louis Allen (see Architects) 

Adult Institute (founded 1940); Separate folders for Classes, Concerts, Film Festival, Faculty 

Salaries, Lunch & Learn Speakers,   Harry Halpern Memorial Assembly, Selichtot  Study Sessions,    

Nathan Solomon  Memorial Lecture, Joseph Plan Memorial Lecture, Urist Memorial  Kallah

Advertisements, Brochures & Other Publicity Materials

Advisory Boards

Appraisals of the Building and its Contents, see also Torahs 

Architects:  Louis Allen Abramson, Maurice Courland, G. Canaan

Audits – see Financial Statements 

Aufruf Forms

Annual & Special Membership  Meetngs 

Annual Meeting Procedures , and Separate Folders for each year,  1940-2019. (missing are 1950-54 & 1957.)  



Bar Mitzvah Applications Arranged by Year  – also Bar Mitzvah Procedures  

Bat Mitzvah Applications  Arranged by Year-

Balance Sheets – see Financial Statements

Bequests – Alphabetical by Donors A-L

Bequests – Alphabetical by Donors M-Z

Blood Drives

Brochures- See Advertisements,  Brochures & Other Promotional Material

Books of Remembrance

Harry Brockoff

Jenny Brooks –see also Talmud Torah Boxes

Board of Trustees Meetings Minutes & Agendas: 1935 through 1949

Board of Trustees Meeting, Minutes & Agendas: 1950 through 1990 

Board of Trustees Meetings, Minutes & Agendas:  1991 through 2018

Board of Trustees Membership Lists, 1945-2005 – see also Annual Membership Meetings & Sign In Sheets for monthly trustees’ meetings

The Building, 1625 Ocean Avenue, including Legal Documents & Records of Repairs, Architect Maurice Courland’s Original Specifications, 1925

     Building Deed

     Building Permit

     Construction Firms – 1925-1929         

     Conditions Report 1990

     Conditions Report 2006

     Conditions Report 2019 (Sanctuary ceiling only)

     Grants for Building Repairs & Additions 

         Sacred Sites Consulting Grant 2002

         Stained Glass Grant  – see Boxe11-14s 9 & 10

         Urban Areas Security Grant 2010

Loans:  for Construction 1925-1929

Loans for Refrigeration 

Loans for Restoration 

Mortgages #1 for $35,000 –  1925-1938

Mortgages #2 for  $350,000 1928-1945 

Certificates of Indebtedness & release 1939-1944 

Building Repairs by Year & Location              

Building Plans- A comprehensive list of all architectural drawings, those within folders and also the oversize ones on shelves 

     1949-1959 – Basement

     1957-59 – Bridge & Kitchen

     1959 – Front doors

     Granite Facing 

     2004-2007 Exterior Envelope


         Contract & Invoices

         Project Manual

Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning Systems Survey  2000-2001

Marble Walls

Vault & Yard – 2005-2011

     Architect Li-Saltzman’s Evaluation Report 2005

     Bids – 2010

     Contracts with Architects 2008 & 2010

     History & Evaluation of the Project

     Invoices -2010-2011 

     Project Manual 2010            

Building Repairs: Stained Glass Project: Proposal & All Documents for the Restoration of the Windows, Dome & Skylight – 2006-2013     Funded by the New York State Dept. of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation

     Application for Grant for Stained Glass Repair with Letters of Support


     Bills & Payments: Architects, Contractors

     Drawings of Roof & Skylight 

     Drawings of Windows

     DOB Drawings       

     Building Repairs: Stained Glass Project continued

     Project Manuals 2011, 2011 Review Set, 2012 

Final Report to the NY State Dept. of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation 

     Final Audit –  2013

     Grants to the stained glass project from individuals



Calendars of Events 

Cantors, Choir Leaders & Torah Readers  

     Associate  Cantor Yaacov Bares

     Associate Cantor Joel Bloch

     Associate Cantor  Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen

     Cantor Joseph Eidelson, 1952-1994

     Associate Cantor & Choir Leader Samuel Friedberg, 1934-1969

     Cantor Abraham Hyman, 1937-1955 

     Choir Leader Oscar Julius, 1938

     Cantor Samuel Levine,  2004 to date

     Cantor Larry Magarik

     Associate Cantor & Torah Reader Joseph Mayer, 1968 – 1992

     Choir Director Abraham Nadel, 1955-1985

     Associate Cantor Stuart Razin

     Cantor & Choir Leader Jacob Schachter, 1926 

     Cantor Uzi Rivlin

     Cantor Solomon Segunda, 1943

     Cantor Adi Wyner, 1994 – 

Catering Contracts

Dorinstein Caterer

Newman & Leventhal

Cemeteries –Brochures & Rules 

     (For names, see the separate receipt books for cemetery payments)

Chanukah Gifts to Staff

Club Oasis

Committees  A – C 

     Committee Lists & Committee Guidelines

     Adult Institute Committee

     Audit Committee  – 

     Bikur Cholim Committee 

     Board of Education Committee




     Civil Defense

     Constitution & By-Laws

     Cost & Effectiveness of Operations

Committees D-R

     Day Camp

     Day School  

     Golden Age

     Grants & Awards


     Holiday Tickets

     House  (building repairs) 



     Megillah Project 


     Memorial Tablets & Prayer books


     Russian Friends

Committees  S-Y




     Space Allotment

     Talmud Torah



     Younger Families

     Youth Activities Council

College Homecoming Shabbat

Gloria Collins 


Confirmations/Consecrations for Girls 

Constitutions & By-Laws


Courland, Maurice & Rafael – see Architects 

Czech Memorial  Torah Scroll – see also Dr. Bernard Metrick



 Dinner Dances – Biographies of Honorees, Invitations & Journals by Year

     1924-1973  (not all years)    




     2010 to date 

Daily Minyan

Day Camp

Deceased Members 1993-96

Dinner Dance Journals –see Boxes 17-21



Eidelson, Joseph – see Cantors

Endowment Fund

EMJC School for Young Children

Employees’ Information Cards 1968-80

Edith Everett & David Everett

Executive Directors:   

     Samuel Cohen – 1955

     Robert Gabbe, 1925-1955

     Randy Grossman, 2016-2017

     Edith Maiman, 1999-2016

     Harvey Marks     

     Julius Nierow   1970–1977

     Bernard Panzer, 1979-1998 

     Sidney Sameth – 1955-1960

     Wayne Rosenfeld- 2018-



Facebook Pages

Peter Farkas

Federal Tax Exemption Letter  

Marie Fersko

Financial Statements  

     Financial Statements for 1926, Fiscal Years 1956-1957 through 1988-1989 

     Financial Statements for Fiscal Years 1989-90 through 2003-2004

Alan F. Fintz

Forgery Case  

Form Letters  

Founders:  list of names and photographs,  as printed in the 1949 Journal plus separate folders about some of the individual founders and their descendants 

     Louis Birnhak

     Louis & Jennie Greenfield

     Max Koeppel/Kappel

     Isaac Steinberg

     Harry L. Volk

     Irving Warshaw

     Pincus Weinberg 

Friday Evening Services



Detective Joe Galapo

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Dr. Henry Goldberg  – see Talmud Torah & Rabbi Harry Halpern Day School



Halpern, Rabbi Harry – see Rabbis

Hate Call 2017

Hebrew High School – see Talmud Torah 

High Holiday Services

Holocaust Memorial Events – see Yom Hashoah

Honorary Presidents- definition, privileges, lists

Honorary Trustees – see lists in Annual  Membership Meetings 

History of EMJC 

     Incorporation Papers 1924

     The Founding & Early Years, 1924-1929, including 1926 Financial Report

     Construction Firms 1925-1929

     Special Journals: 

     Building Dedication Journal 1929

     25th Anniversary Journal 1949

     30th Anniversary 1954

     45th Anniversary 1969

     50th Anniversary 1974 Preparations 

     50th Anniversary Journal

     60th Anniversary Journal  1984

     National Register of Historic Places Application 2006

     National Historic Site Award & Dedication  2006

     90th Anniversary Journal 2014

     See also Dinner Dance Journals for each year    

     List of Clergy (Rabbis & Cantors),  School Directors & Executive Directors 1925-2017

     Lists of Presidents  & Founders, 1924-2017       

     Dispute over Traditional vs. Egalitarian Services 

     Folder #1: 1961-1996          Folder #2: 1997-2004

History Notes – excerpted from Board of Trustees Meetings & Annual Meetings 

History Timeline                                



Income Tax Exemption Letter – see Federal Tax Exemption Letter

Incorporation Papers 1924

Installation Ceremonies for New Officers

Institute for Living Judaism in Brooklyn

Interfaith Program, also known as the Interfaith Coalition of Brooklyn  

     Folders for Events, Grants & Awards, Newsletters, Photos of Events, Thanksgiving Services 

Israel Bond Purchases

Israel Bond Breakfast – Honorees

Israel Seminars



J – K

Jewish Theological Seminary Events

Kaddish Club, also known as the Kaddish & Men’s Club – 



     Membership Lists

     Minutes 1954-59

     Minutes 1960-1965

     Minutes 1966-67

     Minutes 1975-2000  (many missing items)   

Kass, Rabbi Alvin  – see Rabbis      

Miryom Kass

Florence Kippel Biography

Rose & Louis Kippel Fund 

Kol Nidre Appeal Letters   

Kol Nidre Gifts

Audrey Korelstein, Director of Family & Children’s Education



Law Suits Against EMJC  (alphabetical by plaintiff’s name)

Lewis, Paul – see Martyr’s  Memorial 

Life Memberships   

Norman Lubin



Marty Markowitz

Martyrs’Memorial in the Lobby , aka Memorial for Our Martydom or Memorial for the Six Million 

Megillah Project 1998

Members’ Hebrew Names – partial list

Membership  Lists    

     Membership Lists 1940s

     New Members  – 1946 

     Membership Applications 1952-1978 

     Membership Lists 1954 – list of names on file cards (the original file cards are in 2 metal file boxes)

     Membership Lists 1990s

     Membership Lists 1995

     Member Lists – Resignations 1997

     Membership Lists -2010 with age of each member (husbands & spouses)

     Membership Lists – 2016         

Membership Outreach

Membership Questionnaire – 1986

Membership  Statistics by Year  as compiled for United Synagogue Annual Census 

Merger Agreements with 

     Jewish Communal Center of Flatbush

     Progressive Shaare Zedek

     Shaare Torah 

     Mr. & Mrs. Club


N – O – P


Obituary Notices

Opinion Survey 1986

Passover Fundraising Appeals

Father Michael Perry

Hazel Plan   

Planned Giving

Plaques, Awards, Paintings &Proclamations –List of names on plaques & Location of each plaque & painting

Roz Pomerantz – copies of her original songs composed for various occasions

Presidents –separate folders with name & dates of EMJC Presidents boxes may contain photographs, obituaries and information about their descendants 

     Harry L. Abrams – Louis Adler – Sol Brookstein – Bernard L. Brown – Gail Hammerman – Gary Kippel – Arthur     

     Kleigman – Milton Krasne – Simon Lefcourt – Solomon Leff – Herman Levin –  Dr. Bernard Metrick – Joseph Reiss

     – Samuel Rothstein – Toby Sanchez – Sidney L. Schiff – Marsha Shlefstein – Leo Wein – Pincus Weinberg – Isaac


Publicity (newspaper articles, press releases)  –See also Advertisements/Brochures,Etc. 



Rabbis & Associate Rabbis

     Assistant Rabbi Alan Blaine  1960—65

     Rabbi Matt Carl  2014-2019

     Assistant Rabbi David Gaffney-1969-72

     Rabbi Harry Halpern 1929-1977 

     Rabbi Alvin Kass 1978-2014

     Rabbi Rubin  Kaufman 1925-28

     Associate Rabbi & Ritual Director Aaron Pomerantz  1978- 2008-

     Assistant Rabbi Jack Riemer – 1955 – 

     Rabbi’s House , Sale of 

     Rabbi Search 2013-201

     Recognition Breakfasts 

Room J Congregatonal School

Room Naming Prices

Room Rental Rates

Alan Rosenblum Fund

Harriet Rosenblum

Arthur & Selma Rosenthal

Max Roth

Russian Immigrants –Programs for 



Beatrice Sacks Memorial Fund Lecture

Sale of Sanctuary Seats 

Security Surveys 

Selichot Study Sessions

Senor League of Flatbush (leases) 

Shabbat Dinners

Shavuot Observances

Arthur Shlefstein 

Shomrim Society

Simchat Torah Celebrations 

Singles Events 

Special Memorial Services for Yitzhak Rabin (year) & for Israeli Soldiers (year)

Summer Day Camp Proposal

Summer Speaker Series


     Sisterhood Braille Group

     Sisterhood By—laws

     Sisterhood History

     Sisterhood Installations

     Sisterhood Meeting Minutes – 1993-2000

     Sisterhood Meeting Notices 1985-1998

     Sisterhood Membership & Board Lists

     Sisterhood Presidents- List 

     Sisterhood Special Events

     Sisterhood Honorees  at Annual Luncheons – 1986 & 2010

     Sisterhood Honorees at Twilight Dinners 2011-2018



Talmud Torah 

Talmud Torah Alumni Association

Talmud Torah Alumni List – 1960-2009  

Talmud Torah Alumni – as adults

Talmud Torah Committee

Talmud Torah Curriculum

Talmud Torah Enrollment History

Talmud Torah Faculty

Talmud Torah Faculty Salaries

Talmud Torah Fees

Talmud Torah Financial Reports

Talmud Torah Graduations

Talmud Torah Hebrew High School – includes a few student letters 

Talmud Torah High School Publications

Talmud Torah Parent  List

Talmud Torah  PTA

Talmud Torah Publications

Talmud Torah Registers – by years

Talmud Torah Sunday School

Talmud Torah Programs 2008-2009 

Tax Exemption Letter 

Time Line of EMJC History 1924-present – also  filed also in History 

Tisha B’Av Observances

Torahs – appraisals & donations  

Torah Restoration Campaign 2002

Tee of Life Memorial Plaques in the lobby

Town Hall Meetings on Public Issues


U – V 

UJA Federation Grant 2016-2017  

UJA Breakfasts Honorees

United Synagogue Annual Censuses & Annual Financial Reports  – see Membership Statistics

United Synagogue Youth (USY)



Anderson Waithe

Wall of Memory in the lobby

Weddings 1935-1945

Weddings 1956-59

Weddings 1960

Weddings 1961

Weddings   1962

Weddings    1963

Weddings     1964

Weddings    1965-69

Weddings     1983-85

Weddings     1986-94 

Women on the Board of Trustees



Yosef H.Yerushalmi  (formerly taught in the Talmud Torah Hebrew High School

Yom Hashoah  Commemorations 

Yom Kippur see Books of Remembrance

Yom Kippur Break the Fast

Young People’s Synagogue

Younger Families

Youth Activities Department






Annuity & Insurance Contracts for Faculty

Annual Dinner Dance Journals 1971- 

Appraisals of the Building  & Contents

Architectural Drawings for the Building 1947-1950 (Maurice & Rafael Courland, Architects)


Board of Education Members  1956-69

Board of Education Members     1970-77

Board of Education Members       1978-2004

Board of Education Minutes  1956-69, 1970-77, 1978-1990

Brochures & Promotional Materials

Budgets & Audits s- see Financial Statements

Building Alterations 1972

Building Complaints

Building Plans – list of all plans, those in boxes and the oversize plans on shelves  

Building Description, incl. paintings & plaques see Appraisals

Building Expansion Plans 1977-92

Building Inspections



Certificate of Occupancy   

Charter from New York State Dept. of Education 

Collective Bargaining Agreements

Conditions Survey 1970  – see also the Day School  section in the Conditions Survey 2006  

Contract with Builder

Construction Contracts 1958-59

Construction Permits

Cookbook – Palate Pleasers



D – E  

Development Fund

Educational Directors – Duties – 

Employee Complaints 



Faculty Lists

Faculty – Rose Galinsky

Faculty Relations Committee

Faculty Salaries

Fathers’ Club

Financial Statements

Fund for Jewish Education Grants


G – H


Heating system

History of the School


L – M – N

Law Suits Against the School – alphabetical by plaintiff   

Name Change 



Parent Teachers Association

Parents’ Names & Addresses

Pension Plan 

Pre-School Program Permit

Principals’ Duties

Principals:  Martin Cooper, Allen Gewirtz, Henry Goldbereg, Mildred Gruberger, Aryeh Rohn, Etta Segall, Sheila Silverman, Uzi Rivlin

Property Tax Exemption



Registers of Students by Year – 1976, 1977-78, 1982-90



Scholarship & Admissions  Applications A-J

Scholarship & Admissions Applications   K-R

Scholarship Applications  S-Z

Scholarship Scholarships Granted

Scholarship Policies 



Teacher Tenure

Tuition Fees

Tuition Assistance – Sliding Scale



East Midwood Hebrew Day School, Inc. 



EMJC WEEKLY BULLETINS – bound copies by year 1935 – 1991 (missing are 1933, 1934, 1938-1944, 1986)   – unbound copies 1991-2019

 Bi-Monthly Bulletins – 2008-2019 

 Photographs – not yet processed

 Tapes   – not yet  processed 


Not yet processed