MC 1040

Inventory to the Records of Congregation Sharri Sholom, 1955-1979 (bulk 1970-1979)

By Ilana Lutman

May 2004

Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Congregation Sharri Sholom (South Brunswick, N.J.)
Title: Inventory to the Records of the Congregation Sharri Sholom
Dates: 1955-1979, bulk 1970-1979
Quantity 1.2 cubic feet (3 manuscript boxes)
Condition: Most of the collection is tainted with the odor of a solvent; some items replaced by photocopies.
Collection No. MC 1040
Language English
Repository Rutgers University Libraries. Special Collections and University Archives.


Date Event
1941 First organizational meeting is held in November; elected are Jacob Segal (president), Samuel Berk (treasurer), Samuel Dorfman (secretary) and Samuel Adler, Harry Horlick, Irving Mason, Herman Monhait, Mrs. Frank Wentraub and Abe Dobin (trustees).
1942 Jewish Farmers Community Center of Middlesex County is incorporated in January; purchases 240 cemetery plots at Washington Cemetery in Deans; establishes a Women's Committee; purchases land on which a new building is dedicated in December.
1943 Amends bylaws to permit officers to be re-elected for as many terms as they wish to serve; in January Sunday Hebrew School is first offered; in August the Women's Committee changes its name to the Ladies Auxiliary, as a membership increase dictates a more formal organization.
1962 or 1963 Changes its official name to "The Jewish Community Center of South Brunswick"; the synagogue name becomes Congregation Sharri Sholom ("Gates of Peace").
1960s Sunday School children disbursed to other schools (due to a lack of children).
1967 Population changes in the area bring in more young families with children who want a communal leader, resulting in the appointment of the first Rabbi, Eugene Katz (part-time; September-June), a senior at the Conservative Seminary in New York City.
1970 The Ladies Auxiliary changes its name to the Sisterhood (as a result of the addition of many new members, which broadens the scope of its activities); in December a new building addition is dedicated, with room for an expanded and revitalized Sunday School.
1973-1974 Explores the possibility of merging with Congregation Beth Shalom, Kendall Park.
1975 Acquires adjacent property of four acres in May and in September establishes a nursery school.
1976 A proposed merger with Congregation Beth Shalom is again called off; in August, appoints Rabbi Stephen O. Parnes (who serves to July 31, 1978).
1978 Board and congregation approve "founding resolution" for merger with both the North Brunswick Jewish Community Center and Congregation Beth Shalom (of Kendall Park, South Brunswick Township).
1981 Merger is completed; merged congregation adopts a new name (B'nai Tikvah) and then or subsequently locates in North Brunswick Township.

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Scope and Content Note

The records of the Jewish Community Center of South Brunswick, Congregation Sharri Sholom, span the years 1955 to 1979, with the bulk of the documents falling between 1970 and 1979. This organization, founded by poultry, dairy and general farmers in a (formerly) rural section of Middlesex County, New Jersey, existed from 1942 until it merged with two other, similar organizations in 1981. For at least the later years of its existence, the group was affiliated with the Conservative movement of Judaism.

Congregation Sharri Sholom's records are sparse, with the most substantial series being the MINUTES, 1955-1957 and 1973-1979, and the GENERAL FILES OF PRESIDENT ALVIN BAZEL, 1973-1979. Together, these series provide insight into the many and varied activities of the Congregation and its president. The FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS, 1974-1979, include copies of federal returns, entitled Organization Exempt from Income Tax, which were filed by the Congregation, as well as a small quantity of correspondence with the Internal Revenue Service concerning administrative matters. Other financial records included pertain to bingo operations and document the amounts of money raised from this activity, together with a controversy surrounding an application for a license renewal. The FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS have been weeded for privacy reasons, but because the information was not recorded in any other form, a list of the Congregation's employees, extracted from discarded W2 forms, was created. This list can be found in the Appendix to the finding aid. Other Congregation records consist of a few items of MEMBERSHIP RECORDS, 1972-1973 and undated.

Records of the Congregation's Sisterhood are also included in the collection and primarily date from the early 1970s. Two years of MINUTES, September 1970-June 1972, provide insight into an active group. This activity is further evidenced by a 1972 GUIDEBOOK and TORAH FUND AND RESIDENCE HALL CAMPAIGN DOCUMENTS, 1970-1974. The MEMBERSHIP FORMS provide valuable personal information from 1972 and unspecified periods both before and after the group changed its name in 1970 from the Ladies Auxiliary to the Sisterhood. Completing the Sisterhood's records are CALENDARS, 1959/60-1966/67 with gaps, a few pre-1970 PRESS CLIPPINGS and four PHOTOGRAPHS, 1972 and undated.

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Separated Material

The souvenir journal from Congregation Sharri Sholom's 35th anniversary (June 4, 1977) is located at Special Collections and University Archives in the Sinclair New Jersey collection. The call number is SPCOL/UA BM225.S672C6 1977 in sublocation SNCLY2.

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Access: No restrictions.

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Subject Tracings

Personal Names

Bazel, Alvin
Segal, George, 1924-

Corporate Names

Congregation Sharri Sholom (South Brunswick, N.J.)--Archives
Jewish Community Center of South Brunswick
Jewish Farmers Community Center of Middlesex County


Synagogues--New Jersey
Jewish farmers--New Jersey
Jews--New Jersey

Geographic Names

South Brunswick (N.J. : Township)

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Selected References

Congregation Sharri Sholom. Congregation Sharri Sholom, South Brunswick, N.J. : 35th Anniversary, June 4, 1977 (South Brunswick, N.J. : the Congregation, 1977). [Call number: SPCOL/UA SNCLY2 BM225.S672C6 1977].

Dobin, Abraham. Fertile Fields: Recollections and Reflections of a Busy Life (South Brunswick, N.J.: A.S. Barnes, 1975). [Call number: SPCOL/UA SNCLNJ CT275.D633].

"Constitution and by-laws of the Jewish Community Center of South Brunswick" (1975) in GENERAL FILES OF PRESIDENT ALVIN BAZEL (box 2, folder 22). This document states in article III that the congregation will be affiliated with the United Synagogue of America—the Conservative movement.

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Detailed Description of the Records/Container List

I. Congregation
I. MINUTES, 1955-1957 and 1973-1979. (.45 cubic ft.)
Arranged chronologically.
Interfiled minutes of meetings of the board of directors (in earlier years styled the board of trustees) and of the general membership. Supporting documentation such as agendas, operating fund statements and reports of committee meetings are also present. Among the persons represented in the minutes from the 1950s is the artist George Segal.
Box Folder
1 1-3 January 1955-November 1957
4-13 October 1973-August 1978
Box Folder
2 1 September 1978-June 1979
Grouped in original order by subject within two main sequences (perhaps corresponding to successive terms of office); documents within folders grouped chronologically.
Records, originally kept in ring binders, pertaining to the following topics: Hebrew school, rabbi, youth, ritual, bar and bat mitzvah, ways and means, adult education, finance (operating statements), publicity (press clippings) and correspondence. Not all categories are included for each sequence. There is a wealth of material in this series, such as a copy of the constitution and bylaws that was adopted in 1975 (in Miscellaneous, 1975 and 1978-1979) and the contract signed with Rabbi Parnes and his letter of resignation (in Rabbi, 1975-1978). Among the persons represented in the correspondence folders are U.S. Senators Clifford P. Case and Harrison A. Williams, Jr., and a mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek (all in Correspondence, 1975-1977).
Box Folder
2 2 Finances, 1973-1976
3 Rabbi, 1975-1976
4 General, 1976-1977
5 School, 1975-1976
6 Youth, 1976-1977
7 Ritual, 1975
8 Nursery School, 1975-1977
9 Ways and Means, 1976-1977
10 Publicity, 1976-1977
11 Adult Education, 1976
12 Correspondence, 1975-1977
13 Finances, 1976-1977
14 Rabbi, 1975-1978
15 Ritual, 1977
16 Bar/Bat mitzvah, 1973 and undated
17 Ways and Means, 1977-[1978?]
18 School, 1977-1978
19 Correspondence, 1977-1979
20 Adult Education, 1977-1979
21 Finances, 1977-1979
22 [Miscellaneous], 1975 and 1978-1979
III. MEMBERSHIP RECORDS, 1972-1973. (1 folder)
Arranged chronologically.
Various records consisting of undated introductory information that was presented to new families; an undated application for membership; bar and bat mitzvah policies and procedures, 1973; and two membership lists, 1972/73 and undated.
Box Folder
3 1 Membership Records, 1972-1973
IV. FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS, 1974-1979. (4 folders)
Grouped by form or subject.
Documentation of various financial activities of the synagogue. This series includes copies of the federal returns for an Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Internal Revenue Service Form 990), 1975-1979. There is a small amount of correspondence, primarily with the Internal Revenue Service, concerning the issue of tax exempt status. Weekly bingo games, originally held in New Brunswick, New Jersey, but later transferred to Milltown, New Jersey, are documented by reports of bingo operations, July-December 1977, from the Milltown location. There were approximately 20 bingo sessions during this period and, together with related information, these forms record the amount of money raised and the number of players present for each session. Also included is a folder of "Local Ordinances and Applications Pertaining to Bingo Operations" which includes press clippings, correspondence between congregation president Alvin Bazel and the New Brunswick administration, copies of applications for a bingo license and relevant New Brunswick ordinances.
Box Folder
3 2 Correspondence, 1974-1976
3 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, 1975-1979
4 Local Ordinances and Applications Pertaining to Bingo Operations, 1976-1977
5 Reports of Bingo Operations, July-December 1977
II. Sisterhood
V. GUIDEBOOK, 1972-1973. (1 folder)
Guide, printed in the period 1972-1973 when Phyllis Horlick was president, which provides an overview of the activities and functions of the organization. Included is a brief history of the group, followed by a description of projects for which it raised funds, as well as a list of fundraising and special events held throughout the year. The Sisterhood was affiliated with the National Women's League of the United Synagogues of America at this time.
Box Folder
3 6 Guidebook, 1972-1973
VI. MINUTES, 1970-1972. (4 folders)
Arranged chronologically.
Interfiled minutes from board and membership meetings. Topics represented include member recruitment, fundraising and event organization. Handwritten agendas are also included for some meetings. Due to extensive contact with a solvent, these records have been photocopied and the original minutes discarded.
Box Folder
3 7-10 Minutes, September 1970-June 1972
VII. CALENDARS, 1959/60, 1962/63-1963/64 and 1965/66-1966/67. (1 folder)
Arranged chronologically.
Five pocket-size booklets, most with the title "Ladies Auxiliary to Jewish Community Center of South Brunswick, Congregation Sharri Sholom." The booklets record the organization's officers, dates of fundraising events and programs, and a simplified version of an annual budget.
Box Folder
3 11 Calendars, 1959/60, 1962/63-1963/64 and 1965/66-1966/67
VIII. MEMBERSHIP FORMS, 1972. (1 folder)
Grouped into four sets; thereunder arranged alphabetically by surname.
Four sets of membership forms, which reflect different periods of completion. The first set has the title "Ladies Auxiliary Vital Statistics," indicating that they were filled in sometime in the period 1943 to 1970. The other three groupings are from the Sisterhood period (1970 or later). Some of these forms, with the heading "Member's Biography Record," are dated 1972. Other forms use the heading "Sisterhood Biography Form." Data present on the forms for each member consists of her name, husband's name, children's names (and their birth dates or ages), home address, occupation and special talents.
Box Folder
3 12 Membership Forms, 1972 and undated
Documentation relating to fundraising in support of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City. Included are transmittal sheets to campaign headquarters in New York recording contributions received and contributors' names and addresses; five receipts from the Torah Fund's national treasurer, acknowledging donations and indicating the annual total raised; and explanations of the Torah Fund campaign and suggestions for ways to raise money.
Box Folder
3 13 Torah Fund and Residence Hall Campaign Documents, 1970-1974
X. PRESS CLIPPINGS, 1968. (1 folder)
Five newspaper clippings, photocopied onto a single page, informing the community of upcoming meetings and the names of invited guest speakers.
Box Folder
3 14 Press Clippings, 1968 and undated
XI. PHOTOGRAPHS, 1972. (1 folder)
Four images, documenting activities of the Sisterhood, and a related invitation. Three color photographs are dated November 1972. Two of these photographs depict seven women standing on a stage, of whom five are dressed in wedding gowns. The third picture is of women socializing around card tables, with a wedding gown hanging on a wall in the background. Accompanying these photographs is an invitation to the Sisterhood's annual paid-up membership party, highlighting weddings through the ages, that was held on November 1, 1972. The fourth photograph, a black-and-white Polaroid image of eight people, is undated and has the following names on the back: Mrs. David Distel; Mr. and Mrs. Jordan Rosuck; Mr. and Mrs. Evan Juro; Mr. and Mrs. Harold Heller; and Mrs. Steve Rosenberg.
Box Folder
3 15 Photographs, 1972 and undated

Appendix: Employee List Extracted from W2 Forms

This list is comprised of the names of employees declared to the Internal Revenue Service as having earned income in the years indicated. The employees' stated place of residence is also included.

Name Year on W2 Form Residence
Abromovitz, Karen 1971,1972 Iowa City, Iowa
Abromovitz, Rabbi Roy 1972 Iowa City, Iowa
Appelbaum, Anat 1974,1975 Highland Park
Bogner, Gail 1978,1979,1980 Highland Park
Borger, Susan 1977,1978,1979,1980 Edison
Dubin, Claire 1970 Douglass College, New Brunswick
Einhorn, Carolyn 1976, 1977 Dayton
Eisenburg, Judy 1970 Douglass College, New Brunswick
Eldot, Adele 1972, 1973 Bayside, NY
Eserner, Rhona 1979, 1980
Feder, Elaine 1975,1976,1977,1978,1979,1980 Edison
Forman, Gail 1972 North Brunswick
Franklin, Shoshana 1975 East Brunswick
Freedman, Suri 1973, 1974, 1975 Lakewood
Gersten, Harriet 1977, 1978 Highland Park
Glaberson, Barbara 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 Edison
Gordon, Ruth 1974, 1975 Highland Park
Grimmer, Ann Marie 1980 North Brunswick
Handlesman, Jacob 1972, 1973 Paterson
Heller, Janet 1977, 1978, 1979 Plainsboro
Howard, KatherineHarriet 1979, 1980 South River
Jacowitz, Richard 1970 New Brunswick
Kost, Estelle 1970 Douglass College, New Brunswick
Krane, Eric 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 Highland Park
Kurshner, Linda 1970 Douglass College, New Brunswick
Laks, Malka/Mary 1978, 1979 Highland Park
Lapidus, Rachelle 1977, 1978 Somerset
Lavid, Nira 1975, 1976, 1977 Princeton
Levy, Randy 1970, 1971, 1972 New Brunswick
Lowenstein, David 1979, 1980 Elmwood Park
Mayer, Judith 1973,1974,1975,1976,1977,1978,1979,1980 East Windsor
Mayerstein, Rabbi Michael 1972, 1973 Galveston, TX
Mayerstein, Ella 1972, 1973 Galveston, TX
Minkoff, Regina 1976, 1977 Highland Park
Mykoff, Aliza 1978, 1979 Edison
Parnes, Rabbi Stephen O. 1976, 1977, 1978 New Yprk, NY
Pizko, Kathleen 1975,1976,1977,1978,1979 Edison
Rabinowitz, Shana 1975,1976 New York, NY
Raichel, Theodore 1970,1971,1972 Fairlawn, NJ; Chicago, IL
Regev, Judith 1972,1973,1974,1975 Kendall Park
Ribiat, Rebecca 1974 Lakewood
Ronen, Tzippora 1972,1973 Kendall Park
Rossini, Marta 1971,1972,1973,1974,1975 Jamesburg
Saltzman, Harold 1971,1972 New Brunswick
Scharf, Jacqueline 1970 Douglass College, New Brunswick
Schatz, Rabbi Stephen D. 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977 Houston, TX
Shames, Joan 1978,1979,1980 East Brunswick
Sloan, Sara 1970, 1971 New Brunswick
Smith, Hedy 1977, 1978 Edison
Smith, Jeff 1976 c/o Rutgers University
Sobel, Mark 1970 Douglass College, New Brunswick
Szpiro, Janet 1975, 1976 Kendall Park
Warmflash, Beth 1979, 1980 c/o North Brunswick
Widis, Barbara 1971 Douglass College, New Brunswick
Yablonsky, Maxine 1976, 1977 Edison

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