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Temple Beth El (Fall River, Mass.) records

Identifier: MC-075

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into three series: Congregation records, 1929-2008; Hebrew School records, 1937-1967; and Sisterhood records, 1955-1991. The collection includes photographs, scrapbooks, souvenir programs, school yearbooks, meeting minutes, correspondence, newspaper articles, newsletters, and artifacts.


  • 1901-2008


Language of Materials

Materials in English, with some Hebrew

Conditions Governing Access

No known restrictions

Biographical / Historical

The idea of establishing a Conservative Congregation in Fall River, for the purpose of strengthening traditional Judaism, began in 1923. In 1924, Edward Adaskin, a successful local furniture store owner, invited fifteen men to his store to begin planning in earnest. The congregation of Temple Beth El was officially organized in June 1924, with 60 charter members, and conducted its first services, on Bank Street in Fall River, in September of that year. In February 1928, the synagogue was destroyed by a devastating fire that engulfed much of this section of the city. The next day, Edward Adaskin again convened a meeting in his store to discuss rebuilding. A new location was chosen on the corner of High and Locust Streets, and the cornerstone was laid on October 28, 1928. By 1941, the religious school, which offered six years of religious training, was founded, as was an Institute of Adult Studies. In 1948 a nursery school was added. By 1945, the congregation had grown to 330 families. In 1952 ground was broken on a temple center addition, funded by the donation of $125,000 from the estate of Jacob Ziskind and a subsequent gift of $50,000 from Albert List. The Jacob Ziskind Memorial Center was dedicated on May 16, 1954.


21 Linear Feet (19 boxes and 11 photo binder-boxes)


Divided into three series: Congregation records, Hebrew school records and Sisterhood records.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Original gift from Temple Beth El, in 1982, accession # F-9. Additions made by Rose Felder in 1982 and Melvin Yoken in 2006 (Hebrew School). Subsequent donations by Temple Beth El in 2008 and 2010. Accession # 08-15 and 11-19.

MC 75, Temple Beth El (Fall River, Mass.) records
Maura McGurk
November 2006.
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Reprocessed with additions by Judy Farrar. Completed January 2011.

Repository Details

Part of the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Repository

285 Old Westport Rd.
N. Dartmouth MA 02747 USA