Har Zion Temple, Philadelphia, PA records

  • Dates: 1925-1949
  • Size: 2.5 linear ft.
  • Number of Boxes: 2
  • Languages: English
  • Location: Special Collections Reading Room, Jewish Theological Seminary Library.
  • Restrictions: Reproduction of fragile items is not permitted; consult the archivist about literary rights.
  • Related Collections: Simon Greenberg Papers

DH, 4/18/92; rev., JM, 10/4/94

Table of Contents:

A Note on Folder Headings

Individual folders are identified in the following way on the left side of each folder: Name of Collection, box #/folder#, as in Ben Zion Bokser Papers, 4/22. Please use this format in citations and when referring to files for any other reason.

Historical Note

Har Zion Temple was founded in 1922 in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia. Rabbi Simon Greenberg, a 1925 graduate of The Jewish Theological Seminary, led the congregation from 1925 to 1946. Under Greenberg's leadership, Har Zion became a model of the synagogue-center with an array of activities which sought to involve every age group in synagogue life. Har Zion harbored a nursery, kindergarten, youth group, Hebrew school, adult study circle, men's club, and adult institute, and it published the Har Zion Bulletin.

Greenberg left the pulpit of Har Zion in 1946 to become the provost at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He was succeeded at Har Zion Temple by Rabbi David Goldstein.

Provenance Note

During the summer of 1994 the Ratner Center processed the papers of Rabbi Simon Greenberg. Copies of Har Zion publications found in the Greenberg papers were removed and added to this collection. Notes written in some of these publications are probably Greenberg's.

Collection Description

Har Zion's records, 1925-1949, consist of issues of synagogue publications, 1925-1949, and records of its Hebrew school, 1938-1945.

Series List

  • I. Publications, 1938-1949
  • II. Hebrew School Records, 1938-1945
  • III. Additional Material From the Simon Greenberg Papers, 1925-1949

Series Descriptions

I. Publications, 1938-1949

Box 1, Folders 1-10

Included is a twenty-fifth anniversary journal, 1949, and issues of the Har Zion Bulletin, 1938-1945, and the Har Zionite, 1943. There are additional publications in Series III.

The Har Zion Bulletin, published congregational notes, announcements, the rabbi's messages, and service times. The Har Zionite was a newsletter that brought greetings and information about the synagogue to congregants in the United States Armed forces during World War II. Bound together with the Har Zionites are copies of three letters from Rabbi Greenberg to Har Zion

II. Hebrew School Records, 1938-1945

Box 1, Folders 11-14; Box 2, Folders 1-11

The Hebrew school records consist of publications, reports, curricular material, and other material documenting events at the school during the thirties and forties. Included are: confirmation volumes, 1938-1945 (an additional confirmation volume is in Series III); reports, 1941-1946, by Hebrew school principal Samuel Sussman, including observation reports evaluating teachers and their lessons; curriculum material, 1939-1942, on Bible, history and Hebrew language; a student classification list that notes students' names and class assignments, 1939; copies of the Record Book, the school's yearbook, 1939-1940; issues of the Hebrew school newspaper, The Reporter, 1938-1940; and Staff Notes, 1945. Also included are minutes of a meeting of the Hebrew school's education committee, February, 1942, and minutes of a meeting of the Allied Jewish Appeal, November, 1945.

Of note, between the pages of the 1939 confirmation volume, is a small cardboard dance diary which was used at the 1939 confirmation dance. It is in the shape of a star of David and has an attached pencil (reproduced as an illustration in Jenna Weissman Joselit, The Wonders of America).

III. Additional Material From the Simon Greenberg Papers, 1925-1949

Box 2, unfoldered volumes.

Additional Har Zion material found among Simon Greenberg's papers consists of: a duplicate copy of the 1949 anniversary volume; the Har Zion Bulletin, bound, 1925-1938; souvenir volumes, 1925-1938; and an additional confirmation class volume, 1938. Some of these publications contain notes, which were presumably written by Greenberg.

Bound in with the Har Zion Bulletins, 1925-1933, are copies of the Har Zion Record, January-December, 1928, and April 19, 1929. The Record contains similar information to the Bulletin. Some circular letters and information flyers are also bound in.

The Souvenir books (bound volumes, 1925-1928 and 1933-1938, and loose issues, 1935 and 1936) are from annual balls sponsored by the sisterhood and the men's club.

Box List

Box  Folder(s)  Description 
  I. Publications, 1938-1948
1 1     Anniversary volume, 1949
  Har Zion Bulletin, 1938-1945:
 2 1938-1939
 3 1939-1940
 4 1940-1941
 5 1941-1942
 6 1942-1943
 7 1943-1944
 8 1944-1945
 9 1944-1945
 10 The Har Zionite, 1943
  II. Hebrew School Records, 1938-1945
  Confirmation Volumes, 1938-1945:
 11 1938-1939
 12 1942
 13 1944
 14 1945
  Reports, 1941-1946:
2 1 Summary reports, 1941-1942
 2 Observation reports, 1942
 3-5 School reports, 1942-1946
 6 Record Book (yearbook), 1939-1940
 7 Curriculum material, 1939-1942
 8 The Reporter, 1938-1940
 9 Hebrew School Staff Notes, 1945
 10 Student classification list, 1939
 11 Minutes, Allied Jewish Appeal, 1945, and Education Committee, 1942
  III. Additional Material from Simon Greenberg Papers, 1925-1949
  Anniversary volume, 1949
  Confirmation Class Record Book, 1938
  Har Zion Bulletin, 1925-1938;
  1925-1933 (with issues of the Har Zion Record, 1928-1929, bound in)
  Souvenir books, 1925-1938