Sylvan D. Kamens, Papers

  • Dates: 1956-1983
  • Size: 3.75 linear ft.
  • Number of Boxes: 3
  • Languages:
    • English
    • Hebrew
  • Location: Special Collections Reading Room, Jewish Theological Seminary Library.
  • Restrictions: Reproduction of fragile items is not permitted; consult the archivist about literary rights.
  • Gift Of: Sylvan D. Kamens
  • Date: September 2, 1991; October 24, 1991

GMT, 12/12/91


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.


Biographical Note

Rabbi Sylvan D. Kamens was raised in Philadelphia, earned a teachers diploma in Hebrew education from Gratz College in 1954, and received bachelor's degrees from Temple University and Gratz in 1956. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1961.

Rabbi Kamens served as an Air Force chaplain in England from 1961-1963, then returned to the United States to be a pulpit rabbi. He served at Tifereth Israel in Duluth, Minnesota, 1963- 1969; as assistant rabbi at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul, Minnesota, 1969-1972; and as rabbi of B'nai Emet, St. Louis Park, Minnesota, 1972-1983. At the time this material was donated Rabbi Kamens was at Temple Beth El in Akron, Ohio.


Collection Description

Rabbi Kamens' papers document his student years at The Jewish Theological Seminary, Air Force chaplaincy experience, and rabbinic career. Congregational life at Tifereth Israel (Duluth), Temple of Aaron (St. Paul), and B'nai Emet (St. Louis Park), are documented. From Temple Beth El, (Akron), there is only a run of bulletins dating from 1951-1991.

Of note are extensive files on Camp Ramah, including leadership guides and plays and skits in Hebrew.

The collection originally included forty-three cassette tapes. These have been added to the Ratner Center's sound collection. They consist of recordings made at Rabbinical Assembly conventions, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1985 and 1987, and undated recordings made at Women's League and United Synagogue conventions. Also included are recordings of sermons by Rabbi Leonard Cahan, 1978 and 1979.


Series List

  • I. Jewish Theological Seminary, ca. 1956-1961
  • II. Air Force Chaplaincy, 1961-1963
  • III. Rabbinate, 1953-1983
  • IV. Writings, 1960s-1980s
  • V. Camp Ramah, 1940s-1970s
  • VI. Rabbinical Assembly, 1964-1988.

Box List

Box  Folder(s)  Description 
   
  I. Jewish Theological Seminary, Ca. 1956-1961
1 1 Admission, 1955-1956
 2 Dormitories, 1958-1959
 3-4 Freshman orientation and reception, 1959
 5 Grades, 1956-1961
 6 Rabbinical School curricula and information
 7 Scholarships, 1958-1960
 8 Senior graduation exercises, 1961
 9 Senior farewell, 1961
 10 New York Herald Tribune article on yeshivas, 1959
 11-19 Course material
 20 Herbert H. Lehman Institute on Ethics 1958-1964
   
  II. Air Force Chaplaincy, 1961-1963
 21-22 Sermons, clippings, and letters
   
  III. Rabbinate, 1953-1983
   
      Temple of Aaron, St. Paul, Minnesota
 23     Lists of directors, bulletins, 1969-1970
 24-26     Visits of rabbis Cyril Harris, 1970; Bent Melchior 1970; and Morton Narrowe, 1971
   
      Beth El Congregation, Akron, Ohio
 27-30     Bulletins, 1951-1991 (gaps)
   
      B'nai Emet, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
 31     Dedication 1974
 32     Contract renewal, 1983
 33     Farewell letters, 1983
 34     Final sermon, 1983
   
      Additional Material
 35     Licenses and credentials, 1956-1960
 36     Placement letters and papers, 1964-1972
 37     Publicity materials, clippings and photographs, 1960s-1983
 38     Rhoda Roth Kamens, miscellaneous, 1970-1989
   
      Tifereth Israel, Duluth, Minnesota
 39     Arrival, 1964
   
2 1     Chaplaincy at Sandstone Prison, 1967-1969
 2     Miscellaneous papers, 1960s
   
  IV. Writings, 1960s-1980s
 3 Book reviews, sermons, and related clippings
 4 Democracy, sermons, 1972-1978
 5 Interdating, teenage essay contest, Minneapolis, 1983
 6 Interfaith breakfast, 1983, sermon
 7-9 Israel - sermons, letters, printed material, 1970s-1980s
 10 Jewish history, adult education, questionnaires, 1970s
 11 Jewish life, adult education material, mostly 1969-1972
 12 Miscellaneous sermons, lectures and sample sermons
 13 Missionary responses
 14 Portion of the week, B'nai Emet, 1977, 1978
 15 Special occasion sermons
 16 Torah readings plan, 1972
 17 Torah study session, Women's League, 1973
   
  V. Camp Ramah, 1940s-1970s
 18 Camp Ramah in the Poconos, 1949-53
 19 Camp Ramah Wisconsin, 1964-1981
 20 Kindness to animals, teaching unit, n.d.
 21 Newspapers, 1963, n.d.
 22 Plays, Hebrew and English
 23 Skits and songs in Hebrew and English
 24 Songsters
 25 Torah study, Hebrew
 26 Training material, 1957
 27 Training Material, Jewish living, 1974, n.d.
 28 Training Sessions, Leadership Training Fellowship
   
3 1 Training Sessions, Leadership Training Fellowship
 2 Yom Kippur War, 1973
 3 Zionism, 1975
   
  VI. Rabbinical Assembly, 1964-1988
 4-6 Beinenu, 1971-1980
 7 Rabbinical Assembly conventions, 1984-1985
 8 Rabbinical Assembly literature, 1964-1982
 9 Program notes, 1964, 1967; constitution, n.d.
 10 Social Justice Committee, 1988