Congregation B'nai Israel minute book, 1885-1906.

Congregation B'nai Israel (Keokuk, Iowa)
1 volume.
Congregation B'nai Israel (Keokuk, Iowa)
Jews -- Iowa -- Keokuk -- History -- Sources.
Jews -- Iowa -- Keokuk -- Social life and customs.
Synagogues -- Iowa -- Keokuk -- History -- Sources.
Synagogue officers -- Iowa -- Keokuk.
Codices (bound manuscripts)
Minutes (Records)
Manuscripts, American -- 19th century.
Manuscripts, American -- 20th century.
The first Jewish congregation founded in Iowa in 1855 in the city of Keokuk. What began as a benevolent society flourished into the Congregation B'nai Israel. Meetings were held at Odd Fellows Hall in downtown Keokuk. The first land acquired by the congregation in 1855 was a cemetery received by deed from the city of Keokuk. The congregation through donations from the entire community of Keokuk was able to build a synagogue in 1877. The building was sold in 1938 to Keokuk Gospel Center due to the dwindling Jewish population in Keokuk following the Great Depression. The building was in use until 1957 when it was torn down.
This oversize volume is comprised of minutes from meetings of officers and the board and trustees of Congregation B'nai Israel in Keokuk, Iowa spanning the years from 1885 to 1906. The written records of the meetings are in chronological order and signed by the current secretary of the congregation. The meetings discussed all aspects of the congregation and the synagogue. Regular, special, trustee, and yearly meetings were chiefly held at the synagogue and occasionally at homes and businesses of members. Meetings were held by the officers of the B'nai Israel. Recorded are discussions concerning advertising, books, building maintenance and rental, burial plots, choir, the cemetery, committees, deaths, donations, dues, finances, fund raising, Hebrew school, High Holiday planning, membership, rabbis' contracts, resignations, and taxes. Searching for a rabbi to serve the congregation was ongoing during this time period. No quorum was noted when meetings were canceled. Several Jewish families active in the community and as officers of the congregation are noted throughout the volume such as the Carwalho, Hirsch, Lowitz, Lyons, Spiesberger, Stern, and Vogel families. Several mentions of the Women's Society activities and donations are written throughout the minutes. The last two leaves comprise a handwritten copy of the 1855 deed for the cemetery dated 1902. Stamp on first leaf: Lowry News Dealer, booksellers & stationers Keokuk, Iowa. The pages are ruled and have stamped numbers 1-384. Pages 209-383 are blank.
Penn Provenance:
Presented to the Penn Libraries 2012 by Arnold and Deanne Kaplan (eBay 1999)
Sold on eBay November 1, 1999.
Cited as:
UPenn CAJS MS 56, Codex 026.1.
Kaplan, Arnold, donor.
Kaplan, Deanne, donor.
Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica (University of Pennsylvania)
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