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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Oral history collection

Repository: Temple Israel of Boston. Dr. Arnold L. Segel Library Center

Collection Description (CRHP): The temple's rabbis, individual members, and Social Action Committee were heavily involved in civil rights efforts in the 1950s and 1960s, and this activity was discussed in-depth in "Becoming American Jews: Temple Israel of Boston" (Brandeis University Press, 2009). This collection includes an audio oral history interview and transcript with Rabbi Gittelsohn. He was one of those involved with the civil rights movement.

Collection Description (Extant): The collection includes more than thirty oral history interviews conducted since 1982 at Temple Israel. Subjects include clergy, members, and staff. Notable subjects thus far include Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn; Rabbi Bernard and Emily Mehlman; author and religious school teacher Helen Fine; clergical secretary Bessie Berman, who served five rabbis for seventy years; and member and businessman Irving Rabb. Topics focus on life at Temple Israel and Boston's Jewish community, private lives, notable achievements, participation in public affairs, including civil rights, the Vietnam War, local politics, social action, and Jewish activism. Collection includes audiotapes, digital files, indices, transcripts, and images.

Access Copy Note: Some of the oral histories conducted since 2004 have been transferred to CD.

Digital Status: Partial

Extent: approx. 2.5 linear feet

Language: English

Related Archival Items: See the Social Action Committee Files and the Papers of Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn.

Interviewees: Rabbi Gittelsohn

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African Americans--Relations with Jews
Boston (Mass.)--Ethnic relations
Boston (Mass.)--Politics and government
Civil rights movements--Massachusetts
Civil rights workers--Massachusetts
Civil rights--Religious aspects--Judaism
Social justice
Vietnam War, 1961-1975


Sound recordings


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   May 15, 2015
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