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Manuscript Library

Welcome to the Booth Library manuscript index. 

The manuscript index contains links to finding aids for the collections of the Booth Library.  Each finding aid has a description of that collection along with a listing of the items within that collection.  The Booth Library staff and volunteers are updating the index daily in order to make your research experience more productive.

The Manuscript Index is arranged alphabetically by collection name.  To access a finding aid, please click on its name.

To search the Manuscript Index for a specific research topic, please enter the term into the Search Library Box below. 

Please keep in mind that many collections have not been inventoried while others are currently in progress.  If you have any questions regarding the Finding Aids or the Index, please contact the archivist at

Collection TitleCL 37 Temple B’Nai IsraelCreatorBooth Library
Processed ByRachel Dworkin
Date Completed:3/18/2008
Provenance:The items in this collection were donated to the Booth Library by Col. Sanford Barcus, the archivist of Temple B'Nai Israel. 
Terms:Elmira (N.Y.); Judaism-Customs and practices; Judaism-History-Modern period, 1750-; Judaism-Prayer-books and devotions; Reform Judaism; Synagogue bulletins; Synagogue-Membership; Synagogue-Organization and administration

Temple B'Nai Israel- The Reform Congregation of B'Nai Israel was founded in Elmira, NY in 1861, although the first official meeting of the Congregation was not until October 12, 1862.  The Congregation's first temple was built in 1863 on High Street between Water and John Streets.  In 1886, the original wooden structure replaced by a brick building on the same location.  In 1952, however, the Congregation moved to a new location at 900 West Water Street where they remain today. 

During its existence, the Congregation of B'Nai Israel has had 25 different rabbis.  Within the last fifty years they have been; Leonard Devine, 1950-1956; Sanford M. Shapero, 1957-1959; Philmore Berger, 1959-1963; Stephen Goldrich, 1963-1969; David Zielonka, 1969-1973; David Jessel, 1973-1975; Philip Aronson, 1975-1991; David Castiglione, 1992-1996; Miriam Biatch, 1996-present.      

Scope:The Temple B'Nai Israel Collection includes bulletins, programs, flyers, mass mailings, photographs and other assorted documents.  The bulk of the collection consists of a fairly complete run of Temple Bulletins from 1975 to 1996.  The programs for various temple events range in date from 1949 to 1998, with the majority of them dating from the 1990's.  Most of the flyers, photographs, and mass mailings also date from this period.  The collection also includes some of the personal correspondence of the Barcus and Kahn families, specifically as it relates to the Temple or the Jewish community.  Most of the Kahn papers date from the 1950's, while much of the Barcus correspondence dates from the 1990's.     
Extent2 linear feet
Date Span1924-1998

The Temple B'Nai Israel Collection contains photographs, programs, correspondence and bulletins all pertaining to the temple. 

Filter by:
TitleDocumentBox NumberFolder NumberLocation
Letter from David Benjamin of the Temple B'Nai Israel Cemetery Committee to Sanford Barcus, August 23, 1989. LetterC0706
Invitation to a lecture on Tuberculosis at St. Joseph's Hospital, June 24, 1992. LetterC0707
Invitation to the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Norma and George Feinstein, July 26, 1992. LetterC0708
Letter from the Elmira Valley and Corning Jewish Community Center, September 25, 1992. LetterC0709
Letter from Rabbi David Castiglione to Sanford and Nan Barcus, October 28, 1992. LetterC0710
Letter from Robert Jerome, Chairmen of the Temple B'Nai Israel Ritual Committee, to Sanford Barcus, August 5, 1993. LetterC0711
Letter from Rabbi David Castiglione and Robert Jerome, Ritual Committee Chair, to Sanford Barcus, September 29, 1993. LetterC0712
Letter from the Elmira-Corning Jewish Federation, October 25, 1994. LetterC0713
Invitation to a lecture on joint replacement at St. Joseph's Hospital, November 16 1994. LetterC0714
Happy Birthday letter to Nanette Barcus from Temple B'Nai Israel, June 7, 1996. LetterC0715
Letter from Kurt Wohl, Chairmen Congregation B'Nai Israel Dues Review Committee, to Sanford and Nanette Barcus, June 13, 1995. LetterC0716
Letter from Robert Jerome, Chair of the Ritual Committee, to Sanford Barcus, August 13, 1996. LetterC0717
Letter from Robert Jerome, Chair of the Ritual Committee, to Nanette Barcus, August 21, 1996. LetterC0718
Letter from Robert Jerome, Chair of the Ritual Committee, to Sanford Barcus, August 27, 1996. LetterC0719
Letter from the Ritual Committee to Sanford Barcus, September 19, 1996. LetterC0720
Letter from James A. Baker, Sr. of Holly-Keck & Baker, Inc., to Sanford and Nanette Barcus, 1997. LetterC0721
Letter from the Ritual Committee to Nanette Barcus, July 19, 1997. LetterC0722
Letter from Bobby Brown, Adviser to the Israeli Prime Minister for Diaspora Affairs, August 1997. LetterC0723
Letter from Robert Jerome, Chair of the Ritual Committee, to Nanette and Sanford Barcus, October 15, 1997. LetterC0724
Letter from Sanford Barcus to Rabbi Miriam Biatch, February 12, 1998. LetterC0725
Letter from Robert Jerome, Chair of the Ritual Committee, to Sanford Barcus, no date. LetterC0726
Letter from Robert Jerome, Chair of the Ritual Committee, to Nanette Barcus, no date. LetterC0727
Letter from the Elmira-Corning Jewish Community Center, no date. LetterC0728
Questionnaire from the Bureau of Jewish Statistics about Jewish-American veterans.DocumentC0729
Minutes of the Congregation B'Nai Israel Annual Meeting, May 24, 1959. DocumentC0801
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