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Brith Sholom Beth Israel (Charleston, S.C.) congregational records

Identifier: Mss 1068

Collection Overview

The collection consists of the surviving records of two congregations, Brith Sholom (founded 1852) and Beth Israel (founded 1911), and the records of the congregation Brith Sholom Beth Israel (BSBI) formed by their merger in 1955. Each set of congregational records contains governing documents such as constitutions, incorporation papers and board minutes. There are membership, financial and staffing records as well, with varying amounts of general and topical correspondence, cemetery records, and published and programming materials, such as newsletters, mailers, etc. Sisterhood records span all congregations under various names as the Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Society, the Daughters of Israel, and the BSBI sisterhood. There are also black and white and color photographs of various structures, events, (including graduations and commencements) special occasions, and congregants. National Council on Synagogue Youth materials constitute one series and the collection also contains the records of the Charleston Hebrew Institute, later known as Addlestone Hebrew Academy. There are clippings that document the congregations and other related Jewish historical and cultural topics germane mostly to Charleston, South Carolina, along with materials on other societies, including the local Chevra Kadisha burial society. A few artifacts (stationary, memorial tablet, Star of David, etc.) and textiles (tee shirt, felt patch, Jewish War Veteran lodge hat) round out the collection.


  • Creation: 1888-2012


Language of Material

Materials in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Historical Note

Brith Sholom Beth Israel Congregation was founded by Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Margolis Levine in 1852 in Charleston, South Carolina following orthodox Ashkenazi rituals. The congregation built its first sanctuary on St. Philip Street in 1874. In 1911, approximately 60 members, many of them from Kaluszyn, Poland, seceded and formed Beth Israel Congregation, housed about three blocks away on the same street. In 1948, the Beth Israel Congregation moved to a new sanctuary at 182 Rutledge Avenue and conversations began that same year to discuss the merger of the congregations which did not occur until 1955. The resultant Brith Sholom Beth Israel Congregation's Rutledge Avenue campus became home to the Charleston Hebrew Institute, opened in 1956, renamed the Addlestone Hebrew Academy in 1976 and eventually removed to the Jewish Community Center and administered by the entire community. The Congregation also maintains a satellite "minyan" house in Charleston's South Windermere neighborhood.


17.2 linear feet (43 document boxes, 1 flat box, 11 oversize volumes)


The collection consists of the surviving records of Brith Sholom, an orthodox congregation founded in Charleston, South Carolina in 1852, Beth Israel, another orthodox Charleston congregation founded in 1911, and the records of Brith Sholom Beth Israel founded in 1954 when the two congregations merged. Also included are the records of Charleston Hebrew Institute, founded in 1956, and later known as the Addlestone Hebrew Academy. With records of the Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Society, the Daughters of Israel (later known as the BSBI Sisterhood), and other materials on Jewish history and culture in Charleston, South Carolina.

Collection Arrangement

  1. Brith Sholom congregational records, 1888-1956
  2. Beth Israel congregational records, 1911-1954
  3. Brith Sholom Beth Israel congregational records, 1922-2012 (bulk 1954-2012)
  4. Charleston Hebrew Institute/Addlestone Hebrew Academy records, 1933-2010
  5. Miscellaneous materials

Processing Information

Processed by Jessica Lancia and Anne Bennett, circa 2008 and by Harlan Greene, 2012.

Inventory of the Brith Sholom Beth Israel (Charleston, S.C.) Congregational Records, 1888-2012
Processed by: Processed by Jessica Lancia and Anne Bennett, circa 2008 and by Harlan Greene, 2012; machine-readable finding aid created by: Gillian Cote
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the processing of this collection and encoding of the finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)