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Rabbi Robert A. Seigel papers

Identifier: Mss 1147

Collection Overview

The collection includes well-organized photo albums/scrapbooks covering his career and assembled by date; a Seigel family scrapbook from 1909-2019; slides he took in Israel in 1958-59 while a rabbinical student, his diary and the letters he wrote to his parents that year; and block print and ink art he created. Writings include Sedarot, newsletter columns, his thesis (“A Biography of Abraham Cronbach”), an autobiography, and two published books. A collection of sheet music for songs he wrote is accompanied by a CD recording of the songs. Notable is a record of the births, deaths, marriages, and conversions at which he officiated. Also present are material relating to programs and publications he produced, including newsletters from Hillels he led and from the Jewish Council on Urban affairs, as well as bulletins from synagogues he served.


  • Creation: 1909-2021
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1955-2016


Language of Material

Most materials are in English with a few in Hebrew.

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.

Biographical Note

Rabbi Robert A. Seigel (1938-2016), said to be the South Carolina's first native-born rabbi, was born in Charleston and was bar mitzvahed at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim; he graduated from College of Charleston and was later ordained in 1965. Seigel spent most of his career outside his home state, including a decade serving as Director of B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation at both the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He returned to Charleston in 2001 upon his retirement from Temple Beth Israel in Fresno, California, continuing to minister to smaller congregations--Temple Sinai in Sumter, SC, Temple Oseh Shalom in Bluffton, SC, Temple Shalom in Myrtle Beach, SC, and Temple Bet Yam in St. Augustine, Fl. Seigel was involved in a large number of social justice initiatives throughout his life, including as a founding member of both Clergy Concerned About Vietnam and Voters for Peace, as well as vice-chair of the Committee on Public Education and Religious Liberty and assistant director at the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. He was the founder and director of the Carolina Agency for Jewish Education and served as Official Jewish Observer of the Catholic-Protestant Ecumenical Feasibility Study, on the board of the Interfaith Council on Urban Affairs, and as a member of the Interfaith Urban Affairs Committee. He was also the founding vice-president for the Alliance to End Repression.


8.5 linear feet (2 cartons, 1 slim document box, 3 flat boxes, 3 wrapped scrapbooks)


The collection includes the professional and personal papers of Rabbi Robert A. Seigel (1938-2016), said to be the South Carolina's first native-born rabbi. Included are rabbinical records, family and career scrapbooks, Sedarot and autobiographical writings, slides, publications from synagogues and organizations Seigel led, and artistic works.

Collection Arrangement

Materials are described at the folder level.

Acquisitions Information

Materials donated 2022 by the family of Robert A. Seigel.

Processing Information

Processed by Lauren Bickel, November 2022.

Inventory of the Rabbi Robert A. Seigel Papers, 1909-2021
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

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)