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Hebrew Benevolent Society papers

Identifier: Mss 1059

Collection Overview

Two volumes of minutes (1867-1962) detail all aspects of the organization, its meetings, members, contributions, finances, etc., with some reports of officers, such as President and Treasurer. The minutes (1869-1915) of the Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Society of Charleston, S.C., often referred to as "Israel's Hope," are included as well. The series of financial records include accounts (1896-1947) of the Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Society, before it merged with the Hebrew Benevolent Society and account books of various named funds managed by the organization, including the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society Fund (1950-1963); the Rosa Blank Memorial Fund (1918-1963); the Samuel D. Turtletaub Memorial Fund (1922-1963); the Henry Hirschmann Memorial Fund (1925-1951); and the Joseph Goldman and Max Turtletaub Memorial Funds (1948-1963), later amalgamated into the Joseph Goldman, Max Turtletaub, A[rthur] V. Williams and Samuel Samet Memorial Loan Fund. The final series includes a history of the organization by Thomas J. Tobias, a scrapbook (1952-1962) documenting mostly the organization's annual meetings, and loose programs, clippings, etc. of other annual meetings, 1959, 1962, 1972 and 1984.


  • Creation: 1867-1984


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

Founded in 1784, the Hebrew Benevolent Society of Charleston, South Carolina, claims to be "the oldest Jewish charitable society in the United States." Since its early records are lost, not much is known of its goals and actions until after the Civil War; in fact, the date of its founding was not realized until the early 20th century. Incorporated in 1830, it is known to have assisted in burial of the dead, help for the poor, and medical help to the ill; it functioned under the aegis of Congregation Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim of Charleston. Reorganized after the Civil War, it aided indigents and worked with physicians to minister to the Jewish poor, raising funds from memberships, gifts and legacies, and annual Purim balls. In 1951, instead of coming to the aid of individual petitioners, the Society joined with similar organizations to organize the Charleston Jewish Social Services, which received the bulk of its annual disbursements. In 1950, the organization received the assets of the Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Society of Charleston, S.C., and in 1965, its history, written by Thomas J. Tobias, was published.


2.0 linear feet

Language of Materials


Related Material

See also Mss 1029, Thomas J.Tobias papers, and his book, The Hebrew Benevolent Society of Charleston, S.C., founded 1784, the oldest Jewish charitable society in the United States: an historical sketch.

Inventory of the Hebrew Benevolent Society Papers, 1867-1984
Processed by: Special Collections staff; finding aid created by: Special Collections staff
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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