The temple archives were established in 2010 and named for Rabbi and Audrey Salzmann in honor of the 60th anniversary of both their wedding and his ordination. Since then, volunteer archivists Phil and Rhoda Kaminstein and Jim Overmyer have been sorting and cataloging a trove of documents, books and photographs pertaining to the temple’s history.
They have turned up a wealth of material from the congregation’s move to its current location in 1964, as well as a substantial collection from previous years when the temple was located at Fenn and Willis streets. In addition to photos and files stored in the temple’s administrative area, Rabbi and Mrs. Salzmann and others have donated many items that are being added to the archives.
Categories of “finds” include confirmation class photos and programs dating back to the 1930s, temple bulletins going back to the 1950s, several decades of financial records and trustee meeting minutes.
There have been some special discoveries, too. A set of oral history tapes of member interviews by Nancy Kaufmann and others, made in 1974 as a project to commemorate the temple Sisterhood’s 100th anniversary, have been digitized, cleaned of static and copied onto compact discs. A set of ornamentally-bound books used to record life cycle events from the 1960s onward were found in storage, as were a set of index cards cataloging the children in religious school from several decades ago. Old bibles and prayer books dating to the 19th century, some inscribed with the names of temple members from that time, were also unearthed from storage and added to a book collection which also contains original business and financial volumes from the temple’s earliest years around 1870. Multitudes of photos are on hand, although unfortunately many are undated and their subjects unidentified. However, longtime members have been able to identify many of the people in the photos.
The archives are located in a former religious school classroom off the social hall. Work on the contents is continuing, but the archivists will be glad to show off the work done so far, and will be pleased to accept contributed items