MS 43 Congregation Beth Israel Records
Table of Contents
- San Diego History Center Document Collection
- Congregation Beth Israel (San Diego, Calif.).
- Congregation Beth Israel Records
- MS 43
- Date [inclusive]
- 0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
- This collection consists of documents from Congregation Beth Israel related to their land purchases and projects.
Congregation Beth Israel Records, MS 43, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.
Biographical / Historical Notes
Congregation Beth Israel, with roots in San Diego dating back to 1861, was officially incorporated in 1886. Since its inception, it has built and occupied three synagogues in San Diego, all of which are still standing. The Congregation’s first temple was completed in 1889 at 2nd Avenue and Beech Street (1502 2nd Avenue), largely due to the efforts of Samuel I. Fox and Adolph Levi. In this same time period, the Congregation established a Jewish burial ground called Home of Peace Cemetery as part of Mount Hope Cemetery.
In 1926, outgrowing its synagogue building, the Congregation purchased lots G, H and I on Block 286 of the “Horton’s Addition” area of San Diego, on 3rd and Laurel Streets. There they built a new synagogue, Temple Beth Israel, which was designed by noted San Diego architect William Henry Wheeler and built by M. Trepte & Son. The synagogue was mortgaged in 1931. The Congregation continued to purchase land on Block 286, and it soon owned the entire block, including an apartment complex and house that were demolished in 1968 to make way for a parking lot for the Temple. In 1967, Congregation Beth Israel merged with Temple Solel, whose five blocks of property located between Juan Street and Harney Court came under the care of the Congregation.
In 2001, the Congregation built a new temple and surrounding complex in University City, and sold Block 286 to Peter J. Block Companies, who agreed to preserve the building. It is currently occupied by Ohr Shalom Synagogue. The first and original temple, which had been owned and used by the Fraternal Spiritualist Church, was made a San Diego Historic Site in 1973. Congregation Beth Israel repurchased this building and donated it to the county in 1978; in that year it was moved to Heritage Park in Old Town, where it stands today and serves as a public meeting place and religious museum after a long period of restoration, funded in part by both the Congregation and the Save Our Heritage Organization.
This collection was donated by Richard C. Levi, grandson of one of the early leaders of Congregation Beth Israel, Adolph Levi. Adolph (1858-1943) immigrated to California from Bohemia in 1877 to join his brother Simon (1850-1918) in San Diego. Both became successful businessmen and prominent members of San Diego. Adolph was instrumental in building the first synagogue, and both Adolph and Simon served terms as president of Congregation Beth Israel. Richard Levi (1918 – ) was an active leader of the Congregation, serving as Treasurer for many years.
Scope and Content
The collection contains documents relating to the administration, land purchases and building projects of Congregation Beth Israel, including its temple on 3rd and Laurel Streets. Highlights include administrative resolutions, court petitions, legal agreements and contracts, correspondence, maps and property deeds.
Items in the collection are arranged by subject.
San Diego History Center Document Collection December 7, 2011
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession number 830729A.
Collection processed by Jennifer Ho on December 7, 2011.
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
Controlled Access Headings
- Congregation Beth Israel (San Diego, Calif.).
- F.E. Young Investment Co..
- Home of Peace Cemetery.
- Temple Beth Israel (San Diego, Calif.).
- Trepte Construction Company.
- San Diego (Calif.)
- Albert, David
- Fox, Samuel I.
- Levi, Adolph
- Levi, Richard C.
- Price, Alan
- Rabin, Seymour
- Samisch, E. H.
- Stacy, Mary Duffy
- Wheeler, William Henry
- Real property
|Administration, 1923 October 1–1969 May 28 and undated
Correspondence relating to increase in number of directors
Resolution granting authority to officers in financial matters
|Sale of Lots G and H (Block 207) and purchase of Lots G, H, and I (Block 286) to build temple on 3rd and Laurel Streets, 1923–1926 April 2 and undated
|Temple Beth Israel on 3rd and Laurel: construction, 1925 August 22–September 12 and undated
Correspondence from contractor, M. Trepte and Sons (Trepte Construction Company)
Builder’s Bond to Owner
|Temple Beth Israel on 3rd and Laurel: mortgage, 1931 July-August 26
Notice of special meeting
Copy of proposed resolution
|Temple Beth Israel on 3rd and Laurel: purchase of Lots D-F, Block 286, 1962 October 15 and undated
Deed of Trust
|Temple Beth Israel on 3rd and Laurel: purchase of Lots A-F, Block 286, 1964 March 10–1967 October 12 and undated
Correspondence from bank
Sale information with tax assessment values
Corporation grant deed
|Temple Beth Israel on 3rd and Laurel: loan to purchase Lots A-F, Block 286, 1967 August 29–1969 August 1 and undated
Promissory note and correspondence regarding loan from Beth Israel Cemetery and Mausoleum Association, Inc.
|Temple Beth Israel on 3rd and Laurel: parking lot (built on lots A-F, Block 286), 1968 July 30–December 24 and undated
Proposed parking lot in Block 286-Horton’s Addition for Temple Beth Israel (diagram) (in Oversize Collections D3)
Application for conditional use
Building demolition contract
|Juan Street property and Temple Solel, 1964 June 4–1968 October 7 and undated
Deed of Trust
Schedule of expenses
Notices of public hearing
|Property appraisals, 1968 June 10–1969 December 4 and undated
Correspondence from appraisers
List of Real Estate Appraisers
|Property maintenance and improvements, 1968 February 12–June 11 and undated
Correspondence from architect
|Miscellanea, 1921–1969 October 6 and undated
New Temple Beth Israel Dedication Services program
Save Our Heritage Organization member letter
Comparable Land Costs chart – Pill Hill Area
Horton’s Addition maps
Grading plan for the proposed fill site in a portion of lot 35, Rancho Mission (diagram), 1969 (in Oversize Collections D3)
Agreement to allocate portion of Home of Peace Cemetery to Congregregation Tiffereth Israel
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