The following announcement was written by the East Midwood Jewish Center:
The East Midwood Jewish Center, a Conservative, Egalitarian synagogue and community center, founded in 1924, announces that the records of its 95 year history are now available to the public and have been described in an easy to use alphabetical “Finding Aid.” The Archives are stored at the synagogue, 1625 Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn, and are open to the public three days a week by appointment. The Finding Aid may be viewed at any time online at www.emjc.org/about/mission-history/finding-aid.
The EMJC Archives contain literally thousands of names and photographs of the founders, the rabbis and cantors, the members and trustees, and the students and faculty of its former Talmud Torah (Hebrew School), Sunday School and the Rabbi Harry Halpern Day School. Ruth Bader, now known to the world as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was once a student in the EMJC Sunday School and one of her articles and her photograph were printed in the synagogue’s weekly bulletin of June 16, 1946.
Among the holdings are the commemorative journals for special occasions such as the dedication in 1929 of its 5 story Renaissance Revival building, containing a sanctuary seating 800 people, 12 Tiffany style stained glass windows, plus 2 ballrooms, numerous meeting rooms, a gym, pool, weight room and steam room. EMJC was created to serve the religious, educational, social and recreational needs of the entire family from birth to old age. In 2006 it was named a National Landmark because of the architectural significance of the building and its important role in the development of the Brooklyn Jewish community.
The synagogue/community center was a purely American invention, unknown in Europe, and was the leading type of synagogue built after World War I, but most such centers have since been demolished or converted into churches or schools. EMJC is one of the last “shules with a pool,” and is still open and busy 7 days a week with a same wide range of activities as in the past.
Very few New York synagogues have archives, that is organized records of the past, nor do they make them accessible to the public. EMJC now joins Temple Emanuel and Central Synagogue in Manhattan and the former Brooklyn Jewish Center in having professionally compiled archives and an easy to use Finding Aid. For appointments to use the EMJC Archive on site or to request records or photographs, please contact Toby Carliner Sanchez, EMJC’s Archivist and Historian, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com or call 718-338-3800.