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Records of the Congregation Mikveh Israel (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Identifier: I-26

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains material related to various activities of the Congregation, including the hand-drawn map of the Jewish burial ground on Spruce Street in Philadelphia, prepared by John Lukens, Surveyor General (1765); a manuscript copy of the dedication services for the new synagogue, which includes a prayer for "His Excellency" George Washington (1782); the hazan's manuscript copy of the same service indicating where he was supposed to take part; and an honor card for the seventh circuit for Jacob Mordecai during this service; the letter of resignation of Simon Nathan as parnass (1784); a plea for financial aid in which mention is made of the "year 1776 when the disturbances in the country [sic] began," addressed to the Jewish community in Surinam (1970); a manuscript copy of an act of the Pennsylvania legislature authorizing changes in a previous act which allowed the congregation to run a lottery (1810); an insurance policy (1822); a printed report of the committee of arrangements for the laying of the cornerstone and the address of the Rev. Sabato Morais, minister of the congregation (1859); a manuscript copy of the dedication services (1860); a printed copy of the constitution and by-laws (1884); a volume published for the dedication of the new synagogue (1909); extracts from the minutes, 1790-1791; printed copies of annual reports for 1906-1907, 1920-1923; and miscellaneous materials and bulletins.


  • 1765-1976

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at

For reference questions, please email:

Historical Note

Congregation Mikveh Israel, officially called Kahal Kadosh Mikveh Israel, was founded in the 1740s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Spanish and Portuguese Jews. The synagogue’s cemetery is one the oldest surviving Jewish cemeteries in the United States.

Some of the most prominent members of the Philadelphia Jewish community were active members of the Congregation Mikveh Israel. Amongst them are prominent revolutionary patriots, such as Jonas Phillips, the Gratz family, and Haym Solomon.


0.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials




The collection contains materials related to various activities of the Congregation Mikveh Israel, one of the oldest synagogues in the United States. There is a variety of documents, including correspondence, annual reports, addresses, programs, printed materials, reports, and materials pertaining to the synagogue's burial ground.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Note

Part of the collection was donated by the Elsie O. & Philip D. Sang Foundation in 1979.

Part of the collection was donated by Yosef Yerushalmi.

Part of the collection was donated by Yosef Goldman in 1985.

Guide to the Records of Congregation Mikveh Israel (Philadelphia, Pa.), 1765-1975
Processed by Yakov Illich Sklar
© 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processed as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation

Revision Statements

  • December 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States