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Congregation Ohav Sholaum Collection

Identifier: AR 25247

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains records of the German-Jewish Orthodox Congregation Ohav Sholaum of Washington Heights, New York. It includes by-laws of the congregation (1956-1982); correspondence (incoming and outgoing) of the congregation's long-time rabbi, Ralph Neuhaus; and membership lists. It also includes documents relating to Gemiluth Chessed of Washington Heights (later Gemiluth Chessed of Greater New York), a charitable organization supported by the congregation; documents of the congregation's educational and youth programs; and various items such as membership and board meeting minutes. It also includes some material, such as photos and booklets, about the history of the congregation, and handwritten and Photostat copies of choral music parts of religious music, for the congregation's chorus.


  • 1944-2005
  • Majority of material found within 1952-1960s


Language of Materials

This collection is in English and German.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

Use Restrictions

The congregation membership information in folder 3 is restricted. It is to be used only for research purposes. Individuals are not to be contacted.

Historical Note

The Orthodox Congregation Ohav Sholaum was founded by German-Jewish immigrants in Washington Heights, New York, in August 1940. Rabbi Ralph Neuhaus (died 1990) was hired in 1942 and remained rabbi until his death. Richard Wolpe was rabbi for the remainder of the congregation's existence. The congregation first worshiped at 3863 10th Avenue, near 207th St, but in 1942 moved to 34 Sherman Avenue. In 1951 the congregation built a synagogue at 4624 Broadway, where it remained until the congregation's dissolution in 2005.

The congregation offered its members services such as a Hebrew school, Chevra Kadisha, burial plots in Cedar Park cemetery in Westwood, New Jersey, men's and women's clubs, a choir, and an Old Age club. It also supported the charitable organization Gemiluth Chessed of Washington Heights (later Gemiluth Chessed of Greater New York), which among other activities sent children to summer camps and ran the retirement home Gemiluth Chessed Home for the Aged.

Significant members included Moses Braunschweiger, Meinhard Marburg, Herman Kramer, Maurice Lind, Isaak Adler, Adolph Kann, Fred Freund, and Hans Fischel (founders); Max Stein, Max Abraham, and Leo Klein (presidents); Erich Neumann and Sidney Seelig (cantors).

Starting in the 1990s, the changes in the neighborhood and an aging membership caused the congregation to shrink, to the point where assembling a minyan became impossible. The congregation closed in January 2006.


1 Linear Feet (1 box)


This collection contains records of the German-Jewish Orthodox Congregation Ohav Sholaum of Washington Heights, New York, such as by-laws, correspondence of its long-time rabbi, Ralph Neuhaus, and documents relating to its charitable organization Gemiluth Chessed of Washington Heights. It also includes sheet music used by the congregation's choir.


The materials are arranged into two series, Series I: Records of the Congregation Ohav Sholaum and Series II: Choral sheet music. Folders within each series are arranged alphabetically.

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized in its entirety. Access to folders 2 and 3 as well as selected items in folder 8 is restricted due to privacy concerns. Researchers with questions regarding suppressed materials may contact the LBI Archivist at

Related Material

The LBI Archives holds the following materials related to the Congregation Ohav Sholaum: In retrospect, Congregation Ohav Sholaum: sixty years of service to the Jewish community (AR 6798); the Susan Fischel collection (AR 10674); and the Larry H. Stein collection (AR 11993). The Congregation Ohav Sholaum Collection also holds photographs of memorial plaques with the names of deceased congregation members (CD-ROM in A/V Collection).

Separated Material

An incomplete set of the Ohav Sholaum News (1943, 1968-1989, 2000) was removed to the LBI Library.

A complete issue of "The Jewish Way" (Vol XIV – No. 10, December 1955) was removed to the LBI Library.

Processing Information

Materials were refoldered. Duplicates were removed. Choral music in Series II was removed from three-ring binders and the binders discarded. The music folders follow the binder titles.

Guide to the Congregation Ohav Sholaum Collection undated, 1944-2005, bulk 1952-1960s AR 25247
Processed by Kevin Schlottmann
© 2014
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. Digitization made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.

Revision Statements

  • April 2015: dao links and digitization information added by Leanora Lange.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States