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Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth Community Hebrew School teaching material

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Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Adas Kodesch Congregation of Wilmington, Delaware, founded by mainly eastern European Jewish immigrants, was organized in 1885, and officially incorporated in 1889. It merged with Ahavath Achim in 1890 to form Adas Kodesch K'nesseth Israel.

In 1893, Adas Kodesch K'nesseth Israel (Adas Kodesch) started a traditional Hebrew school that was available to all Hebrew children regardless of synagogue affiliation. The program sought to give children more education in the language and religion of their parents. The school was free to all Jewish children but all Jewish members of the community were asked to pledge monthly gifts to the school.

J. Harry Gordon started a separate Sunday school around the same time. The Sunday School Association ran the Free Hebrew Sunday School but Adas Kodesch had a supervisory role and supported it financially. By 1903, it was the only Sunday school in the City of Wilmington with an enrollment of 300 students.

Adas Kodesch established a permanent congregational Hebrew school in 1904, the first in the State of Delaware. Rabbi Jacob Abramowitz was principal and one of three teachers at the Adas Kodesch Hebrew School. Attendance increased to over 100 students by 1917. The students attended class every afternoon, Monday through Thursday, Kabbalat Shabbat services Friday evening and Junior Congregation on Saturday mornings. There were classes in Yiddish and Hebrew. The curriculum expanded in the 1920s to include Hebrew, grammar, Jewish history, the Bible and a cantillation class for Bar Mitzvah students.

By 1943, Wilmington had three congregational Hebrew schools and one Sunday school, but enrollment was declining. That year, Adas Kodesch Hebrew School and Chesed Shel Emeth School merged to form the Associated Hebrew School (non-congregational) and hired Dr. Philip Birnbaum of Camden, NJ as principal. He and two teachers comprised the teaching staff. Adas Kodesch withdrew from the Associated Hebrew School in 1953 and reverted to a congregational school as proposed by Adas Kodesch Rabbi Leonard Gerwitz. Now known as the Adas Kodesch Talmud Torah, Gerwitz served as principal and a teacher.

The congregational school continued to function well after the congregations of Adas Kodesch and Chesed Shel Emeth merged in 1957 but a declining school-age population forced the formation of a Community Hebrew School with Beth Shalom in 2000. Beth Shalom severed its relationship with the school in 2005. Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth decided to retain a Community Hebrew School and was renamed Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth Community Hebrew School. It was open to all Jewish children and continued to offer students the best possible Jewish education.

References:

The AKSE Community Hebrew School. Accessed 11 July 2022.

Bluestone, Harry. A Historical Review of a Century of Jewish Education in Delaware (1876-1976). Wilmington, Delaware, Jewish Historical Society of Delaware, 1976.

Young, Toni. Becoming American, Remaining Jewish: the Story of Wilmington, Delaware's First Jewish Community, 1879-1924. Newark, Delaware, University of Delaware Press, 1999.

This collection contains publications, textiles, games, flashcards, catalogues, manuals, posters, workbooks, examinations, transparencies, programs, CD-ROMs, and songbooks. It includes items in Hebrew and Yiddish and details the school's mission to teach students Hebrew as well as Jewish history, culture and customs. While the bulk of the material in the collection is from the Hebrew school, there are a few items that provide some historical context on the congregation of Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth.

The collection is arranged in three series: I. Congregation, II. Hebrew School and III. Oversized. The material is arranged alphabetically by subject.

Gift of Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth, 2019.

Books from this collection were catalogued separately and are searchable in Franklin under the Library of Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth.

Publisher
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Kristine McGee
Finding Aid Date
2022 June 27
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsyvlania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

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Scope and Contents

This series contains publications, programs, and textiles that provide insight on the traditional congregation of Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth and its dedication to passing Jewish practice and teaching from one generation to the next.

Anniversary celebration programs, 1964, 1975, 2005.
Box 1 Folder 1
Farewell program, undated.
Box 1 Folder 2
Gerwitz, Leonard Benjamin: biographical, 1988, 1994.
Box 1 Folder 3
Miscellaneous, 1989-2018.
Box 1 Folder 4
Old Testament in Hebrew translated to Yiddish; translated by Yehoash, 1941.
Box 1 Folder 5
Old Testament in Hebrew translated to Yiddish; translated by Yehoash, 1941.
Box 1 Folder 6
NCSY t-shirt, undated.
Box 1 Folder 7
Yarmulkes: Bar/Bat Mitvahs, A-C, 1988-2008.
Box 1 Folder 8
Yarmulkes: Bar/Bat Mitvahs, D, 1989-2004.
Box 1 Folder 9
Yarmulkes: Bar/Bat Mitvahs, G, 1992-2011.
Box 1 Folder 10
Yarmulkes: Bar/Bat Mitvahs, H-J, 2000, 2010.
Box 1 Folder 11
Yarmulkes: Bar/Bat Mitvahs, K-M, 1983-2010.
Box 1 Folder 12
Yarmulkes: Bar/Bat Mitvahs, P-R, 1988-2006.
Box 1 Folder 13
Yarmulkes: Bar/Bat Mitvahs, S, 1993-2006.
Box 1 Folder 14
Yarmulkes: Bar/Bat Mitvahs, T-Z, 1981-2001.
Box 1 Folder 15
Yarmulkes: miscellaneous, undated.
Box 1 Folder 16
Yarmulkes: weddings, 1969, 1996-2005.
Box 1 Folder 17

Scope and Contents

Series II. Hebrew School is divided into three subseries: a. Teaching material; b. Audio-visual material; and c. Games. Each subseries contains items the school utilized to teach its students Hebrew as well as Jewish history and customs. Ranging in format from flashcards to CD-ROMs, the AKSE Hebrew Community School sought to help each student master the skills needed to become knowledgeable, active, and comfortable participants in the Jewish community.

Bar/Bat Mitvah workbook, 1993, undated.
Box 2 Folder 1
BET class, undated.
Box 2 Folder 2
BET class, undated.
Box 2 Folder 3
Bible: "First book instructor's manual", 1963, undated.
Box 2 Folder 4
BJL beginnings, 2004.
Box 2 Folder 5
BJL Synangogue, 2006.
Box 2 Folder 6
Bluestone, Harry: A Historical Review of a Century of Jewish Education in Delaware (1876-1976), 1976.
Box 2 Folder 7
Catalogues, 1992-1995, undated.
Box 2 Folder 8
Classroom management, undated.
Box 2 Folder 9
Crafts, 2000-2001, undated.
Box 2 Folder 10
Family, 1992.
Box 2 Folder 11
Hanukkah, 1983-2004.
Box 2 Folder 12
Hebrew: First Year Individual Progress Series, 1928.
Box 2 Folder 13
Hebrew: Individual Instruction Series II, goal 1-6, 1929.
Box 2 Folder 14
Hebrew: Individual Instruction Series II, goal 7-12, 1929.
Box 2 Folder 15
Hebrew: Individual Instruction Series II, tests, 1929.
Box 2 Folder 16
Hebrew: instructional material, 1985-2001, undated.
Box 2 Folder 17
Hebrew: practice boards, 1990.
Box 2 Folder 18
Hebrew: teacher's guide, 1973.
Box 2 Folder 19
Hebrew 1, undated.
Box 2 Folder 20
Holiday curriculum, 1995-2006.
Box 2 Folder 21
The Holocaust, 1995, 2000.
Box 2 Folder 22
Israel, 2002.
Box 2 Folder 23
Library, 2003-2009.
Box 2 Folder 24
Paper dolls, undated.
Box 2 Folder 25
Passover, 1994, undated.
Box 2 Folder 26
Purim, undated.
Box 2 Folder 27
Rosh ha-Shanah, 2004-2005.
Box 2 Folder 28
Siddur, undated.
Box 2 Folder 29
Songbooks, 2006, undated.
Box 2 Folder 30
Teaching about God, 1992-2002.
Box 2 Folder 31
Words of wisdom, 2000-2001.
Box 2 Folder 32
Yediat Israel (knowledge of Israel) test, 1978-1986.
Box 2 Folder 33
Yom Kippur, 2004.
Box 2 Folder 34
Flashcards: homemade, undated.
Box 3 Folder 1
Flashcards: Journeys through the Siddur, undated.
Box 3 Folder 2
Flashcards: miscellaneous, undated.
Box 3 Folder 3
Flashcards: miscellaneous, undated.
Box 3 Folder 4
Flashcards: miscellaneous, undated.
Box 3 Folder 5
Flashcards: Old Testament, undated.
Box 3 Folder 6
Flashcards: Ot la-Ba'ot, undated.
Box 3 Folder 7
Flashcards: Ot la-Ba'ot, undated.
Box 3 Folder 8
Flashcards: Ot la-Ba'ot, undated.
Box 3 Folder 9
Flashcards: S'fatai Tiftah, undated.
Box 3 Folder 10
Flashcards: S'fatai Tiftah, undated.
Box 3 Folder 11
Bible Map Transparencies: Set 1. Israel-Old Testament, undated.
Box 3 Folder 12
Bible Map Transparencies: Set 2. Israel-Contemporary, undated.
Box 3 Folder 13
Bible Map Transparencies: Set 3. Lands of the Bible-Old Testament, undated.
Box 3 Folder 14
Bible Map Transparencies: Set 4. Jerusalem Old Testament and modern, undated.
Box 3 Folder 15
Map transparencies: Middle East, undated.
Box 3 Folder 16
The American Jewish Experience: A Letter to David: filmstrips and cassettes, undated.
Box 3 Folder 17
The Judaic Classics Limited Edition: CD-ROM, 1995.
Box 3 Folder 18
Talmud Tutor Plus: CD-ROM, 1996.
Box 4 Folder 1
Navigating the Bible: Interactive Bar/Bat Mitzvah CD-ROM, 1997.
Box 4 Folder 2
Hebrew games: miscellaneous pieces, undated.
Box 4 Folder 3
Hebrew wooden puzzle, undated.
Box 4 Folder 4
Trivia game cards, undated.
Box 4 Folder 5
Trivia game cards, undated.
Box 4 Folder 6
Trivia game spinner, undated.
Box 4 Folder 7
Aliyah: a question and answer game to increase your Jewish IQ [empty box], 1977.
Box 5
The Great Aleph Beis Race [empty box], undated.
Box 5
Journey through the Holidays [empty box], undated.
Box 6
Guess the letter [in Hebrew], undated.
Box 6
Kosherland [gameboard only], undated.
Box 6
The Passover Overpass Game [gameboard only], undated.
Box 6

Scope and Contents

Series III contains primarily oversized posters that were hung on the walls in the AKSE Hebrew Community School classrooms. Included are exhibition posters from The Holocaust: 1933-1945, created and distributed by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. Researchers should note that poster #13 is missing.

Poem: "Adon Olam", 1962.
Drawer OS FF 02 Folder 1
Structure of the Shabbat posters (2), 1996.
Drawer OS FF 02 Folder 1
Classroom visual aids (3), undated.
Drawer OS FF 02 Folder 1
Israel: Declaration of Independence poster (2), 1986-1987.
Drawer OS FF 02 Folder 1
The Holocaust: 1933-1945: 19 exhibition posters [poster #13 is missing], 1977.
Drawer OS FF 02 Folder 2

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