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Samuel M. Golden collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0200-0017

Scope and Contents

The collection of Samuel M. Golden includes collected and created photographs, slides, commemorative booklet and research paper relating to the activities of Temple Beth El, Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Jewish community life in Niagara Falls.

Photographic materials are divided among original photographs undertaken by Samuel Golden as a volunteer, and photographs taken by Samuel Golden of existing Temple photographs from an earlier period by unknown photographers. An official commemorative booklet, celebrating the centenary of Temple Beth El (Niagara Falls) is included. The text of a talk given by Mr. Golden drawn on his own research into Niagara Falls Jewry highlights other congregational histories as well as Temple Beth El, and is a useful source of wider Jewish history in Niagara Falls.


  • 1930s-2001
  • Majority of material found within 1950s-1960s


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Samuel M. Golden collection, 1930s-2001 (bulk 1950s-1960s) is open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Historical Note

The photographs and other materials that form the content of this collection relate specifically to the religious and social life of Temple Beth El of Niagara Falls, a Reform synagogue in Niagara Falls located at 720 Ashland Avenue, Niagara Falls, New York. The synagogue was founded in 1864 and affiliated with the American Jewish Reform central organizing umbrella entity in 1887, which was then known as the UAHC (United American Hebrew Congregations). Official incorporation of Temple Beth El of Niagara Falls followed in 1905. Until they were able to raise the funds to build their own building, they met in various venues including Colt’s Hall on Main and Ontario, the Silberbergs store at Main and Niagara and the “new” Silberbergs store, also on Main Street (as the Silberberg family were active members of the synagogue). In 1914, after land was purchased at 720 Ashland Ave, the cornerstone was dedicated and the building was completed in 1915. By 1926, Temple Beth El expanded their site, adding more classrooms to allow a growing community religious school that drew its students from area Orthodox (Tenth Street) and the Conservative synagogue (Temple Beth Israel) as well as Reform Jewish families. Links with Buffalo Jewry have been part of the ongoing history of Temple Beth El. Current rabbi, Drorah Setel is from Buffalo and is also active in the Buffalo Jewish community. Rabbi Martin Goldberg served as rabbi after his retirement from Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo in the 1990s, while Rabbi Samson Falk, also of Temple Beth Zion helped start the Shabbat School in the 1880s.


.5 Linear Feet (1 half manuscript box)


Includes collected and created photographs, slides, commemorative booklet and research paper relating to the activities of Temple Beth El, Niagara Falls, and Jewish community life in Niagara Falls.


This collection is arranged by type of material and then chronologically.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by the Janet E. Golden in September 2009. It consists of materials created by her husband, Samuel M. Golden who was an avid amateur photographer and a long time member of Temple Beth El, Niagara Falls, NY. The arranged and described collection was deposited at the University Archives, Special Collections by the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project in June 2013. The Jewish Buffalo Archives Project was founded in late 2007 under the auspices of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo with a seed grant from the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies. The Archives Project collects mainly twentieth century documentation relating to the diverse histories, religious traditions and cultures of Jewish communities within the Greater Buffalo area of Western New York, encompassing the geographic areas of Erie and Niagara Counties and partners with the University Archives at the University at Buffalo to make these records accessible.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

Processing Information

Processed by Chana Revell Kotzin, May 2013.


Finding Aid for the Samuel M. Golden collection
Finding aid prepared by Chana Revell Kotzin, May 2013.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
The arrangement and description of the Samuel M. Golden Collection was made possible by funding obtained through the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies and the Bureau of Jewish Education.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)