Congregation Kehilat Shalom Collection
Scope and Contents
The papers of Kehilat Shalom illustrates the activities of a conservative traditional group who looked for a more participatory form of service style similar to a havurah (fellowship), where members were active in roles often the preserve of clergy. Minutes, minutes of special meetings as well as correspondence, illustrate the day-to-day workings of this all-volunteer group, and the efforts required to sustain a religious organization committed to a particular stream of Judaism. Through the records, researchers can trace the reactions of members to particular periods of change, usually connected to membership levels and responses to them, from creating a rotating system of attendance to including women in a minyan (quorum). This collection should be combined with the Papers of Gloria Tetewsky (MS 200.28), which holds complementary Kehilat Shalom materials.
Language of Materials
Collection material in English.
Terms of Access and Use
The collection of Congregation Kehilat Shalom, 1977-2002, is open for research. There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of this collection.
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.
Kehilat Shalom (Hebrew: Community of Peace) was formed in the spring of 1977 with six founder families to create a family-oriented, traditional conservative religious services utilizing the Silverman Conservative Sabbath and Festival prayer book and the Hertz Chumash. It rented rooms at Temple Beth Zion, Temple Beth Am and Temple Beth El over the course of its existence. Led by volunteer members, rather than a professional rabbi or cantor, Dr. Mitchell Parker, a core member, served as the religious coordinator. High holidays were observed at area synagogues, or clergy were hired for services. For Shabbat worship, members of the congregation ran the service, and a volunteer presented a D'var Torah or a commentary on the week's Torah portion each week. A weekly study session included discussion topics such as "Ethics of the Fathers (Pirke Avot)", Jewish Community Life Around the World, Torah reading and synagogue skills practice. A children's service was held after Shabbat services, led by congregants, although after several years, the congregation affiliated with the "Tikvah" (Hebrew for hope) Community School for religious education for children from kindergarten to eight grade. Once a month members attended congregational meetings to vote on policy and religious issues or to organize events Officers were elected every two years. Yom Kippur break-the-fast and Purim and Chanukah parties were observed annually with the religious cycle of the year, and were augmented by activities such as a spring picnic, family soccer games, tours and travel. As a "minyan" (quorum) was increasing difficult to convene, the congregation moved towards a more egalitarian model, including women, however, this was not enough to prevent the dissolution of the congregation on May 6, 2002.
1 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes)
Organizational papers documenting aspects of the congregational life of Congregation Kehilat Shalom. Materials include minutes, newsletters, programs, financial statements, video, ritual Judaica, and clippings.
The collection is arranged in three series as follows:
- Administration and Legal
- Religious Holidays and Events
- Ritual Judaica
Cynthia Friedes, financial secretary of the former congregation, donated Kehilat Shalom congregational materials in October 2015. The papers were arranged in February 2016 and it was deposited at the University Archives, Special Collections by the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project in February 2016.
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.
The arrangement and description of the Congregation Kehilat Shalom Collection was made possible by funding obtained through the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies.
Accruals and Additions
Accruals are not expected to this collection.
Collection was processed by Chana Revell Kotzin in February 2016. Finding aid encoded by Archives Staff, March 2016.
- Buffalo Jewish Review
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Congregation Kehilat Shalom (Amherst, NY)
- Financial records
- Fliers (printed matter)
- Friedes, Cynthia
- Jewish Buffalo Archives Project
- Jews -- New York (State) -- Buffalo Region -- Archives
- Jews -- New York (State) -- Western New York Region -- Religion
- Jews -- New York (State) -- Western New York Region -- Social life and customs
- Judaism -- United States -- History
- Minutes (administrative records)
- Temple Beth Am (Buffalo, N.Y.)
- Temple Beth El (Buffalo, N.Y.)
- Video recordings
- Finding Aid for the Congregation Kehilat Shalom Collection
- Finding aid finalized by Chana Revell Kotzin
- March 2016
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note