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Minutes of the Board of Trustees of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, Charleston, S.C., 1838-1843
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Minutes of the Board of Trustees of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim
Charleston, S.C., September 20, 1838–September 4, 1843
Paper, ink, and leather
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Manuscript Archives
College of Charleston Library

This book of minutes covers the most tumultuous years in Beth Elohim’s history. In 1838, the congregation’s first synagogue burned to the ground. The cornerstone was laid for a new building in January 1840. Later that year, KKBE’s reform faction overturned the trustees and, contrary to orthodox practice, voted to install an organ to be used during services. The traditionalists seceded and formed a second congregation, named Shearit Israel, while Beth Elohim became the first reform synagogue in America.

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Last updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2019