Fonds 76 - Congregation B'nai Israel of St. Catharines, Ontario fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Congregation B'nai Israel of St. Catharines, Ontario fonds

General material designation

  • Multiple media

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

CA ON00210 76

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1949-1999 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

66 cm of textual records and other material

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

In 1909, the congregation legally adopted the name Chavra B’nai Israel and R.J. Hoffman became the first president. Services were held at a variety of different homes, including those of Mr. Barnett and Mr. Zalavinsky.
After the synagogue was left a large bequest in 1917 by the Friedman family, the congregation decided to purchase the house that it had been renting earlier for $3,500. The partitions between the rooms were removed to construct the sanctuary. It still continued to house the Hebrew school and provide living accommodations for the teacher and shochtim.
Due to the expansion of the community after the First World War, the house became too small to accommodate the congregation. The community therefore began to plan for a new building. The Building Committee accepted a design submitted by Nicholson & McBeth and the shul was built by the Newman Brothers. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 14, 1924. Once the synagogue was completed, a larger ceremony took place in July 1925. Services were conducted according to Orthodox tradition and membership at that time was about 30 families.
The congregation adopted a constitution in 1945. The synagogue remained affiliated with the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. Mixed seating emerged during the later years of the decade, however, Orthodox rabbis continued to serve the synagogue for years to come.
In 1981, the synagogue was incorporated as a charitable and religious organization. It also joined the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism organization. At this time, membership began to decline and they were barely able to maintain a minyan for daily and Friday night services.
In May 2002, B’nai Israel celebrated the 100th anniversary of the community. The celebration included an extended Shabbat service featuring Cantor Howard Shalowitz from New York, followed by a gala dinner on Saturday night with entertainment by the Toronto band Bais Groove.

Custodial history

The records were donated by individuals who were members of the synagogue as well as Congregation B'nai Israel between 1976 and 2009.

Scope and content

The records document the activities of Congregation B'nai Israel of St. Catharines, Ontario. The material consists of textual, graphic, architectural and electronic records.
The fonds include bulletins, board of governors meeting minutes and reports, anniversary books, correspondence, sisterhood records, financial statements, constitutional documents, committee reports, building plans, Hebrew school materials and other items.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

A file list is available for this fonds.

Associated materials

Related materials


Physical description

Includes 25 electronic photographs (jpg), 8 electronic architectural drawings (jpg), and 1 electronic document (jpg).

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area