TABLE OF CONTENTS
Manuscript Collection No. 39
Born on April 13, 1852, H. Pereira Mendes came from a long line of Sephardic rabbis, including his father, Abraham Pereira Mendes, and his maternal grandfather, David Aaron de Sola. Mendes was born and raised in England. At the age of twelve he began his studies at London's Northwick College, a religious school founded and directed by his father. From 1870 through 1872, while continuing his studies at Northwick, Mendes also attended London's University College.
In 1873, Mendes began his ministry at the newly-formed Sephardic congregation in Manchester, England. In 1877, he was called to the United States to serve as preacher in New York City's Congregation Shearith Israel, where he was to remain the rest of his life. Apart from serving Shearith Israel as preacher, hazzan and pastor, Mendes was involved in a vast array of other activities. He received a medical degree from New York University in 1884 and he was awarded an honorary degree from Jewish Theological Seminary in 1902 and one from the Jewish Institute of Religion in 1937.
Rabbi Mendes was instrumental in the organization of many communal projects in New York, such as the Montefiore Hospital, the Institute for the Improved Instruction of Deaf-Mutes, the New York Guild for the Jewish Blind and the New York Kehillah. Mendes also participated in the founding and support of numerous national Jewish Organizations and institutions, such as the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Board of Delegates of American Israelites. In addition, Mendes worked closely with other Sephardic congregations in the United States, helping to bring some into existence and to rejuvenate others.
Mendes was one of the first American Zionists. He was among the founders of the Zionist Organization of America and he served as vice-president of the Federation of American Zionists. Until his death, he worked to promote the religious ideals of Zionism.
Rabbi Mendes was also a writer. His books include religious books for children and adults, prayer books, poetry and plays.
Henry Pereira Mendes died October 21, 1937 in New York City. He was survived by his wife, Rosalie Piza Mendes, and his two sons, A. Piza Mendes and Samuel Pereira Mendes.
The Henry Pereira Mendes Papers contain correspondence, minutes, sermons, addresses, newsclippings, pamphlets, articles, memorabilia and a biography of Mendes by his colleague, cousin, and successor, David de Sola Pool.
This collection is arranged in three (3) series:
Terms of Access
The collection is open for use; no retrictions apply.
Terms of Reproduction and Use
This collection has been placed in the permanent care, custody, and control of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) by the donors of the collection. Questions concerning rights to use or publish materials from the collection should be addressed to the Executive Director of the AJA. For more information, see the American Jewish Archives copyright information webpage.
Mendes, Henry Pereira. Henry Pereira Mendes scrapbooks. MF-2493.
Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Henry Pereira Mendes Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:
[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-39. Henry Pereira Mendes Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Henry Pereira Mendes Papers were received from A. Piza Mendes and Samuel Pereira Mendes, New York, N.Y. in 1976; and HUC-JIR Los Angeles, Calif. in 1992.
Processed by Gary T. Greenebaum, May 1978; and Melinda McMartin, March 2000.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the AJA Online Catalog.
Persons and Families
Mendes, H. Pereira (Henry Pereira), 1852-1937
Pool, David de Sola, 1885-1970
Congregation Shearith Israel (New York, N.Y.)