Access and Provenance
A Finding Aid to the
Trinidad, Colorado -- B'nai B'rith Records
The Records of TRINIDAD, COLORADO - B'NAI B'RITH, TRINIDAD LODGE NO. 293 were donated to the American Jewish Archives by Mrs. Gilbert H. Sanders, the Trinidad Lodge No. 293, and Congregation Aaron, all of Trinidad, Colorado; and by Mr. Leon Rubin of Raton, New Mexico. The several shipments of materials were received by the Archives during the period 1957-1991. All property rights have been assigned to the American Jewish Archives. All literary rights to materials in the collection are held by the individual author or his/her heirs. Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Director of the American Jewish Archives. The collection is open to all users and available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.
INSTITUTIONAL SKETCH top
The first official meeting of Trinidad Lodge No. 293 of the International Order of B'nai B'rith convened in the Odd Fellows Hall in Trinidad, Colorado on March 3, 1878. Louis Anfenger of Denver Lodge No. 171 presided over the meeting until the membership elected officers. Samuel Jaffa, president of the first board of trustees of the young city of Trinidad, was elected first President of the Lodge and installed in his new office by Mr. Anfenger. Members present at the first meeting included names that remained active in the Lodge well into the 20th century: Jaffa, Levy, Gottlieb, Prager, Mansbach, Schwed. Trinidad, Colorado was a young town (incorporated in 1876) when the group of 29 young men formed the Trinidad Lodge. Many of the Jewish men in Trinidad in the late 1870s were immigrants from Germany and had settled in town since 1872. But not all the members of Trinidad Lodge lived in Trinidad; about half traveled to the bi-monthly meetings from other towns in Southeastern Colorado or Northeastern New Mexico. A railroad had been built through Trinidad in late 1887, making it a commercial crossroads of the area and allowing men in towns along connecting tracks (such as Raton and Las Vegas, N.M., between Albuquerque and Trinidad) easy access to Trinidad Lodge meetings. The Lodge grew as newcomers moved into the rapidly growing area. Simon Sanders arrived in 1879 and became an active member of the Lodge and of Congregation Aaron. His sons Gilbert, Isidore, and Leopold continued the family tradition in both organizations. Rabbi Leopold Freudenthal was engaged by Congregation Aaron in 1889. He quickly became active in Trinidad Lodge, serving as Lodge Secretary from 1890 until his death in 1916. From early in its existence, Trinidad Lodge was active in benevolent work. Donations were often sent to B'nai B'rith supported institutions such as the Cleveland Jewish Orphan Home (Bellefaire), Leo N. Levi Memorial Hospital Association, the Educational League, and in nearby Denver, the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives. Several of Secretary Isidore Sanders' correspondents during the 1920s were tubercular patients or their families seeking assistance from the Lodge and the Jewish Hospital in Denver. Many of Sanders' other correspondents were Ben B'riths in office at the national or district level, including Boris D. Bogen, Leonard Frieberg and Judge A.B. Frey, or from other Lodges in Denver and Pueblo, Colorado, or other states. Trinidad Lodge also supported local organizations such as the Boy Scouts, and the Freudenthal Foundation. The latter was endowed by the two sons of Rabbi Leopold Freudenthal to support charitable and educational projects for the people of Trinidad. During the 1920s the Jewish population in Trinidad began to fall with the decline of a major local industry, coal mining. Trinidad Lodge grew to almost 90 members in the early 1920s, but membership decreased to less than 20 members by the 1950s. Descendents of some of the earliest members of the organization were active in Trinidad Lodge in the 1940s and 1950s, including the names Moses, Gottlieb, Prager, Rascower, Freudenthal, and Sanders.
SCOPE AND CONTENT top
The Records of TRINIDAD, COLORADO - B'NAI B'RITH, TRINIDAD LODGE NO. 293 describe the organizational activities of Trinidad Lodge No. 293 of B'nai B'rith. The collection includes correspondence, minutes, annual and quarterly reports to the District Grand Lodge of B'nai B'rith, cash books, dues books, membership records, publications, cancelled checks and receipts. The span dates of the collection are 1878-1960 with the bulk of the material dated in the 1890s, 1920s and 1950s. The collection is divided into four series: A. CORRESPONDENCE B. CONSITIUTION, MINUTES, AND REPORTS C. FINANCIAL AND MEMBERSHIP RECORDS D. MISCELLANEOUS SERIES A. CORRESPONDENCE consists of 1 3/4 boxes of correspondence and some miscellaneous materials divided into three sub-series by materials generated or collected by three Lodge secretaries. Sub-series 1. Leopold Freundenthal consists of one folder (less than one inch) of correspondence, notes, financial reports, and miscellaneous materials generated or collected by Leopold Freudenthal, Secretary of Trinidad Lodge from 1890-1914. The materials in Sub-series 1 are dated 1879-1911. Sub-series 2. Isidore Sanders consists of 1 1/2 boxes of correspondence and some miscellaneous materials generated or collected by Isidore Sanders, Secretary of Trinidad Lodge from 1919-1939. The materials in Sub-series 2 are arranged in alphabetical order by correspondent or organization and thereunder in chronological order. The bulk of the materials in Sub-series 2 are dated in the 1920s, but span the years 1900-1931. Sub-series 3. Leon Rubin consists of 1/4 box of correspondence and some miscellaneous materials generated or collected by Leon Rubin, who held the offices of Secretary, President, and Vice-President at various times during the 1950s. The materials in Sub-series 3 span the years 1953-1960. SERIES B. CONSTITUTION, MINUTES, AND REPORTS consists of 1 1/4 boxes of minutes and minute books, annual and quarterly reports to the District Grand Lodge, by-laws and rules of order of Trinidad Lodge, and constitution and ritual books of B'nai B'rith. The material in Series B spans the years 1878-1959. SERIES C. FINANCIAL AND MEMBERSHIP RECORDS consists of 2 1/2 hollinger boxes (and 1/2 of Box No. X-21) of financial reports, cash books, dues books, membership applications and membership lists. The "Designation Book" contains documents by which members assigned their Endowment Benefits to specified beneficiaries. The "Sick Committee Ledger" contains lists of officers and members with their attendance record for the years 1896-1919. The material in Series C spans the years 1878-1950. NOTE: See also dues book, 1908-1921, and membership book, 1878-1913, in Box No. X-21. SERIES D. MISCELLANEOUS consists of 1 1/2 boxes of miscellaneous materials, including a Lodge President's Kit, speeches by Philip M. Klutznick (President of B'nai B'rith), certificates honoring past-presidents of Trinidad Lodge, bank statements, cancelled checks, bills and receipts. The materials in Series D span the years 1889-1959.
BOX AND FOLDER LIST top
Box Folder Contents SERIES A. CORRESPONDENCE Sub-series 1. Leopold Freudenthal 1 1 1879-1911 Sub-series 2. Isidore Sanders, 1900-1931 2 Achtenberg, Ben M., 1925-1928 3 A-B, General, 1916-1927 B'nai B'rith 4 Executive Committee and publications (includes minutes), 1913-1930 5 Executive Committee "News Bulletin," Mr, 1924- Ap 15, 1926 6 Juniors, D, 1925 7 Membership Bureau and Publicity, 1929-1930 8 Bogen, Boris D., 1925-1928 9 Bulavsky Brothers, 1923-1925 10 Cleveland Jewish Orphan Home (Bellefaire), 1920-1930 11 Cohen, Alfred M., 1922-1929 12 C-D, General, 1920-1931 13 Denver, Colo. - National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives, 1900-1928 14 Denver Lodge No. 171, 1924-1930 15 Denver Sheltering Home for Jewish Children, 1923- 1925 16 Educational League, 1922-1931 17 F, General, 1923-1928 18 Freiberg, Leonard, 1920-1930 19 Frey, A.B., 1923-1926 20 Goldberg, William H., 1924 21 G-J, General, 1923-1930 22 Hausman, Nathan, 1922 23 K, General, 1920-1931 24 Kahn, David A. (consumptive), 1922-1925 2 1 L, General, 1920-1930 2 Levi, Leo N., Memorial Hospital Association, 1922- 1931 3 Lewis, Leon L., 1922-1925 4 M-P, General, 1923-1930 5 Q-R, General, 1923-1930 6 S, General, 1923-1929 7 Sievers, Samuel I., 1927-1929 8 Trinidad Lodge No. 293, 1923-1934 9 T-Z, General, 1924-1928 Sub-series 3. Leon Rubin 10 1953-1960 11 District Grand Lodge (DGL) No. 2 - Mailings to Lodge Secretaries, 1953-1960 SERIES B. CONSTITUTION, MINUTES AND REPORTS 12 Constitution (DGL No. 2), By-laws and Rules of Order (Trinidad Lodge), 1878; and B'nai B'rith ritual books, 1910s and n.d. Minute Books 13 1878-1888 14 1886, (Hebrew Relief Society) 3 1 1889-1897 2 1897-1914 3 Minutes (including Annual and Quarterly Reports), 1950-1956 4 Annual and Quarterly Reports, 1920-1959 SERIES C. FINANCIAL AND MEMBERSHIP RECORDS 5 Financial Reports, 1922-1928 Cash Books 6 1884-1908 4 1 1908-1919 2 1929-1949 Dues Books 3 1897-1908 4 1901-1910 X-21 1908-1921 5 1 1910-1918 2 1922-1934 3 1935-1950 X-21 Membership Book (includes deaths and "Black" lists), 1878-1913 6 1 Membership Application Book, 1878-1949 2 Membership Applications, 1889-1930 3 Membership List, 1910-1920 4 Designation Book, 1878-1884 5 Sick Committee Ledger (absentee list), 1896-1916 SERIES D. MISCELLANEOUS 6 B'nai B'rith President's Kit, 1950s 7 Speeches by Philip M. Klutznick, 1954, 1958 8 Book, This is B'nai B'rith: A Story of Service, 14th edition (souvenir dedication issue), N, 1957; with cover letter, F 25, 1958 9 Lodge Past-President certificates, 1952-1959 10 Bank statements and cancelled checks, 1915-1919 11 Bills and receipts, 1889-1931 7 Receipt Books, 1904-1932