Access and Provenance  

Institutional Sketch  

Scope and Content Note  

Box and Folder Listing  


A Finding Aid to the

Sun City, Arizona-- Temple Beth Shalom Records

Manuscript Collection No. 641

1969-2000. 1.2 Linear ft.


    The Temple Beth Shalom Archives Committee, by the act of donating the SUN CITY, ARIZONA- TEMPLE BETH SHALOM RECORDS  to the American Jewish Archives, assigned the property rights to the American Jewish Archives. All literary rights to material authored by individuals are held by that individual or by their heirs.  Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives.

    The SUN CITY, ARIZONA--TEMPLE BETH SHALOM RECORDS are open to all users and are available in the reading room of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.


    Following the establishment of the Jewish Congregation of Sun City, Arizona (which was a Conservative congregation) supporters of Reform Judaism began to plan their own organization. On 11 June 1969, Temple Beth Shalom was formally welcomed into the Union of American Hebrew Congregations with 29 members. Their first president was Dr. A.A. Papermaster. Among their board members was Benjeman Gould, who was moving to Sun City in September 1969 and  who had only been in contact with Temple Shalom by mail.

    Services were originally held in the Town Hall. Despite the small original membership, in one year the congregation grew to 55 members. Services were conducted by student rabbis from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. The first full time rabbi, Albert A. Michels began in 1971. Rabbi Michels remained a guiding force in the community until his death in 1994.  His "Evening with the Rabbi" and "Breakfasts with the Rabbi" were an integral part of the Temple Programming.  His wife, Helen Michels became the first Choir Director. Both retired in 1981. Rabbi Bernard Kligfield served next as Rabbi for Temple Beth Shalom until 1997. Rabbi Arthur J. Abrahms became rabbi in 1998.

    By 1974, the Temple had an option to purchase land for a permanent synagogue.  In 1977, the cornerstone was laid and by 1978 the building was functional and ready for dedication ceremonies. In 1980 the books and periodicals of the temple were catalogued and a librarian engaged. An Archives Committee was formed to preserve the history of Temple Beth Sholom.

    Educational programs began in 1971 with the arrival of Rabbi Michels.  A Social Action Committee was formed in 1980, with a particular focus on helping Soviet Jewry. The Temple sponsors numerous outside lectures on a variety of topis from computers to Bible study.  An active Sisterhood and Brotherhood also assist  in the varied activities of the Temple


    The SUN CITY, ARIZONA– TEMPLE BETH SHALOM RECORDS describe the governance and activities of the congregation from their 1969 origin up till 1995. The records consist primarily of media clippings and programs/publications.  There is also a limited number of memoriums and membership lists. The collection is arranged in a single alphabetical series, with materials arranged chronologically within the folders. (Newpspaer clippings prior to 1991 are loosely organized into the following categories: Brotherhood, business, education, people, services and Sisterhood.


Box  Folder    Contents

1       1               American Jewish Archives.1989-1995.
        2               Beth Hyam Cemetary- Consecration. 1983.
        3               Business- Annual Meetings, Budgets,
                             Officers, 1972-1993; 1998.
        4               Correspondence. 1969-1994.
        5               History. n.d.
        6               Membership Lists. 1972-1976.
        7               Newspaper Clippings. 1969-1970; 1972-1973.
        8               Newspaper Clippings. 1974-1976.
        9               Newspaper Clippings. 1977-1982.
        10              Newspaper Clippings. 1985-1987.

2       1               Newspaper Clippings. 1988-1990.
        2               Newspaper Clippings. 1991-1993.
        3               Newspaper Clippings. 1994-1995.
        4               Newspaper Clippings. 1997-2001.
        5               Photographs. 2001-
               Programs and Publications. 1972-1983.
        7               Programs and Publications. 1985-1987.
        8               Programs and Publications. 1988-1990.
        9               Programs and Publications. 1991.

3       1               Programs and Publications. 1992.
        2               Programs and Publications. 1993.
        3               Programs and Publications. 1994.
        4               Programs and Publications. 1995.
        5               Programs and Publications. 1999-2000.
        6               Programs and Publications. 2001.

        7               Temple Bulletins. 1987-1990.
        8               Temple Bulletins. 1991-1993.
        9               Temple Bulletins. 1994-1995.
        10              Temple Bulletins. 1997-2000
        11              Temple Bulletings. 2001-



Copyright © 2000 Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives