Access and Provenance

Institutional Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder Listing


A Finding Aid to the

Shreveport, Louisiana - Congregation B'nai Zion Records

Manuscript Collection No. 651

1940-1981. 2.0 Linear ft.


Congregation B'nai Zion Records were donated to the American Jewish Archives by Congregation B'nai Zion and Leona Atlas Lefkowitz in three installments from 1975 to 1999. B'nai Zion Congregation and Leona Atlas Lefkowitz, by the act of donating the Shreveport, Louisiana, B'nai Zion Congregation Records to the American Jewish Archives, assigned the property rights to the American Jewish Archives. All literary rights to material authored by individuals are retained by the individuals and their heirs. Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives.

The Records are open to all researchers and available in the reading room of the Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.


The Jewish community of Shreveport, Louisiana dates as far back as 1848, but a community wasn't founded until 1857. Originally named Har-El in 1861, services were conducted by Rabbi Julius Lewin at the home of founder Abraham Winter. In 1866, the congregation obtained a charter changing their name to Hebrew Zion congregation, and they built their first building in 1869, near the site of most of the cities churches.

The congregation joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1908, from that time forward affiliating with the Reform Movement. In 1914, a new building was constructed, and they changed their name to B'nai Zion a year later. At this time, the rabbi was Moses P. Jacobson.

In 1920, Abraham Brill was called to B'nai Zion, retiring in 1942. He was replaced by David Lefkowitz, Jr., who had served as his associate for some two years. In 1955, a yet more modern building was constructed. Lefkowitz retired in 1972. Since then, the congregation had been served by various rabbis. During this time, Lefkowitz served as Rabbi Emeritus until his death in 1999. In 2000, B'nai Zion Congregation numbers 300 families, and is served by Rabbi Harold L. Robinson.

Related AJA Collections:

  • David Lefkowitz Jr. Papers. Manuscript Collection No. 650.
  • Shreveport, Louisiana. Geography Nearprint File.

    The records consist of annual reports, minutes, bulletins, religious school papers, and other materials of B'nai Zion Congregation in Shreveport, LA. It is arranged into the following series:

  • A. Congregational Record
  • B. Religious School Records
  • C. Nearprint Span dates for the collection are 1940-1981.
  • SERIES A (1940-1972) consists of 2 Hollinger boxes. The material includes temple bulletins, Reports to the Congregation, and board meeting minutes. It is arranged alphabetically by type of record, and chronologically within folders.

    SERIES B (1942-1972) consists of 2 Hollinger boxes. It is the records from the B'nai Zion Religious school, including curricula, schedules, attendance lists, grade reports and other material. Materials are arranged in a chronological order.

    SERIES C (1952-1981; n.d.) consists of 1 Hollinger box. The nearprint includes brochures and an historical essay by Leona Lefkowitz on B'nai Zion Congregation. It is arranged alphabetically by topic.


        Box  File Contents
        1    1    Annual Meetings. 1942-1963.
             2    Building Program. 1954.
             3    Bulletins. 1940-1941.
             4    Bulletins. 1942-1943.
             5    Bulletins. 1946-1949.
             6    Bulletins. 1950-1951.
        2    1    Bulletins. 1952-1953.
             2    Bulletins. 1954-1955.
             3    Bulletins. 1956-1957.
             4    Bulletins. 1958-1959.
             5    Congregational Report. [Jewish Federation Campaign] 1951.
             6    Congregational Reports and Installations .1963-1965.
             7    Congregational Seder. 1942-1972.
        3    1    Building Questionnaire. 1955.
             2    Educational Material.
             3    School Year. n.d..
             4    School Year. 1946-1951.
             5    School Year. 1952-1953.
             6    School Year. 1953-1954.
             7    School Year. 1954-1955.
             8    School Year. 1956-1957.
             9    School Year. 1957-1958.
             10   School Year. 1958-1959.
        4    1    School Year. 1960.
             2    School Year. 1961.
             3    School Year. 1962-1963.
             4    School Year. 1963-1964.
             5    School Year. 1965-1966.
             6    School Year. 1967-1968.
             7    School Year. 1968-1969.
             8    School Year. 1969-1970.
        5    1    Brochures. n.d.
             2    Closing Exercises. n.d..
             3    Nearprint. n.d.
             4    School Paper. n.d.
             5    Term Paper [Leona Lefkowitz] 1981.
    Copyright © 2003 The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the 
        American Jewish Archives