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Tifereth Israel Synagogue Collection

Identifier: MS-0527

Scope and Contents

The Tifereth Israel Synagogue Collection consists of the congregation's business records and documents about Tifereth Israel Synagogue collected by several congregation members and includes newsletters, newspaper clippings, event announcements, songbooks, photographs, dedication, anniversary and tribute books, scrapbook contents, and meeting minute books. The collection is divided into three groups of records which were donated separately by three individuals: Mollie Harris, Audrey Jacobson Kapelus, and Lewis Fischbien.


  • Creation: 1939 - 2005


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Historical Note

The earliest congregants of Tifereth Israel Synagogue first met at Temple Beth Israel, a reform congregation, at 2nd and Beech Streets in San Diego, continuing with orthodox services after the reform services. Tifereth Israel Congregation (as it was then called) was founded in 1905 as an orthodox congregation at the home of Elias and Lena Jacobson. By 1917 they had built their own synagogue building at 18th and Market Streets. In 1948, under the leadership of Rabbi Monroe Levens, the congregation moved to a new synagogue building at 30th and Howard Streets in North Park and changed its affiliation to the Conservative Movement. After thirty years at that location, they built a new building in East San Diego, on Cowles Mountain Boulevard, where Tifereth Israel Synagogue remains in 2015.


1 Linear Feet (One records carton)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

This collection comprises materials from several donations. Mollie Harris, the former librarian of the Astor Judaica Library at the 54th Street JCC and a member of Tifereth Israel donated materials to the Jewish Historical Society of San Diego in 2001 (JHSSD #2001.08). Audrey Jacobson Kapelus, whose grandparents helped found the congregation in 1905 and whose father, Isadore Jacobson, was president of the congregation, donated photographs in 2002 (JHSSD# 2002.02). Lewis Fischbein, whose father was president of the congregation and whose mother helped found the Daughters of Israel, donated materials from his family’s collection in 2003 (JHSSD# 2003.01). Stan and Laurel Schwartz added various anniversary books and other materials as they became available.

Source of Acquisition

The Jewish Historical Society of San Diego transferred this collection to Special Collections & University Archives on July 21, 2015.

Accruals and Additions


Related Materials

Adat Ami Synagogue Collection, MS-0492

Congregation Beth Tefilah Collection, MS-0491

Cantor Joseph Cysner Collection, MS-0589

Rabbi Aaron Gold Collection, MS-0579

Leon Reichel Collection, MS-0501

Paul Schraer Collection, MS-0423

Tifereth Israel Synagogue Collection
Bonnie M. Harris, Marilyn Tom, and Laurel Schwartz
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US