Several record sets of high genealogical value were identified and photographed by a group of JGSI members in 2018 over several days before the temple closed its doors and merged with Beth Emet. These include marriage records, family records, death index cards, and memorial plaques. The index cards were used by the staff to make monthly yarzheit announcements at services and to send reminders to temple members. They were originally organized by month. Therefore, these cards may not only be for temple members, but also other relatives such as parents and grandparents. They often include the contact information for the person who wanted the yarzheit announced. The marriage and family records can be very detailed as they appeared to serve as the form used in conversation with the Rabbi to get to know the couple.
Images of Death Index cards, Family records and Marriage records can be viewed on our site. Images of the Memorial plaques can be viewed at JewishGen's web site by searching at https://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Memorial/.
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History of Temple Judea Mizpah
Temple Mizpah, 1615 W. Morse Avenue, was founded in 1919 in Rogers Park by a group interested in Liberal or Reformed Judaism. From a small group of some twenty odd families, it grew to over 350 families. The congregation acquired property on the southwest corner of Morse Avenue and Ashland Avenue, and its Community House was erected in September 1924.
Temple Judea evolved from a Sabbath service conducted by Rabbi Herman Schaalman on April 2, 1954, in Skokie's Holy Trinity Church. Following a Sabbath service on May 29, 1954, at Lincoln School, the congregation of 60 families adopted the name Temple Judea of Niles Township. The choice kept alive the name Temple Judea, a West Side Chicago institution that had closed. Land located at 8610 Niles Center Road in Skokie was donated by the congregation's Nydick, Edelman, and Conrad families. The congregation's second High Holiday services in 1955 were held in the partially completed sanctuary. Within a few months, there were 800 families and over 1000 children in the religious school. Through the 1960s and the 1970s, Temple Judea of Niles Township continued to grow and prosper.
Temple Judea was consolidated with Temple Mizpah in 1977, resulting in the name Temple Judea Mizpah. Over the years, many Reform congregations in the area have seen a decline in membership. Judea Mizpah's 64-year history at its Skokie synagogue came to a close on September 7, 2018. The congregation of about 120 members merged with Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, which had 650 members and is located at 1224 Dempster Street in Evanston.
Temple Mizpah - 1615 W. Morse Avenue
Temple Judea Mizpah - 8610 Niles Center Road, Skokie
Beth Emet The Free Synagogue - 1224 Dempster Street, Evanston
Database records include:
1112 Memorial Plaque index records
1756 Death Index cards
579 Family records
1126 Marriage records
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