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Jacques Judah Lyons Collection

Jacques Judah Lyons, 1814-1877. Former hazzan, Shearith Israel Congregation NYC

The Jacques Judah Lyons Collection, one of the most significant collections available at the American Jewish Historical Society, is getting new life through preservation and conservation work. Rich in research and genealogical value, the collection contains material relating to the early Jewish communities of New York, Newport, Philadelphia, South America and the West Indies.

Included among its treasures are listings of donors to the New York, Newport, and Philadelphia synagogues; names of those interred in Jewish cemeteries; correspondence concerning the famed joint letter by the synagogues to George Washington; a copy of an oath of allegiance to George II; a summary of Jewish history in the Americas and the West Indies from 1641-1838; registers of early circumcisions and marriages in New York; names of women belonging to the Shearith Israel Synagogue in New York in the 1830s; and items relating to old Jewish families in New York, Newport, and Philadelphia.

Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, New York, 1827.

When the work is completed, many manuscripts previously too fragile to be handled will be made available to researchers.

Two early volumes of the AJHS journal, Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, will also be preserved. The volumes were devoted solely to describing and transcribing significant items in the Lyons Collection and are vital aids for researchers. They provide several English translations for manuscripts written in Dutch, Hebrew, Spanish, and Portuguese. Volunteers at the Center for Jewish History have offered to translate the remaining foreign language manuscripts. While the preservation, conservation and translation work continues, researchers are still able to use the collection. Work on the Lyons collection will be completed by Summer 2001.

To inquire about how you can support these efforts, please contact Michael Feldberg, Ph.D. at AJHS, 15 West 16th Street, New York NY 10011. 212-294-6162 or

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    Center for Jewish History

    15 West 16th St.
    New York, NY 10011
    Tel: 212-294-6160
    Fax: 212-294-6161

    99-101 Newbury Street
    Boston, MA 02116-3062
    Tel: 617-226-1245
    Fax: 617-226-1248
This section was last updated on September 17, 2014
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