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A Guide to the St. Augustine First Congregation of the Sons of Israel Collection

Finding aid created by Katalin Franciska Rac

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections

February 2017

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Broudy Kilbourn, Simone, 1948-
Creator: Strickland, Howard, 1941-
Title: St. Augustine First Congregation of the Sons of Israel Collection
Dates: 1933-2015
Bulk dates: 1970-2010
Abstract: Materials from the First Congregation Sons of Israel in St. Augustine, which primarily includes research findings and documentation on the history of Jews in St. Augustine, the Congregation, the synagogue building, and its cemetery.
Extent: 1.42 Linear feet. 3 Boxes; 1 oversized folder.
Identification: MSS 0374
Language(s): Includes materials written in English and Hebrew

Biographical/Historical Note

Simone Broudy Kilbourn, born and raised in St. Augustine, was a long-time member of the First Congregation Sons of Israel. She chronicled the history of her family (the Broudys and the Comicks) and other members of the Congregation by collecting the congregation's documents, researching local periodicals and archives, collecting photographs, and interviewing other congregants. Together with Howard Strickland, a self-taught, award-winning cemetery researcher, they photographed the tomb stones of the Hebrew Cemetery of the Congregation, researched additional documentation of the buried congregation members and compiled a catalog of the grave sites.

The congregation was founded in 1908, the synagogue building was dedicated in 1923, and services began in the next year. The cemetery was founded on the plot where a tomb stone with a Hebrew inscription, from 1840, was found. The cemetery association was founded in 1946.

Scope and Content

This collection is divided into two series. The first series includes documents about the history of the Congregation and Jewish history in St. Augustine from the 19th century as well as Ms. Broudy's research on Jewish history in general and in St. Augustine and Florida in particular. The items enclosed in the first series in Box 1 vary: letters, newspaper clippings, photographs, the Congregation's newsletters, holiday greetings edited into booklets, several receipts recording the renovation made in the synagogue to add a social space, and handwritten notes, including family trees and several lists of congregants and their membership dues. A separate folder holds photographs and other items about the Bernstein and Pozin families and correspondence about the Weinstein bequeath. Another separate folder holds pictures of, documents about, and research on the synagogue building. The collection includes documents relating to the work of the sisterhood as well. In a separate folder pictures and program brochures of shows staged by congregation members can be found.

Box 2 contains two separate notebooks of meeting minutes from the 1990s and a separate register booklet records dues paid during the 1930s and 1940s. Furthermore, there are four CDs containing interviews with congregants

An experimental and incomplete printed album commemorating the Congregation's history and Jewish history in St. Augustine is housed separately, in box 3.

In the oversize folder a map of the cemetery's area, a map of the cemetery itself, and an architectural plan for the extension of the synagogue building are enclosed.

The second series includes documentation, newspaper clippings, and photographs related to the cemetery, the tomb stones, the histories of the congregants buried there. A separate folder holds records of the cemetery, including correspondence, maps, and photographs, and in yet another folder the records of the Cemetery Association can be found. In addition, on a DVD, housed in Box 2, there are pictures of some of the tomb stones and photographs taken during a guided visit to the cemetery.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

Six books were transferred from the collection to the Florida Academic Repository (FLARE).

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], St. Augustine First Congregation of the Sons of Israel Collection, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

The collection is a donation from Simone Broudy Kilbourn.

Processing Notes

Sensitive information including social security numbers were redacted from the cemetery records by archival staff.

Contents List

I. Congregation and research.

Box Folder
11 Dues. 1959-1978
12 Donations, Memorials, Certificates. 1971, 1979, undated
13 Construction. 1977, 1978-1979, undated
14 Miscellaneous. 1978, 1979, 2009, 2011, undated
15 First Congregation Of The Sons Of Israel. 1978, 1979, 2008, 2012, undated
16 Congregants. 1977-1979, 1982, 1988, 2008, 2009, undated
17 Congregation history and cemetery research. 1991, 2008, 2009, 2011, undated
18 Sisterhood. 1993, 1995, undated
19 Events. 1994, 1998, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, undated
110 Shows. 2001,2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, undated
111 Bernstein and Pozin Family histories, Weinstein estate. 2007, 2008, 2010, undated
112 Newsletters, New Year Greetings. 2008, 2009, 2010, undated
113 Synagogue building and research. 2009, 2011, 2013, undated
21 Registry of dues. 1933-1941
22 Certificate of Charter Membership to the Zionist Organizaiton of America (ZOA) (photocopoy). 1955 May 8
23 Notebook, Hadassah sisterhood meeting minutes. 1978-1994
24 Notebook, Daughters of Israel meeting minutes. 1990-1993
25 Event photographs. undated
26 4 CDs. undated
31 Sons of Israel Cemetery, Album. undated
MC214.1 Plan for Synagogue extension. undated

II. Hebrew Cemetery and research.

Box Folder
114 Cemetery Association. 2009, undated
115 Hebrew Cemetery. 1996, 2008, 2009, 2010, undated
116 Grave stones, Hebrew Cemetery 1. 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, undated
117 Grave stones, Hebrew Cemetery 2. 1968, 1991, 2008, 2009, 2011, undated
118 Grave stones, Hebrew Cemetery 3. 1979, 1992, 2008, 2012, undated
119 Grave stones, Hebrew Cemetery 4. 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, undated
27 T'omb Photos DVD. undated
OS1 Maps of cemetery and surrounding area. undated

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Florida--St. Augustine
Jewish cemeteries

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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