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Temple Beth-El records

Identifier: MSS-145

Scope and Contents

This collection includes bulletins (monthly newsletters), correspondence, directories, minutes, reports, audiovisual recordings, photographs, and other material from Temple Beth-El in Muncie, Indiana ranging from 1922-2013 regarding the history, membership, initiatives, and governance of Temple Beth-El. It also includes a videotape of "New Horizons: Jewish Liturgical Music through the Centuries," a presentation that was part of Temple Beth-El's centennial celebration. It includes three tapes recorded in 1997 at the 75th anniversary of the building of Temple Beth-El that document the temple's organization, music, and activities. A link to the web archive of the Temple website at Archive-It (2018-) was added to the collection in December 2019.


  • Creation: 1922-2019

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Historical Note

The first Jews came to Muncie in 1828; one year after Delaware County was organized as a governmental unit. The first Jewish religious services in the county were held in 1852 at the home of Frank Leon, which was located at High and Howard streets, later to be the location of the Hotel Roberts. In 1885, the first Jewish congregation in Muncie was formally organized. With a membership of 19, the congregation met in members' homes with student rabbis traveling from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati to conduct services.

In 1891, the congregation took the name Beth-El Congregation and met in a building then known as the Delaware (Masonic) Lodge, which was located at the corner of High and Main streets. In 1896, the congregation secured a permanent meeting place at Adams and High streets. This location came to be known as the Hebrew Temple. In 1901, the congregation dropped to 14, but members continued to maintain Sabbath services with lay leadership and holy day services with visiting rabbis.

A new structure was dedicated on December 3, 1922, at the corner of West Jackson and Council streets. Rabbi Maurice Feuerlicht traveled from Indianapolis to give the sermon. Charles Indorf, president of Temple Beth-El, was presented with the keys to the temple. Rabbi Bernard Dorfman, the student rabbi serving at the time, gave the invocation and placed the Torah scroll in the ark.

In 1985, Temple Beth-El celebrated its centennial. In over a century of existence, Temple Beth-El has served the Jewish community of East Central Indiana. Along with providing religious services, the Temple has supported a variety of organizations such as women's and youth groups. It also welcomes Jewish students from nearby Ball State University who are not regular members of the congregation.


1.4 Cubic Feet (5 boxes, 1 VHS tape, 6 audio cassette tapes)


This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Temple Beth-El board meeting minutes, 1983-1993

Series 2: Temple Beth-El bulletins, 1945, 1961-1964, 1986-1998, 2002-2006

Series 3: Temple Beth-El directories, 1977-2013

Series 4: Temple Beth-El records, 1922-1999, 2002-2003, 2007

Series 5: Temple Beth-El treasurer reports, 1989-1996

Series 6: Temple Beth-El audio recordings, 1997

Series 7: Temple Beth-El video recordings, 1985

Series 8: Temple Beth-El photographs, 1991-2002

Series 9: Temple Beth-El website archive, 2018-2020, 2021-

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from the Temple Beth-El on 1985/09/03. An addition to this collection was received from Temple Beth-El on 2014/1/3 and 2014/05/21.


Further additions are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Some materials from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the Ball State University Libraries Digital Media Repository:

Related Archival Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie IN:

MSS.016: Hebert Pazol papers and photographs

MSS.242: Martin D. Schwartz papers

MSS.266: Helen Schwartz papers

R.014: Middletown Jewish Oral History Project I recording

R.063: Middletown Jewish Oral History Project II recording

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1996/01/31 by M. Seelinger. Finding aid completed 1996/01/31. Finding aid revised 1999/06/03 by Kevin Brooks. Finding aid revised 2008/06/17 by Maren Read. Finding aid revised 2009/11/13 by Jennifer Morrill. EAD finding aid created 2011/04/20 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid revised 2013/04/15 by Stephen Jones. EAD finding aid revised 2014/05/13 by Rebecca Marangelli. EAD finding aid revised 2014/07/30 by Brandon Pieczko.

Temple Beth-El records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA