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Jewish American Heritage Month

May 13, 2013

Jewish American Heritage Month was formally recognized in 2006 and pays tribute to the generations of Jewish Americans who have helped form the fabric of American history, culture and society. A listing of national exhibits and collections can be found on the Jewish American Heritage Month website.

On the local front, there are a variety of materials found within UTSA Special Collections that document Jewish life in San Antonio, including oral histories, photographic materials and manuscript collections.

Ben Adler

Ben Adler, owner of Adler Food Market at 2002 Broadway, 1933, MS 359

Oral Histories:

The Institute of Texan Culture’s extensive oral history collection contains several interviews with Jewish Texans, including  Tillye Hahn Adler.  Ms. Adler was born in San Antonio in 1894 as the daughter of a Jewish immigrant who peddled goods on foot for years before opening San Antonio’s finest grocery and delicatessen.  In the interview, Adler tells of her life in the food business. She married groceryman Benjamin Adler and the couple took over her parents’ business and continued catering to the most socially prominent San Antonio families of the early 1900s.

Temple Beth-El, San Antonio

Exterior of Temple Beth-El, San Antonio, Texas, circa 1877, MS 362


The 4 primary photograph collections include over a 150 images documenting Jews and Jewish life in Texas.  Quite of a few of the images concern San Antonio’s  Temple Beth-El, which was founded in 1874 and is one of the oldest synagogues in South Texas.  The digital repository includes several images of the Temple, as well as portraits of 19th century temple presidents and rabbis from 1897-1976.

The Councillor newsletter cover, December 1955

The Councillor newsletter cover, December 1955, MS 50

Manuscript Collections:

From collecting efforts that were part of Archives for Research on Women and Gender project in the 1990s, Special Collections maintains several manuscript collections that document Jewish women’s organizations, including:

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