Welcome to the website of the International Survey of Jewish Monuments. Please bear with us as our volunteers continue to make changes and add deeper content. Keep coming back for more historical and up-to-date information about a wide range of Jewish art, architectural, archaeological and historic preservation resources.

Help Save Hartford’s Deborah Chapel:

ISJM Posts Scholars’ Letter to Congregation

ISJM has been following the situation in Hartford this year, where the congregation of the venerable Temple Israel, located in West Hartford since the 1930s, has been pushing plans to demolish a 135-year-old mortuary chapel at its older and historic Hartford cemetery. The Chapel was founded, erected, and maintained by the Deborah Society, an early and active Jewish women’s group. It is an early example of American Jewish funerary architecture and also a rare surviving built reminder of the important role of Jewish women in sustaining Jewish traditions and community in the 19th century. ISJM President Samuel Gruber (Syracuse University) and ISJM member and historian and geographer Dr. Elissa Sampson (Cornell University), are encouraging academic and institutional colleagues to sign.

Read more, and sign the letter

Synagogue Wall Paintings

ISJM continues to document synagogue wall paintings, as part of our ongoing project to identify and document North American synagogue wall and window decoration. In November 2022 we visited Minneapolis, MN and photographed several former synagogues, including former Tifereth Bnai Jacob which still has wall paintings from the 1930s (above).
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Where Were the Women?

ISJM encourages scholars and preservationists to better investigate women’s place and space in synagogues and all other types of Jewish buildings and public spaces. We have been changing the way we encounter synagogues to always include the placement of women, and to see the space and liturgy from the women’s as well as the men’s.

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Coming Soon: Directory of Jewish Architects

ISJM is compiling a directory of Jewish and synagogue architects. Part I covers architects active in North America before World War I.

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Synagogue Stained Glass

During the pandemic ISJM convened a regular working group to study the history and art of American synagogue-stained glass. The group of art historians, historians, archivists, conservators, architects and others has pulled together information on synagogue windows past and present, artists and glass studios, and preservation issues and concerns. In December 2021, to kick off the annual meeting of the Association for Jewish Studies, Dr. Samuel D. Gruber, Dr. Alanna Cooper, and architect Michael Landau spoke about stained glass and the great window by Abraham Rattner at the Chicago Loop Synagogue.

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Romaniote Memories

In 2021 ISJM partnered with Queens College in New York and produced an on-line exhibition of photos by Vincent Giordano about the Greek-Jewish communities of New York and Ioannina, Greece. Enter the exhibition here.

View of the women’s gallery at the Kehila Kedosha Janina synagogue in New York City, where from 2000-2010 ISJM-sponsored photographic documentation by Vincent Giordano of the synagogue and its congregants, as well as the Jewish community of Ioannina in Greece.
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Synagogues of the South

ISJM has collaborated with the College of Charleston on a new online exhibition.

Go to the exhibit Synagogues of the South

Mid-Century Modern Synagogues

Join ISJM is documenting the hundreds of still-extant mid-century modern synagogues in North America. many are architecturally and artistically spectacular, but their futures remain uncertain.

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Holocaust Monument and Memorial Database

For many years ISJM has been gathering information about Holocaust commemorative markers, monuments, museums, and other memorial works of art, architecture, and landscape design. In 2019 we began to collate this information into one master database, which we hope will grow with member participation and crowd-sourced information.

Read more and link to the database here

“Seeing leads to remembering

remembering leads to the doing”

–Babylonian Talmud, Menachot 43b

Donate to ISJM!

Go to the donate button and become a member and support our projects.

Help support the work of ISJM. ISJM is an all-volunteer organization. We are a membership organization, and we rely on donations and grants to support our work. A new link for online membership and donations will be active soon. Meanwhile, for information on how to give, contact us as [email protected].