Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association
The oldest local ethnic historical society in Rhode Island.


Rhode Island Jewish Historical Notes

RIJHA’s journal began publication in 1954 to help celebrate America’s Jewish Tercentenary. The founding editor was David C. Adleman, an attorney, who was also RIJHA’s founding president. He oversaw the journal, the first in this country devoted to state or local Jewish history, for 15 years.
Commonly referred to as The Notes, the journal was originally published twice a year, but in 1956 it became an annual publication. It has always been considered a communal endeavor, welcoming articles by professional historians as well as teachers, students, and many others with insightful and compelling stories to tell. 

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The Rhode Island Jewish Community Covid-19 Reflections Book
This book has a wide range of thoughtful answers to this question the RIJHA Membership Committee asked the RI Jewish community in the Fall of 2021: “How did COVID-19 affect your Jewish life?”

Olneyville Hebrew Club, August 14, 1936The Jews of Rhode Island was published in 2004 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Notes and the 350th anniversary of the American Jewish Community. With introductions and additional comments from George Goodwin, Ellen Smith, and Jonathan Sarna, it contains a selection of some of the more informative articles that have been published in The Notes over the past 50 years. To read the complete digitized version of The Jews of Rhode Island, click here.

In addition to The Jews of Rhode Island, the RIJHA also participated in the Images of America series, and our resident historians, Geraldine S. Foster, Eleanor F. Horvitz, and Judith Weiss Cohen, put together a marvelous photograph collection in a publication titled Jews of Rhode Island 1658-1958. We have also digitized this volume for your viewing pleasure. It is available here.


The Woonsocket Hebrew Ladies’ Aid and Sisterhood of Congregation B’nai Israel of Woonsocket Rhode Island published a cookbook in 1947 that was recently featured at the Museum of Work and Culture’s Mishpakha exhibit. Available here