Iowa Jewish Historical Society

Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary

Iowa Jewish Historical Society ● Caspe Heritage Gallery

Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary

“… beautiful is our heritage”

Keynote Speaker – Rabbi Barry Cytron

Sunday, September 18

The Caspe Terrace

33158 Ute Avenue Waukee, IA 50263

Join us for an Interesting and Entertaining Evening

Patron $100 per person ● Benefactor $250 per person Doors Open 5:30 p.m. ● Dinner 6:00 p.m. ● Program 7:30 p.m.

Please select Patron or Benefactor. Quantity can be selected on the next page.

Giving Voice to Our History

Our tradition takes great care to instill in each generation the desire to treasure, to preserve, to learn, and to pass on our beautiful heritage. What within our homes is more meaningful to our families than the items and stories that were so important to our parents and grandparents? These irreplaceable objects that were so much a part of their lives are most worthy of preservation, and artifacts collected from different members of the community do, in fact, serve a much larger purpose. They can illuminate a whole era of time, conveying fresh insights into the history of the Jewish community, better than any words alone can do……

To join in our 20th Anniversary Celebration and Dinner, please make your online reservation above.

Central Iowans are most familiar with Rabbi Barry Cytron from the time he spent as the congregational rabbi at Tifereth Israel Synagogue from 1972-1983. In 1983, Rabbi Cytron moved to the Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka, MN, arriving at the beginning of their centennial year and led that congregation for the next 12 years.

Rabbi Cytron received a B.A. and a M.A. from Columbia University, was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and earned a Ph.D. from Iowa State University. With colleague Earl Schwartz of Hamline University, he has written two texts exploring Jewish ethical teachings, When Life is in the Balance and Who Renews Creation. He is also a regular contributor to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The price of the dinner is tax deductible (minus $60.00 for the cost of the meal). Additional donations are tax deductible as allowed by the law. Seating is limited. Reservations required by September 9. For questions, please call Jodi Larson at 515-987-0899 ext. 213 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IJHS Collection Now On-Line

Iowa Jewish Historical Society now has our collection on-line.

The Iowa Jewish Historical Society collection is now online! Use the search bar to explore our holdings.

The IJHS is still inventorying and digitizing its expansive artifact collection and archives. Thank you for you patience; this is an ongoing project and new records will be uploaded periodically.

This project was made possible by generous grants from the Beverly Blank Perry Foundation and the State Historical Society of Iowa's Historical Resource Development Program.

IJHS Awarded $22,128 Grant

Iowa Jewish Historical Society Awarded $22,128 Grant for Inventorying and Cataloguing Society Collections

The Iowa Jewish Historical Society is delighted to announce that it has received a grant of $22,128 from the REAP/Historical Resources Development Program (HRDP) administered by the State Historical Society of Iowa.  The grant requires a 50% cash and/or in-kind match.

The grant funds will be used to do a complete inventory of the estimated 7,500 – 10,000 items in the Society’s collection. Each artifact will be physically examined, catalogued, and numbered; evaluated for conservation needs (are there tears to be repaired, pages or pieces missing, scotch tape to be removed, etc.), photographed and/or digitized; placed in acid-free file folders or boxes for long-term protection; and the information about each artifact entered into a computerized collections database. In addition, the storage area will be reorganized to make it as easy as possible to find items and to make sure that all the artifacts are stored safely. The last phase of the project will be to make the information about the artifacts available to the public on the Iowa Jewish Historical Society’s website. The information will also be used to update current exhibits, design new exhibits, and develop traveling trunks and outreach materials for schools.

The grant funds will be used to hire a part-time collections assistant (12 hours/week), expand the collections manager’s position from 8 to 12 hours/week, and purchase preservation materials—acid-free file folders, boxes, etc.  This project builds on the pilot project begun in the fall of 2010 with a grant from the Beverly Blank Perry Foundation to digitize the entire Blank Family Collection and to put the information on the website.  The equipment purchased for the Blank Family project and the lessons learned from the process will be key parts of the HRDP grant.

This is a very important project for the Society as the IJHS collection is the key to understanding the history and contributions Jewish Iowans have made to the history of our state, our nation, and the world.  During the past three years, the IJHS has received numerous requests for historical information pertaining to the history of various synagogues, the Jewish community, local businesses, community leaders, and genealogy.  Completing the inventory, updating the database, and making this material available on the website will enable the Society to respond to local, national, and international research requests much faster and in more depth. 

IJHS Archives

  1. Communal Life:
  • Jewish organizational papers, artifacts and photographs –synagogues, sisterhoods, men’s and young peoples clubs
  • Artifacts from synagogues no longer in existence, such as Beth El Synagogue in Fort Dodge, and Children of Israel, which was in Des Moines.
  • Personal and Family Artifacts – photographs, books, personal papers, clothing- items from their lives.
  • Business Memorabilia
  • Holocaust Memorabilia