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St. Augustine First Congregation of the Sons of Israel Collection

Identifier: MSS 0374

Scope and Content

This collection is divided into two series. The first series includes documents about the history of the Congregation and Jewish history in St. Augustine from the 19th century as well as Ms. Broudy's research on Jewish history in general and in St. Augustine and Florida in particular. The items enclosed in the first series in Box 1 vary: letters, newspaper clippings, photographs, the Congregation's newsletters, holiday greetings edited into booklets, several receipts recording the renovation made in the synagogue to add a social space, and handwritten notes, including family trees and several lists of congregants and their membership dues. A separate folder holds photographs and other items about the Bernstein and Pozin families and correspondence about the Weinstein bequeath. Another separate folder holds pictures of, documents about, and research on the synagogue building. The collection includes documents relating to the work of the sisterhood as well. In a separate folder pictures and program brochures of shows staged by congregation members can be found.

Box 2 contains two separate notebooks of meeting minutes from the 1990s and a separate register booklet records dues paid during the 1930s and 1940s. Furthermore, there are four CDs containing interviews with congregants

An experimental and incomplete printed album commemorating the Congregation's history and Jewish history in St. Augustine is housed separately, in box 3.

In the oversize folder a map of the cemetery's area, a map of the cemetery itself, and an architectural plan for the extension of the synagogue building are enclosed.

The second series includes documentation, newspaper clippings, and photographs related to the cemetery, the tomb stones, the histories of the congregants buried there. A separate folder holds records of the cemetery, including correspondence, maps, and photographs, and in yet another folder the records of the Cemetery Association can be found. In addition, on a DVD, housed in Box 2, there are pictures of some of the tomb stones and photographs taken during a guided visit to the cemetery.


  • Creation: 1933-2015
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970-2010


Language of Materials

Includes materials written in English and Hebrew


The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Simone Broudy Kilbourn, born and raised in St. Augustine, was a long-time member of the First Congregation Sons of Israel. She chronicled the history of her family (the Broudys and the Comicks) and other members of the Congregation by collecting the congregation's documents, researching local periodicals and archives, collecting photographs, and interviewing other congregants. Together with Howard Strickland, a self-taught, award-winning cemetery researcher, they photographed the tomb stones of the Hebrew Cemetery of the Congregation, researched additional documentation of the buried congregation members and compiled a catalog of the grave sites.

The congregation was founded in 1908, the synagogue building was dedicated in 1923, and services began in the next year. The cemetery was founded on the plot where a tomb stone with a Hebrew inscription, from 1840, was found. The cemetery association was founded in 1946.


1.42 Linear feet (3 Boxes; 1 oversized folder)


Materials from the First Congregation Sons of Israel in St. Augustine, which primarily includes research findings and documentation on the history of Jews in St. Augustine, the Congregation, the synagogue building, and its cemetery.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

The collection is a donation from Simone Broudy Kilbourn.

Separated Material

Six books were transferred from the collection to the Florida Academic Repository (FLARE).

Processing Notes

Sensitive information including social security numbers were redacted from the cemetery records by archival staff.

A Guide to the St. Augustine First Congregation of the Sons of Israel Collection
Finding aid created by Katalin Franciska Rac
February 2017
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America