Our History

Chartered in 1951, the Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association (RIJHA) is the oldest Jewish historical society in continuous operation in the United States. Led by volunteers and supported through memberships, donations, and bequests, the Association serves scholars, teachers, students, genealogists, and history buffs—Jews and non-Jews alike.

The Association has built a very extensive archive about Rhode Island Jewry. Its abundant collections include more than 5,000 photographs, manuscripts, a complete run of the Rhode Island Jewish Herald and Federation Voice, congregational and organizational records, city directories, oral history recordings, and a large number of artifacts.

Mission Statement

To procure, collect, and preserve books, records, pamphlets, letters, manuscripts, prints, photographs, painting, and any other historical material relating to the history of the Jews of RI; to encourage and promote the study of such history by lectures and otherwise; and to publish and diffuse information as to such history.