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Research in the Archives

The archival collection details the history of the Jewish community in Richmond from its founding in 1789 through today. Documents, photographs, letters and other items have been donated to the Archives by individuals and Jewish organizations. The holdings include the records of the sixth Jewish congregation established in the United States, Kahol Kadosh Beth Shalome, and Congregation Beth Ahabah (its successor.) Additional collections include The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, Jewish Family Services, The Carole and Marcus Weinstein Jewish Community Center and Beth Sholom Lifecare Communities, plus other congregations, organizations and many individual families.

The archives receives frequent requests for information from museums and scholars working with Jewish and secular institutions across the nation as well as individuals tracing their roots and family histories.


Research Procedures

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10 am – 3 pm

Telephone: (804) 353-2668


Our staff is on hand to assist you with your research, whether you visit the archives in person or prefer to make your request long-distance. If you are planning to conduct research personally, please contact the archives directly to make an appointment. There is a $5 Research Fee per visit. Can’t visit the archives in person? We’ll be happy to conduct research on your behalf. The first 30 minutes are free, and additional time will be charged at a rate of $25 per hour. Copies can be made at $.20 each.


Photographic Usage Fees

Please contact the Archives directly for information on photographic reproduction and usage fees.


Jewish Burials Database

This database was made possible in part by a grant from the Genesis Fund of the Richmond Jewish Foundation to assist researchers in locating the burial places of Jewish individuals in the Central Virginia area.  Visit the Burial Record Database here.



Beth Ahabah Museum & Archives’ journal, Generations, is published to recount interesting stories or to commemorate important milestones in Richmond Jewish history. Click on thumbnail image to download a PDF of the document.

Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemorative Issue: “That You’ll Remember Me: Jewish Voices of the Civil War,” January 2012

This edition of Generations was produced to mark the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. Article subjects include: Jews and Slavery, Phoebe Pember’s experience as Matron of Richmond’s Chimborazo Hospital, sculptor Moses Ezekiel’s time as a cadet at Virginia Military Institute, Judah P. Benjamin, and Rabbi Maximilian Michelbacher of Congregation Beth Ahabah.


Celebrate 350 Commemorative Issue:  “Jacob I. Cohen and the 350th Anniversary of American Jewish Life,” May 2005

The origins of the American Jewish experience are discussed by Dr. Jonathan D. Sarna of Brandeis University, Rabbi Martin P. Beifield, Jr., of Congregation Beth Ahabah, and representatives of four of the nation’s earliest Jewish congregations of Newport, RI, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA and Charleston, SC.

Tue, January 22 2019 16 Shevat 5779