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Samuel Hoffenberg

Summary Information

Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford
Samuel Hoffenberg
Date [inclusive]
0.5 Cubic feet
Biographical/Historical note Samuel Hoffenberg, prominent Zionist and Jewish community leader for seven decades, was born in Lithuania, ca. 1893, to Rabbi Cemach and Kayle Hoffenberg. The family came to Hartford in 1900. Cemach was a respected Orthodox rabbi at Ados Israel Synagogue and served on the boards of many other local institutions. Samuel Hoffenberg passionately embraced Zionism at the age of 12, inspired by Theodor Herzl. He immediately organized his friends into the Youth Zionist Society (1905). In 1910, he became a founder and first president of the Maccabaeans, another Zionist youth group that, according to Rabbi Silverman's book, "exercised an extraordinary influence on the youth of our city" (and whose activities included fighting the Christian missionaries who came to proselytize in the Jewish neighborhood of the old East Side of Hartford). For many decades thereafter, Samuel and his brother Joseph were key leaders in Connecticut's ZOA (Zionist Organization of America) activities. Hoffenberg, however, was not only concerned with Israel, but also with the quality of Jewish life in Hartford. Hoffenberg was said to be a founder and/or a leader of somewhere between 20 and 30 Jewish communal organizations in Hartford, including: Young Men's Hebrew Association, founder, 1915 Hartford Zionist District (a chapter of the ZOA), chairman, 1926-28 Connecticut Zionist Region (a chapter of the ZOA), president Hartford Jewish Federation, founder and treasurer Yeshiva of Hartford (which became Hebrew Academy), founder, chairman Hebrew Hospital, founder Mt. Sinai Hospital, founder Hadassah of Hartford, founder Hartford Section of the American Jewish Congress, chairman Jewish War Veterans Post #45, commander In keeping with his Orthodox background, Hoffenberg also lent his leadership towards efforts to maintain the standards of ritual observance. He proposed the formation of a Vaad Ha-ir (ca 1950?), an umbrella organization that would oversee and encourage strict standards of observance in Orthodox Jewish organizations. He also successfully supported efforts to improve kashrut standards at Mt. Sinai Hospital and was involved with the Hartford Mikveh. Aside from his Jewish communal activities, Hoffenberg was an insurance broker in the agency of Abraham Goldstein and later was head of the Hoffenberg Insurance Agency. He served on the Hartford Board of Aldermen in 1921-1922. He was a veteran of World War I. Hoffenberg died in 1987.
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents note This collection contains miscellaneous documents relating to Samuel Hoffenberg including newspaper clippings, photographs, and minutes from local organizations. The bulk of the collection focuses on the 1920s and 1930s.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford

333 Bloomfield Avenue
West Hartford, CT, 06117

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Hoffenberg Records and Manuscripts
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ About this collection
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ American Palestine Campaign, 1931-32
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Anti-Nazi Resolution, 1933
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Central Jewish Committee of Hartford, 1915
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Connecticut Zionist Region minutes, 1921-24
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Connecticut Zionist Region minutes, 1925-30
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Correspondence, 1923-67
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Hartford Zionist District membership list, no date
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Maccabaeans minutes, 1915-17
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Miscellaneous
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Miscellaneous ephemera
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Newspaper clippings, ca. 1920-38
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Photographs, ca. 1918
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Tributes to Hoffenberg
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Unidentified register of students, 1913-1916
Hoffenberg, Samuel/ Vaad Ha-ir, c. 1950

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