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Colish / Samuels Family Papers

Identifier: MS 0873
Finding aid note: Forms part of the Houston Jewish History Archive. Stored off-site at the Library Service Center and requires 24-hour notice for retrieval. Please contact the Woodson Research Center at 713-348-2586 or for more information.

Scope and Contents

The Colish / Samuels Family Papers contain group photographs of AZA and high schoolers at San Jacinto H.S., a confirmation certificate, memorabilia such as a letterman jacket “L,” and a news clipping memorializing the victory of Robert Samuels’ J.C.C-based baseball team, “The General,” as well as school materials such as a paper about War defense stamps and bonds, a graduation announcement, and photo of Samuels his senior year. The materials are in good condition and date from 1943 to 1951. Researchers interested in Rabbi Bob Samuels, or Jewish youth growing up in Houston during this period would find the collection useful.


  • Creation: 1943 - 1951

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center and requires 24-hour notice for retrieval. Please contact the Woodson Research Center at 713-348-2586 or for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Colish/Samuels Family Papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

The Woodson Research Center use policy is that researchers assume sole responsibility for any infringement of privacy, literary rights, copyrights, or other rights arising from their use of the archival materials. In addition to any restrictions placed by donors, certain kinds of archival materials are restricted for the life of the creator plus 50 years. These materials include, but are not limited to, student grades, transcripts, and any job applications or recommendations.

Biographical / Historical

Raised in Houston, Rabbi Robert (Bob) Lewis Samuels was born in 1933. He attended Lanier Junior High School, San Jacinto High School, and then Brandeis University before marrying Annette Colish. The couple moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where Bob was ordained as a Reform rabbi, and in 1962, he and Annette made aliyah to Israel, where they raised their three children and committed themselves to building a movement of Progressive Judaism.

Rabbi Samuels became the second headmaster of the Leo Baeck School in Haifa, building during his 25 years at its helm not only a secondary school, but also a school for children from preschool through high school, and a community center at Leo Baeck. He also established two synagogues in Haifa and mentored many leaders of the Reform Movement in Israel and North America.

Rabbi Samuels struggled for the rights of Conservative and Progressive Jews, helping sustain the Reform Movement in Israel for more than 50 years. A founding member of the Israeli Council of Progressive Rabbis, and the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, the Rabbi was also deeply involved in helping to resettle Ethiopian Jews, and was recognized with the Carmel Award of Merit by Haifa University.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box, 1 map drawer)

Language of Materials



The Colish / Samuels Family Papers follow the early days of Rabbi Robert Lewis Samuels through his attendance at Lanier Junior High and San Jacinto High School, his Confirmation, and participation in activities like the Aleph Zadik Aleph organization and sports teams for football and baseball.


The materials are arranged by date in a single general series, as follows:

Series I: General Series

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Annette Samuels donated the materials in April of 2019.

Guide to the Colish/Samuels Family Papers, 1943-1951
Gabby Parker
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA