American Jewish Historical Society

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New Finding Aids for the American Jewish Historical Society

What is a Finding Aid?

A finding aid is the fruit of an archivist's painstaking work of culling, sorting, ordering and describing a collection of historical records. Like a book jacket it summarizes the importance of a collection (Scope Note) and like an index it lists the specific contents (Box lists). The finding aid places the materials in historical context by providing information about the author or institution (History/Bio note) that created the collection. It presents all the information the user needs to provide access to the processed materials.

We think finding aids are wonderful research tools and we are proud to let you know when we create new ones. Below are a few of our newest finding aids, many from collections newly opened to researchers.

Institutional Collections — New York, NY

Please click on collection title to view the finding aid.

I-37: Mount Sinai Hospital (New York, N.Y.) Records, 1851-1994 [Posted 2014-09-08]

The Mount Sinai Hospital Records document efforts to establish a Jewish hospital in New York City and the subsequent founding and growth of that hospital, the Jews' Hospital in New York, later renamed Mount Sinai Hospital. The Mount Sinai Hospital became one of the largest teaching hospitals in the United States. Included in the collection are annual reports, clippings, minutes, invitations, pamphlets, programs, publications. Of special note are two folders of compiled memos written by Mount Sinai Hospital staff while serving overseas during World War Two.

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I-433: United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. Collection, undated, 1915-2004 [Posted 2014-01-09]

United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York has been a central force for communal planning and philanthropy in the New York Jewish community since 1917. More than 60,000 donors pool their resources to help people in need, inspire a passion for Jewish life and learning, and strengthen Jewish communities around the world. Projects relate to health and human services, aging and vulnerable populations, Jewish education, and disaster relief.

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I-544: Central Committee Knesseth Israel Charity of Rabbi Maier Baal Haness Donation Records; undated, 1924-1950 [Posted 2013-04-24]

This collection is comprised of correspondence and financial documents from and to the Central Committee Knesseth Israel Charity of Rabbi Maier Baal Haness from 1924 through 1950. The charity was a Jewish charity formed in 1924 in both Israel and the state of New York with the purpose of collecting contributions to help the state of Israel and American Jews. The collection contains charity donation records from 1924 through 1950.

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I-547: Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans Records, undated, 1949-1952, 1961, 1974-1985 [Posted 2013-4-11]

The Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans (JFSGNO) was a social service agency created in 1948 to establish and preserve the self-sufficiency of Jewish families. The collection focuses on the JFSGNO's work to resettle Jews from the Soviet Union during the 1970s and 1980s, often in cooperation with similar agencies, such as Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), United Service for New American, and United Jewish Fund. Also included are lists of the Displaced Persons who arrived from Eastern and Western Europe by ships to the port of New Orleans in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and materials on resettling of refugees from Southeast Asia in the 1970s-1980s. The documents include ship manifests, memos, agendas, correspondence, clippings, policy statements and procedures, statistics, congressional reports, programs and budgets.

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I-548: American Soviet Jewry Movement Oral Histories Collection; 2008-2011, 2013 [Posted 2013-06-13]

The collection contains audio and video interviews with activists of the American Soviet Jewry Movement, former Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience.

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I-548: The White Jew Newspaper; August 9, 1879 [Posted 2013-08-08]

The White Jew is a four-page newspaper with articles written somewhat tongue-in-cheek regarding the banning of certain vulgar Jews from August Corbins Manhattan Beach resort in Coney Island, NY in 1879.

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I-550: Camp Massad Records; undated, 1944-2003 [bulk 1949-1990] [Posted 2014-02-19]

Founded by Shlomo and Rivka (Wolman) Shulsinger, Camp Massad was the pre-eminent Hebrew camp in the United States. Massad's aim was to help campers learn the Hebrew language and to develop a deep appreciation for their Jewish heritage and culture, accomplished primarily through a totally immersive Hebrew language experience. Opened in 1941 as a day camp in Far Rockaway, New York, Camp Massad grew to a total of three sleep away camps in Pennsylvania, the last of which closed its doors in 1981.

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I-560: Lights in Action Records, undated, 1982, 1991-2002 [Posted 2014-09-08]

Lights in Action (LIA) was a network of students dedicated to inspiring Jewish pride and unity among college students. LIA student activists designed, created, and distributed Jewish/Zionist literature that reached approximately 100,000 students on over 120 campuses. In addition, LIA designed and coordinated national student projects like Shabbat Leumit, a guide to lead students across North America through the rituals during Shabbat. LIA also hosted and sponsored national conferences, summer programs in Israel, leadership training, and seminars on a variety of topics of interest to Jewish students. The records include Lights in Action publications and printed matter, administrative records, photographs and slides, audiovisual material, sound recordings, and born digital material.

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Personal Collections — New York, NY

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P-362: E. Michael Bluestone Papers, undated, 1913-1980 [Posted 2014-09-08]

The E. Michael Bluestone Collection contains primarily the professional writings and correspondence of Michael Bluestone, one of the foremost authorities in the field of medical care and hospital administration, and his associates. Most of the materials comprising the collection are in bound volumes and scrapbooks arranged by E. Michael Bluestone.

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P-518: Papers of Robert Allen Simon, 1947-1983 [Posted 2014-09-08]

The collection consists of personal papers, records from educational institutions and newspaper and other articles written by Robert Simon. It also contains items related to Simonâ??s burning of his draft card to protest the Vietnam War, including court records, personal notes and correspondence. The collection reflects the role in modern American society of a young Jew involved in liberal causes and the literary world.

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P-527: Justine Wise Polier and Eleanor Roosevelt Correspondence Collection; 1938-1972 [bulk 1938-1962] [Posted 2014-02-19]

This collection contains correspondence between Judge Justine Wise Polier and Eleanor Roosevelt sent between 1938-1962, with additional correspondence sent between Judge Polier and other individuals through 1972. The bulk of the correspondence between the two women is of a personal nature. There is also correspondence relating to US political and social concerns including WWII immigration quotas, Jewish refugees from various countries, settlement houses, education for racial minorities, and the Civil Rights Movement.

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P-924: Morris "Moe" Berg Papers; undated, 1924-1972 [Bulk Dates 1930-1960] [Posted 2014-06-12]

This collection contains the papers of Morris "Moe" Berg, who was a professional baseball player, linguist, lawyer, and international spy during WWII. Berg's papers are in the form of correspondence, contracts, telegrams, newspaper and magazine clippings.

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P-974: Murray Levine Papers; undated, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1984-1985, 1990 [Posted 2013-07-11]

Papers of Murray Levine, a rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom in Framingham, MA, worked extensively to help resettle Jewish immigrants arriving from the former Soviet Union and traveled to the Soviet Union to deliver spiritual and material support to Soviet Jewish Refuseniks. The materials include photographs and slides, trip reports, notes, memos, clippings, Refusenik profiles, a notebook with coded names of Soviet Jews, and correspondence, including a letter of support from Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

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P-975: Jack Minker (1927- ) Papers, undated, 1962, 1972-1997, 2002-2003, 2005-2006, 2008-2011 [Posted 2013-08-05]

The collection documents the activism of Dr. Jack Minker, a leading authority in artificial intelligence, on behalf of foreign scientists whose human rights and scientific freedom were violated. The bulk of the collection focuses on Soviet Jewish Refuseniks, such as cyberneticist Alexander Lerner, mathematicians Victor Brailovsky and Anatoly Sharansky, and a dissident human rights activist, nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov. The documents include manuscripts, correspondence, memos, notes, publications, news clippings, and photographs.

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P-979: Steven Siegel Papers, 1938-2008 [Posted 2014-09-09]

The Steven Siegel Collection documents the life and professional activities of Steven Siegel, archivist, genealogist, and an active member of the LGBT community. The collection consists of correspondence, seminar and conference materials, publications, lists, manuscripts, original genealogical research, minutes, official documents, photographs, project proposals, and questionnaires. Materials related to Steven Siegelâ??s personal life constitute a smaller portion of the collection and consist of personal correspondence, materials documenting his involvement with Cornell University and Congregation Beth Simchat Torah. Materials documenting Siegelâ??s professional activities include documents pertaining to the Jewish Historical Society of New York, the Jewish Genealogical Society, and the Council of Research Libraries in Jewish Studies.

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P-980: Robert Rifkind Papers; 1913-2013 [Bulk Dates 1981-2011] [Posted 2014-06-12]

The Robert Rifkind Papers document the Jewish philanthropic and lobbying activities of Robert Singer Rifkind. Robert Rifkind was born in New York City in 1936 and became a partner at the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in 1971. He served on the boards of many Jewish philanthropic and activist organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies. The collection includes correspondence, photographs and publications from Rifkindâ??s involvement in these and other organizations, primarily dating from the 1980s to the 2010s.

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P-987: Judith Endelman Summer Camp Collection; 1956-1968 [Posted 2014-07-25]

Yearbooks, handbooks, letterhead, newsletters, and rosters for Jewish youth in California from 1956 to 1968, including the creator's interaction with Camp Saratoga located in Santa Clara County, California.

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Institutional and Personal Collections — Boston, MA

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P-679: The Rabb Family and Stop & Shop Collection; 1912-1989 [Posted 2014-06-12]

The Rabinovitz/Rabb family arrived in Boston from Russia in the 1890s. Around 1914 they founded Economy Grocery Stores, which became Stop & Shop in 1946. In addition to building their grocery company into a successful business, the family is known for its philanthropy and active involvement in the Jewish community. The collection contains materials relating to the Rabb family and to the business operations of Stop & Shop until 1989. The materials in this collection include historical sketches, newspaper clippings, press releases, correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, advertisements, certificates, speeches, interviews, films, and photographs.

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P-964: Stanley and Mary Ann Snider Papers; undated, 1902-2013 [bulk 1960-1990] [Posted 2014-07-09]

The Snider, Winer, Kane and Korelitz families are documented within this collection, although the bulk of the materials pertain to Stanley and Mary Ann Snider's immediate family. The Sniders are the founders of Stanmar, Inc., which developed Smugglers' Notch Ski Resort. The Winers founded Elm Farm Supermarkets, and the Kanes owned furniture stores before becoming involved with the operations of Elm Farms. This collection contains photographs, slides, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and scrapbooks.

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P-983: Richard Winer Family Papers; undated, 1891-1999 [Posted 2014-07-09]

Richard Winer was born in 1927 in Salem, Massachusetts. An active member of the Jewish community, he was a past President of Temple Shalom and founder and former President of the Jewish Heritage Center of the North Shore. This collection includes a variety of marriage, birth and naturalization certificates, photographs, news clippings, and programs pertaining to family activities and family members, including Max Winer, Louis Winer, Benjamin Winer and Dorothy Winer.

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P-984: James Levinson Family Papers; undated, ca. 1900-1969 [Posted 2014-07-09]

The Levinson family has its origins in Eastern Europe, though the majority of its members immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. Members of the family were active in Boston business, science, and law. The material in the collection includes publications, photographs, a scrapbook, a photo album, and awards.

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I-270: New England Jewish Music Forum records; undated, 1958-1990 [Posted 2014-06-12]

The collection includes the incorporation certificate, by-laws, and meeting minutes of the Forum. Also included are newspaper clippings relating to the Forum and its activities. The bulk of the collection comprises the Forum's scrapbook, 1958-1990, and the concert files, 1962-1988.

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I-553: Temple Shalom of the Congregation Sons of Jacob (Salem, Massachusetts) Records; undated, 1910-2006 [Bulk 1930-1998] [Posted 2014-06-12]

Temple Shalom is an Egalitarian Conservative Synagogue in Salem, Massachusetts, formerly called the Sons of Jacob. The congregation was formed by European Jewish immigrants in the Salem area in 1898. This collection includes photographs of congregation members and activities, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, meeting minutes, and various publications.

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I-554: B'nai B'rith, Lynn, Massachusetts Records; undated, 1946-1962 [Posted 2014-06-12]

Although there is little information available about the Lynn, Massachusetts chapter of B'nai B'rith, internationally the organization is known for ensuring the continuity of the State of Israel and the Jewish people through education, advocacy and social services. This collection contains newsletters from the Lynn, Massachusetts chapter.

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I-555: Aleph Zadik Aleph [North Shore, MA] Records; undated, 1941-1998 [bulk dates 1941-1961] [Posted 2014-06-12]

Aleph Zadik Aleph, known almost exclusively as AZA, was founded in Omaha, Nebraska in 1924 as a local social and service group for young Jewish men. Eventually the AZA separated itself from its role as the official youth auxiliary of B'nai B'rith and continues to operate today as the BBYO (B'nai B'rith Youth Organization). This collection contains correspondence, pamphlets, governance documents and promotional material from AZA chapters on the North Shore (Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, and Swampscott-Marblehead), Mattapan, and Sharon.

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I-556: Anshai Sfard (Lynn, Massachusetts) Records; undated, 1899-2001 [Bulk 1952-2001] [Posted 2014-07-09]

Congregation Anshai Sfard (Anshei, Anshe, Anshi) was a Hasidic, conservative Jewish Synagogue established by Jewish immigrants in Lynn, Massachusetts from 1888 to December 1999. This collection contains a letterpress printing block used to print the incorporation papers, a large "Golden Book of Congregation Anshei Sfard," which includes an illuminated manuscript with hand-painted and gold-leafed elements, a donor list, newspaper clippings, and photographs; meeting minutes, several family history scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, purchase and sales agreements, and photographs.

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I-557: Jewish Family Services of the North Shore (Salem, Mass.) Collection; undated, 1997-2010 [Posted 2014-07-25]

The Jewish Family Service of the North Shore was founded by a group of Jewish women in the winter of 1897. This collection contains brochures of the Jewish Family Service 100th Anniversary Gatsby Gala in 1997, â??Our Community Heroesâ?? - Annual Community Service Awards and Celebration in 2003, 2004 and 2010.

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For a complete Boston finding aid listing, please visit:

    Center for Jewish History

    15 West 16th St.
    New York, NY 10011
    Tel: 212-294-6160
    Fax: 212-294-6161

    99-101 Newbury Street
    Boston, MA 02116-3062
    Tel: 617-226-1245
    Fax: 617-226-1248
This section was last updated on September 17, 2014
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