Live from the Archive: A Brief History of American Jewish Philanthropy

December 5, 2022
by Rebeca Miller

On November 29th, 2022 Melanie Meyers, Chair of Collections and Engagement, and Tamar Zeffren, Director of Archival Partnerships, hosted an exploration of the history of American Jewish philanthropy.  

Below Meyers and Zeffren use meaningful items from the AJHS collections to illuminate the fascinating and complex chronicle of charitable giving in the United States.

Documents referenced in this discussion:

The Judge periodical, 1892- found in the AJHS Anti-Semitic Literature collection (P-701)
Source: North American Relief Society for the Indigent Jews in Jerusalem, Palestine (I-14)
Source: Central Committee of America in Aid of Starving Jews in South Russia (I-15)
A letter from Elihu Root, Secretary of State in President Theodore Roosevelt’s cabinet from July 1905-January 1909
People's Relief Committee Ledger 1915
United Jewish Appeal Collection, n.d., 1926-1967 (I-412)
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Topics covered in this program: 19th Century Immigration, Mutual Aid Societies, Philanthropy

AJHS collections & books related to this topic: National Committee for the Relief of Sufferers, Seligman Solomon Society, People’s Relief Committee for Jewish War Sufferers, North American Relief Society for Indigent Jews in Jerusalem, UJA Federation, National Jewish Welfare Board, Avi Chai Foundation, Bronfman Foundation and Fellowship.