The Representative Steve Israel Papers

October 20, 2021
by Melanie Meyers

AJHS is delighted to announce the acquisition of the papers of former Congressman Steve Israel, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 2001-2017. Mr. Israel was born in Brooklyn, and grew up on Long Island; re-elected to his office six times during his Congressional career, he represented New Yorkers in the House for 16 years. He occupied many influential positions during his tenure, such as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2011-2015, and as Chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. Additionally, he served on various Appropriations Subcommittees; at the time of his service on Appropriations, the Chair was Representative Nita Lowey, whose papers also reside at AJHS. During his time on the committee, he was a member of the Subcommittees for: 

  • State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs
  • Defense
  • Interior, Environment & Related Agencies
  • Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
  • Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies

He also served on the House Armed Services Committee, the select Appropriations Intelligence Oversight Panel, and was the founder of the The Congressional Task Force to Combat Anti-Semitism, among other accomplishments. 

He witnessed the tragedy of 9/11 unfolding during his first term, which he documented in diary form during the immediate events and their aftermath; a copy of this diary is a powerful and important part of the archive. The unprocessed material is approximately 65 linear feet of correspondence, documents, publications, photos, and memorabilia; processing is slated to begin in 2022, with materials available to researchers post-processing.  

Mr. Israel is currently the head of the Cornell University Institute of Politics and Global Affairs, a non-partisan educational institute in New York City; prior to that post, he served as the chairman of the Global Institute at Long Island University, was a Tisch College Visiting Fellow at Tufts University, and a Pritzker Fellow at the University of Chicago. Representative Israel’s papers join those of Representative Nita Lowey, and also the papers of Judge Simon Rifkind, as a unique part of the AJHS archive; we hope that other Jewish politicians, both local and national, will choose to place their papers at our institution and grow this important collecting area.