thiscangobacktothearchives

July 1, 2015

“The Federation City”

Filed under: found in the archives — Tags: — susanwoodland @ 2:57 pm
Mrs.

Mrs. Louis Morberg with a 1961 Federation City Map

Through its history, Federation issued maps showing the range of their affiliated agencies across the New York metropolitan area. Some iterations were closely based on earlier maps and were simple updates. In 1961 a stylized version of the New York City map became the basis of a design overhaul; this version was updated a few times in the 1970s, with further updates probably through the 1980s.  The different versions of these maps that have turned up in the collection during processing have been digitized and made available online.

Federation City map, circa 1970s

Federation City map, circa 1970s

The map above, undated but clearly from the 1970s, was selected as the starting point for an interactive map of Federation agencies. We chose to maintain the stylized look of this map, which is not to scale, and have therefore not used strict global positioning of the pins on the map. Instead, the pins, each representing one location of a specific agency, are located generally in the correct part of a borough or in the general vicinity of its location in an outlying county around New York City.  Federation’s reach eventually extended to Westchester, Long Island and New Jersey, particularly for summer camps and other facilities responding to a community need, and this is reflected in the map.

We extracted a large amount of data from the collection itself, primarily addresses of the agencies and the dates of their affiliation with Federation – this information was readily available in the voluminous annual agency budget files processed early in the project and which you may remember from earlier posts.  We have also included histories of many of the agencies, with information pulled from various publications and files in the collection, which appear in pop-ups when you click on a specific agency.  Where photographs of the agency buildings exist, they have been added to the histories. Before the end of the project we plan to add more histories and photos as they are available. Until an agency has a linked history, just the name of the agency will appear when you click on the pin or when you click on the name on the sidebar.

Working with our website developers, A+R Media Studio, LLC, has been an exciting experience, not least because of the enhancements they suggested that have made the map even more interactive than originally planned.

When you play around with the map, make sure to adjust the timeline across the bottom.  If you set it on the shortest date range and start it all the way to the left, press the arrow to start an animated picture of Federation’s growth and reach during the 20th century. If you set the timeline for the longest date range, and filter the categories on the sidebar on the left to “select all”, you will see all of the agencies through all of Federation’s history. Click on an agency name on the sidebar to see where it is on the map.  Or click on a pin on the map to see the name of the agency.

We hope you will agree that this map works as a visual reminder of how large an impact Federation has had in the field of social services throughout New York City, and how that impact grew over time.

Leave a Comment

June 19, 2015

Lots of UJA-Fed Photos Now Viewable Online

Filed under: audio-visual material, interesting or noteworthy archival material — Tags: , — Heather Halliday @ 3:58 pm

Good News! We now have nearly 500 images from the UJA-Federation collection selected, digitized, cataloged, and available online! Believe it or not, this represents just a small selection of all the photographs in the collection. It contains 71 bankers boxes of photographs from each of the four subgroups of the collection (Federation, UJA, Joint Campaign, and UJF). Each box holds an average of 850 prints, so, we estimate the grand total of photographs to be around 60,000.

The dates of the photos range from as early as the 1910s up to as recently as the 2000s, with the bulk of the material landing in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Both UJA and Federation sought to document and promote their accomplishments, events, and prominent personalities through these images. As these institutions merged, the Joint Campaign and UJA-Fed continued the practice of documenting their activities and their people, so researchers will have an unusually rich visual record of the whole organization to draw upon.

While the majority are black and white 8 x 10″ prints, many other sizes and formats, such as 35mm color slides, various types of color polaroid prints, and negatives of all sizes, are included as well. Below are a precious few for you to sample, but be sure to check out all the digitized photos in our digital gallery when you a chance.

aa-i433-ph-fjp-003

Campers at Hebrew Orphan Asylum Camp

Sophie Tucker, 1965

Sophie Tucker, 1965

“My Dad Upped His Pledge,” 1977

Rosenwald and Tisch at Special Gifts Dinner, 1974

Rosenwald and Tisch at Special Gifts Dinner, 1974

Silbert donating to Israel Emergency Fund, approximately 1970s

Silbert donating to Israel Emergency Fund, approximately 1970s

Leave a Comment

June 12, 2015

Elaine K. Winik, First Woman President of UJA Greater New York

Filed under: interesting or noteworthy archival material, the process of archival processing, UJA people — bonijoi @ 10:48 am

I’m Boni Joi Koelliker, the Photograph and Reference Archivist at the American Jewish Historical Society, and this week I am excited to be the guest blogger. I was available to work with Elaine Winik when her donation was ready for transfer. The following is my account of my meeting with Elaine and the opportunity I had to go through the albums and documents with Elaine herself.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting with Elaine K. Winik, the first woman President of the UJA of Greater New York (1982-1984), to survey the materials she donated to the UJA-Federation NY collection. Mrs. Winik documented her time serving as UJA President by creating over a dozen albums that are part photographs, part ephemera and include correspondence, itineraries, notes, mementos, and UJA fundraising materials.

One advantage of an onsite visit with a donor is discovering additional materials relevant to the collection and being able to hear first hand about the context of the materials. This was the case with Elaine; while sorting through her papers we found a plastic bag full of audiocassettes containing speeches and interviews she gave during her tenure. Elaine Winik is known for her speeches so this was an auspicious find. She also donated correspondence, writings describing her experiences working with UJA, and notes she took on her trips to Israel and Russia. I was delighted to hear the stories of Elaine’s time working with UJA in person.

Below are photographs of the items before sorting and after waiting to be packed and shipped to AJHS.
couchwideshot                            readytopack

Raised in New York Elaine Winik retired to Palm Beach, FL a couple of decades ago but at ninety-two years old she continues to campaign for the causes for which she advocates. She is an honorary officer of the UJA-Federation of New York, an honorary board member of the Joint Distribution Committee, and describes herself as a fierce Democrat. To learn more about Elaine K. Winik, listen to her oral history in the UJA-Federation of New York Oral History Collection.

plaque

We received this wonderful plaque, above, of Elaine Winik (aka Mrs. Elaine Siris with Moshe Dayan) serving as the Co-Chairman of the Jewish Agency Assembly Plenary Session in Jerusalem February 7, 1973. 

Comments Off on Elaine K. Winik, First Woman President of UJA Greater New York

June 8, 2015

1917 provision for Jewish Education

Filed under: early history — susanwoodland @ 6:47 pm

As Federation was preparing to officially incorporate in 1917, the men and women of the Committee on Federation met frequently in 1916 and 1917 to set up the structure of the new organization and determine how it would function and which agencies it would support.  I have found one set of minutes particularly interesting – the minutes of January 8, 1917 (beginning on page 13), which include several appendices.  Appendix C is a letter to Felix Warburg, the Chairman of Federation prior to incorporation and his election as president, from a group “constituting … a temporary committee of twenty-five to consider the financial aspect of Jewish religious education in New York City”.  A faction involved with the creation of Federation was in favor of including Jewish education as agencies eligible for Federation’s support; this issue was discussed repeatedly in the meetings that year.  It was clear that in addition to disagreements about Federation’s core responsibilities to the community, and whether that included any agencies in addition to medical institutions and the truly poor and needy, there were financial hurdles to adding Jewish education to Federation’s commitments.

The group proposed various solutions, and recommended that Federation form a Board of School Aid in order to solve the issue of funding.

There were several fears in NOT becoming involved in funding Jewish Education soon.  High on that list was that another federation would form specifically for that purpose, and would compete for resources and influence from within the same community.

The letter is signed by the 25 members of the committee – an illustrious group of Jewish educators in New York, most of whom were not involved with Federation in any other capacity.  Please follow all the links for additional information about some of these remarkable committee members:

Israel Unterberg (chairman) – Self-made manufacturer, banker, philanthropist and president of the Jewish Education Association.  Unlike other members of the committee, he was on the board of Montefiore Hospital, an early Federation agency, and his wife Bella was a member of the Special Committee on Federation.  Their daughter Lillian Derecktor speaks about her father in her oral history.

Henrietta Szold – In 1917, 5 years after founding Hadassah, Henrietta Szold continued as the head of the Department of Education of the ZOA in New York.  She remained influential in the field of Jewish Education in America before moving to Jerusalem in 1920 to focus on the Hadassah Medical Organization.

Samson Benderly – “Benderly was a visionary and was capable of inspiring others to follow his vision. He developed around him a group of remarkable young people who shared his excitement about changing the face of American Jewish education”, known as “The Benderly Boys”. [quoted from the review of the book about the Benderly boys – click on “Samson Benderly” above to follow link]

Judah L. Magnes – First Chancellor and President of Hebrew University, and a founder of Ihud, which proposed a bi-national state in Palestine.

Louis Marshall – Lawyer and Jewish community leader who was a founder of the American Jewish Committee. The finding aid to his collection is here.
Mordecai M. Kaplan – Rabbi, essayist and Jewish educator and the co-founder of Reconstructionist Judaism. The finding aid to the Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation Records is here.
Cyrus L. Sulzberger – Jewish communal leader who was director of the Jewish Publication Society, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Bureau of Jewish Social Research, founder of the American Jewish Committee and later, treasurer of Federation.
Leave a Comment

June 1, 2015

Women Executives at UJA-Federation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Leah Edelman @ 1:54 pm

Coinciding with national discussions in the 1980s about women in the workplace, the topic of women in executive positions at Federation was under consideration, as seen in this excerpt of minutes from a Board of Trustees meeting in January, 1984.

Excerpt

Responding to “a problem in relation to the lack of women in executive positions” and the sentiment expressed by Federation leadership (including two of the women who would later become Presidents of the organization) that “everyone needs to be sensitized to this problem and something must be done about it,” in this excerpt we find a mandate for a task force. This task force, composed of Federation and agency leaders, was charged with recruiting more women to “all levels of executive positions.” Indeed, in its nearly 70 year history before the 1986 merger with UJA, Federation had only one female president who served a complete term (Wilma Tisch served from 1980-1983, while Madeline Borg served as acting President for a shortened term, from 1938-1939). We also find some opposition to the idea of more women in leadership positions, in the form of an anti-“affirmative action” argument.

Though the specific actions of the task force at this point remain unclear, perhaps this outline from the year of the merger, titled “Ratio of Women to Men in UJA-Federation Structure,” was a product of their efforts. As of 1986, all categories except one (Board of Directors, New Candidates, Domestic) show that less than half of existing positions were filled by women.

Ratio1Ratio2

Women in leadership positions continues to be a hot topic. In the case of presidents (the highest office) at UJA-Federation, Peggy Tishman became the first President of the newly merged organization, serving from 1986-1989, and Louise B. Greilsheimer was its fourth President, serving from 1995-1998. Alisa Robbins Doctoroff was appointed President in 2013, and currently holds that office. However, this is still only three women out of ten presidents of UJA-Federation, since 1986.

Leave a Comment

May 26, 2015

Straw Hats – a summer story

Filed under: found in the archives, interesting or noteworthy archival material — susanwoodland @ 4:30 pm

After a sunny and warm Memorial Day, our thoughts are turning to summer hats.

In 1940, one or more of Federation’s affiliated homes for the aged purchased 75 straw hats, presumably for their male residents, through Federation’s Joint Purchasing Agency.  The letter below was sent to a Mr. Bernstein, probably in the Joint Purchasing department, encouraging swift payment to the hat company.  Hopefully the check was in the mail and crossed with this letter.

1940 Lowenstein correspondence

1940 Lowenstein correspondence

The letter survived because it ended up in the files of the Executive Vice-President (EVP) Solomon Lowenstein.  Lowenstein’s surviving files are fragmentary, taking up fewer than 4 boxes – just a small portion of his correspondence and subject files considering he was EVP at Federation from 1920 until his death in 1942. (His title was Executive Director from 1920-1935, but under both titles he was the professional leader of Federation for 22 years.)

The company that supplied the hats was Adam Hats, a manufacturer and retailer of what seems to have been many styles of men’s hats.  In 1940 Adam Hat Stores’ administrative offices were at 651-659 Broadway, a block and a half north of Houston Street and less than 2 1/2 miles from 47th street.  Not far for a check to travel.

Attached to the letter was a copy of the invoice:

invoice

invoice, $59.38 for 75 straw hats

In 1940 Federation supported a few “old age homes” in Manhattan and Brooklyn, including the Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged on west 105th and 106th streets in Manhattan, now called Jewish Home Lifecare.  The correspondence refers to a generic “Home for the Aged”, leading us to believe that the hats were sent to several different senior residences.

We saw no mention of women’s hats in the files, but presumably they were ordered from a women’s hat maker, and presumably the check for those hats found its way more promptly to its destination.

Comments (1)

May 14, 2015

Surprise: more Special AIDS Project boxes!

Filed under: interesting or noteworthy archival material — Heather Halliday @ 12:36 pm

It was only after the first nine Special AIDS Project boxes were completely processed that we discovered four additional boxes on the project among the few remaining unprocessed boxes in the warehouse. We missed them the first time around because these were not labeled “AIDS” or “Simha Rosenberg” as the others had been, but “Caring Commision” instead. These additional four boxes became just two boxes in the course of processing, bringing the subseries total up to eleven boxes. The overall date range for these additional boxes is 1986 – 2001, with the bulk of material landing in the mid-1990s – 2001, which is a bit later than the first nine Special AIDS Project boxes.

articles

Articles from the Special AIDS Project subseries

Nearly one full box of this additional Special AIDS Project subseries is printed materials – pamphlets, journal and magazine articles, newspaper clippings, white papers and scholarly reports. Some of these publications were authored by UJF, most were not. Usually, an archivist would weed heavily this type of non-unique published material, but this group of materials has been retained in its entirety, weeding only for duplicate copies, in part because it demonstrates clearly the thorough organization of the Special AIDS Project and the sharp focus of Project Coordinator Simha Rosenberg upon its goals. This printed matter is organized by topic and an index listing citations of each item is included. Another reason I chose to retain this material is that archival material relating to AIDS from this era is rather rare. Impassioned activists struggling in the midst of a terrifiying new crisis and medical researchers dealing with an epidemic in triage-mode were not always able to save the important documents that archivists could later declare to be “of enduring value.” At last year’s Society of American Archivists annual meeting, this particular point was articulated by all the speakers at a session called “Preserving the Epidemic: Making Accessible HIV/AIDS History.” For an excellent summary of that session, see this l’Archivista blog post. Rosenberg and her colleagues clearly used this material as an active reference resource. Today and in the future, it can provide researchers insight into how the disease and was perceived, what the issues of prevention were, how society and the Jewish community reacted to it, and what HIV and AIDS services were being offered during the later 1980s through the 1990s.

AIDS comic book

Comic book on AIDS prevention published by the American Foundation for AIDS Research in 1987.

Bye Keith

Tribute to Keith Haring on the back of the April 1990 issue of The Body Positive magazine

Besides the printed materials, the other additional material is comprised of various subject files, including a bit of material from Rosenberg’s successors, Roberta Beer and Renanit Levy.

Leave a Comment

May 7, 2015

New sound recordings available online!

Filed under: audio-visual material, interesting or noteworthy archival material — thiscangobacktothearchives @ 2:41 pm

Earlier in the year, we selected and digitized 40 reel-to-reel tapes with the vendor MediaPreserve, these recordings have been ingested into the Center for Jewish History’s digital repository. You can find all of these wonderful recordings in two different ways, either searching for individual recordings on the Center’s Digital Collections portal or the recordings can also all be found aggregated here, and we will soon be adding a link on our project webpage on the American Jewish Historical Society website.

Given that the sound recordings were digitized from reels, there are recordings from each of the philanthropic organizations that merged to become UJA-Federation of New York, including a Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York recording of the Board of Trustees dinner in honor of Joseph Willen and Dr. Maurice Hexter, 1967, a United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York 1967 recording of the Stars for Israel at Madison Square Garden with Robert F. Kennedy, Jacob Javits, Jack Weiler, and Mayor John Lindsay speaking, and a series of radio commercials from the UJA-Federation Joint Campaign in 1974.

Front of audio reel, 1967

Front of reel from Federation Board of Trustees dinner in honor of Executive Vice Presidents Willen and Hexter, 1967

One of our next steps as the project winds down will be making another series of sound recordings available online, another 30 audiocassettes!

Leave a Comment

April 30, 2015

Joint Purchasing Corporation Newsletter, 1974

Filed under: found in the archives — susanwoodland @ 3:43 pm

The Joint Purchasing Corporation (JPC) of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies was established in 1922, just 5 years after the formation of Federation (until 1944 called the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York City).  According to a UJA-Federation pamphlet from 1989-1992 when UJA-Fed was considering an alternative structure for shared services, JPC was established as “a not-for-profit corporation to serve primarily the procurement needs of the institutions supported by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York”.

JPC started a newsletter in the 1970s.  In Volume II No. 2 dated May 1974, among other articles “The J.P.C. Exchange” lists as items available from Federation member agencies to other Federation agencies a diverse group of items which includes:

3 Security Guard Shacks … rarely used …

Motorola Paging System … first reasonable offer gets it

Blickman coffee urn

6 racks to hold 9″ plastic covers

Joint Purchasing Corporation Exchange, May 1974

Joint Purchasing Corporation (JPC) Exchange, May 1974

Sent along with the May 1974 newsletter was an Index of Purchase Arrangements, listed by type of object.  On the “Laundry & Linen Supplies & Equipment” page it is interesting to see that Altro Work Shops, then an agency of Federation, is listed as the supplier for uniforms.

Laundry & Linen Supplies & Equipment, May 1974

Laundry & Linen Supplies & Equipment, May 1974

And on the Nutrition Supplies & Equipment – Food” page the list of Jewish-style and kosher foods is evocative of the era and geographic location in New York.

Nutrition Supplies & Equipment - Food, May 1974

Nutrition Supplies & Equipment – Food, May 1974

A recent blog post on the Urban Mass Transit Act (UMTA) of the 1960s discusses another aspect of JPC’s reach, in assisting Federation agencies in buying cars and vans at lower prices through grants from UMTA.  An earlier post, on Federation’s Research Committee in the 1960s, mentions joint purchasing as a subject for future study.

JPC “opened its doors to all not-for-profit institutions and agencies in the New York Metropolitan area” in 1976, and soon after began opening offices in other cities, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.  “The value of a shared service organization is based on effective, cooperative procurement techniques and the economies of volume contracting”, according to the 1989-1992 pamphlet.

Listed as services in the pamphlet were programs for the purchase of fuel oil, furniture and equipment, travel services, asbestos abatement, medical/surgical purchasing, computer maintenance, and many other services that were of value to the varied agencies in the Federation network.  By about 1990, UJA-Federation was considering a new model for shared services, under the leadership of Bonnie Shevins, Executive Director of Shared Services and Administration.  The files on the meetings and decisions made in connection with shared services after the merger have recently been processed and are available for research.

It appears that JPC exists today as Healthcare Supplyside Solutions, based in New York City but no longer at the UJA-Federation headquarters, according to the JPC website.

Leave a Comment

April 23, 2015

Another Missing Box Appears – Martha Selig

Filed under: Uncategorized — susanwoodland @ 1:49 pm

In reconciling our records of the 3232 boxes this project began with, we have been hoping that some of the boxes that could not be located in off-site storage when originally requested (and which had apparently not been lost in the fire) would turn up.  Through the course of the project, on repeated requests for delivery, some of the missing boxes have been found and delivered.

One box arrived on April 8th, and for a moment our heads returned not just to 2013 when we originally requested it, but to the late 1960s when many of the documents in the box were created.

This is what we knew about the box:

Bar Code #: 060802

Box #: 0099

When it went into storage: pre’86

Department: Community Services

Whose files: Selig, M

Date range: 1/1/65-12/31/74

File description: JACY [Jewish Association for College Youth] files

Date box originally requested: 6/4/13

 

Eric described the contents when he went through the box as being half correspondence and subject files and the other half publications from outside organizations that Martha kept as part of her extensive subject files.  There are now 35 boxes of Martha Selig’s files in the collection, which will add enormously to an understanding of Federation’s work from 1946 to 1974, and primarily during the years of huge growth in the 1950s and 1960s.

Some readers of this blog may remember earlier posts that have mentioned Martha Selig and the work she did as a “consultant” at Federation:

Special Thanks to Dr. Morton Teicher

Mission Statement of the Community Services Division, 1983

Mickey Levine’s Quandary

We are the Dinosaur Bones

The Role of the Consultant

She was a committed leader in the Community Services division for several decades, and she controlled the budgeting and allocations as well as services to Federation’s agencies with a strong hand.  Together with Maurice Hexter and Joseph Willen, the co-Vice-Presidents of Federation 1942-1967, Selig was involved in every aspect of how Federation made it possible for each individual agency in their network to grow, offer expanded services to their clients, and move into new, modern facilities.

Martha Selig, approximately 1960s

Photograph of Martha Selig, circa 1960s, from her oral history transcript

Because all of Selig’s previously processed files have already been transferred to off-site storage, Eric has intellectually integrated these newly found files into the collection, and they will be housed physically in their own box.  Martha Selig’s oral history, including a few photos of her, can be found here.

Martha Selig and Jeanette Solomon

Martha Selig and Jeanette Solomon at Oral History Project celebration, circa 1990s

Leave a Comment
Older Posts »

The WordPress Classic Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: