UJA-Federation of New York’s Oral History Project was established in 1981 by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. Upon the merger in 1986 of Federation with United Jewish Appeal, the project was continued under the auspices of UJA-Federation of New York. The purpose of the project was to record the history of the organization through taped memoirs of volunteer and professional leaders whose lives influenced and were influenced by UJA-Federation of New York.
The oral histories encompass the Federation’s early history beginning in 1917 through its merger with the United Jewish Appeal in 1986 to 2004. Memoirs concern interviewee’s biographical background and organizational involvements, providing insight into personal motivations, attitudes, Jewish history in New York, and American and Jewish social organizations. Occupations of interviewees include accountants, attorneys, artists, civic leaders, congressmen, editors, executives, fundraising professionals, historians, physicians, rabbis, radio/TV producers, realtors, social workers, and volunteers.
Last November, we began to digitize the audiocassettes and transcripts associated with the United Jewish Appeal-Federation Oral History Project. As the digitized material is ingested into a trusted digital repository at the Center for Jewish History, the oral histories and transcripts will be made available in alphabetical order on http://access.cjh.org and will be linked to the online finding aid for the oral history project, which will also soon be available online.
Right now, A through C (Nathan S. Ancell to Susan L. Cullman) are now available online. So oral histories, like that of Seymour R. Askin, Graenum Berger, Lawrence B. Buttenweiser, or Cynthia Green Colin, can be found by clicking the embedded links and many more oral histories are soon to follow. We are tremendously pleased with the progress of the digitization project and expect to have the project completed, including hyperlinks to each interview as part of the online finding aid, by the end of the summer 2012.