While rehousing the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies (FJP) budget materials of annual agency files (circa 90 document boxes) under control by Miriam Gross, budget examiner, I was drawn by the beautiful lettering on a 1923 folder. I was impressed by the exquisite text on the folders which was not present on any of the FJP budget file folders processed before. The calligraphy was first used in 1922, perhaps to commemorate the start of funding of the Jewish Board of Guardians (JBG), an important agency to the FJP. The JBG (formerly the Jewish Protectory and Aid Society) dealt with delinquency in Jewish youth and the rehabilitation of criminals, and was also affiliated with other smaller and related institutions pertaining to delinquency such as the Cedar Knolls School, Hawthorne School, and Lakeview Home. The AJHS holds a small collection of JBG annual reports; please see the preliminary finding aid here for AJHS collection I-302: http://findingaids.cjh.org/?pID=365583. FJP sponsored 80-90 agencies each year in its nascent years.
The lettering was found throughout the 1923 folders as well as 1922 and these folders were retained during processing in order to preserve the beautiful text, because they were not found to be brittle (unlike the 1922 folders). In 1924, the lettering on folders was written on faintly drawn lines that were used as a guide in order to make the text look legible. In 1925, the folders revisited the same style of calligraphy used in 1922 and 1923, although sparingly and certainly not as exquisitely or appealing as the 1923 folders. Please see the images below for samples of the beautiful calligraphy found in the budget files of the early 1920s.