September 27, 2012


Filed under: found in the archives, interesting or noteworthy archival material — thiscangobacktothearchives @ 7:28 pm

Community centers might be considered, along with other communal agencies, to be the most visible representations of Jewish communal life in New York. Their number and the quantity of their members throughout the history of UJA-Federation activities have mirrored the presence and influence of the Jewish population of New York.

The leaders of Federation of Jewish Philanthropies were proud, and for good reason, of the growth of its agencies and services in the Metropolitan New York area in the early 1960s. One of the signs of that pride was the map below, published by the organization in 1961. It contained 116 agencies throughout the five boroughs and Long island area, and reflected the activities of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies at its zenith.

Map of Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York agencies map

The Federation City map, 1961

The next map, published in 1978, contains a smaller number of agencies, and it reflected the demographic and social changes in the Jewish and general population of the New York City.

Federation of Jewish Philanthropies Map of Agencies

Maps of Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York Agencies, 1978

Adding context to the information contained in these maps, the Oral History interviews of UJA-Federation (now online through “S”) contain a wealth of information on the leadership and agency activities during this time of crucial change, including the issues and controversies which accompanied the work of the agencies, especially the community centers, in the 1960s-1970s. One of these issues was the question of rendering community services to non-Jewish New Yorkers and Jewish support for a growing minority population; this was championed by some and objected to by others, as can be seen from  Wilma (Billie) Tisch oral history  interview, pp. 92-97, which will be available online soon.

Today, UJA-Federation still provides a wide range of services through the whole Metropolitan New York area, as can be seen from the  interactive map on their website.

September 21, 2012

Federation New York Jewish Population Survey, 1982

Filed under: found in the archives — susanwoodland @ 5:00 pm

In a “P – Miscellaneous” folder in Sanford Solender’s files from his post-retirement years as Executive Consultant for Federation, the press release announcing the Jewish Population Survey from 30 years has surfaced.  In light of the fact that UJA-Federation recently published this year’s survey, we include the 1982 press release below.

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Other surveys exist in the files, still to be explored and studied.  They provide a detailed census of the changing Jewish population through the decades in New York.

September 14, 2012

Happy and Healthy New Year from Sanford Solender, 1990

Filed under: found in the archives — susanwoodland @ 4:54 pm

Nine years after Sanford Solender retired as Executive Vice-President of Federation, he continued to maintain an office in what had become UJA-Federation of New York.  His correspondence and subject files continue into the 1990s.
In this short note to Shoshana Cardin, Solender possibly makes reference to the lecture that was established in his name after his retirement from Federation in 1981.

Sanford Solender to Shoshana Cardin,               September 11, 1990

The staff of the UJA-Federation of New York collection project at the American Jewish Historical Society join Sanford Solender in wishing our readers a healthy year.

Eric, Marvin, Susan and Vital

September 7, 2012

Federation comes to the aid of the American Jewish Historical Society

Filed under: found in the archives, interesting or noteworthy archival material — susanwoodland @ 4:43 pm

Another link between Federation of New York and the American Jewish Historical Society!

Sanford Solender’s correspondence continues with 2 letters to him from the American Jewish Historical Society in 1978.  Copies of Solender’s communication with AJHS are not in the file; it is possible it was by phone and not by letter, as his assistants through his tenure as Executive Vice-President of FJP were dedicated and consistent filers.

It appears that Bernard (Bernie) Wax, then Director of AJHS, had contacted Solender for his “aid and expertise” in obtaining support from “the organized Jewish community as well as individual foundations.”  Mr. Wax’s thank you note dated January 30, 1978 sums up their conversation:

Bernie Wax of the American Jewish Historical Society, thanks Sanford Solender for fundraising ideas

It is surprising that AJHS would have contacted FJP of New York, since they had already been located for many years on the Brandeis campus in Waltham, MA, a long way from greater New York.

A few days later, David R. Pokross, President of AJHS, sent a follow-up letter:

AJHS President David R. Pokross also thanks Sanford Solender

It is unclear from this fragmentary correspondence how AJHS was able to benefit from Federation’s help.  But fundraising has always been the Society’s lifeline to its projects and no doubt Federation’s expertise in that area had some lasting effect.

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