December 27, 2012

Care of Aged and Infirm

During most of its history, the Budget Department at the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies (FJP) grouped the agencies it funded into what were referred to as “Functional Groups” – agencies that served similar functions within the community.  Examples of the Functional Groups would be Medical Care, Religious Education, Child Care, and Care of the Aged.

While processing the annual agency budget materials of the late 1960s, I noticed that FJP started sponsoring more agencies that took care of the aged beginning in the 1950s.  Care of the aged has been a concern and important cause to Federation since its founding in 1917, when it started funding the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews.  The next agency caring for the elderly that Federation funded was in the 1955-56 fiscal year when it started funding the Home and Hospital of the Daughters of Israel.  The Louise Wise Services, for many years an agency that cared for children, was temporarily an agency that cared for the aged in 1957-1958.  And in the 1961-62 fiscal year, FJP started funding the Home and Hospital of the Daughters of Jacob.

The aged became a steadily rising portion of the population.  By 1966, nearly one out of every ten persons in the greater New York City area served by Federation was sixty-five years old or older, and it was predicted that this proportion would be even higher in the future.  Of these men and women, more than one-third needed special help and care.  Federation institutions for the aged concerned themselves with these problems and were engaged in all aspects of geriatric service, treatment and research.  According to “This Is Your Federation,” a pamphlet published by FJP in 1966, FJP’s residence facilities provided comprehensive care and medical services to about 1,700 aged persons.  Through a variety of programs, Federation agencies administered to the medical, spiritual, emotional, residential, social, and financial needs of many thousands of older men and women.  The agencies were constantly working to expand facilities and community programs so that more elderly residents were able to continue to lead active, productive and enjoyable lives.

Services provided by FJP-funded agencies included homes for the aged, apartment residences, home medical care and nursing, golden age groups, part-time employment projects, geriatric clinics, geriatric research and training programs, and pioneer projects of coordinated community services for the aged.

In January 1964, the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews became the Jewish Home and Hospital for [the] Aged.  The American Jewish Historical Society holds a small collection, separate from the UJA-Federation of New York collection, of annual reports and publications of the Jewish Home and Hospital for [the] Aged (AJHS collection I-308) from 1884 to 1970.  In 1968, the Brooklyn Hebrew Home and Hospital for the Aged, a completely separate institution than the Jewish Home and Hospital for [the] Aged, changed its name to the Metropolitan Jewish Geriatric Center and remained in Brooklyn.  In 1969, the Home and Hospital of the Daughters of Jacob changed its name to the Daughters of Jacob Geriatric Center.

In the 1968-1969 fiscal year, FJP started funding the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA), an organization created in June 1968 whose mission was and still remains “to sustain and enrich the lives of the aging in the New York metropolitan area so that they can remain in the community with dignity and autonomy” (  In the minutes of JASA from the 1970-71 budget conference pictured below, Mr. Bernard Warach, Executive Director of JASA, emphasized that their caseload was increasing by 60 persons per month.  Furthermore, Mr. Warach cited efforts to develop legislation that would secure funding for homemakers and home health aides in order to maintain the elderly population within the community.

Jewish Association for Services for the Aged, 1970-71 Budget Conference Minutes, Page 1

Jewish Association for Services for the Aged, 1970-71 Budget Conference Minutes, Page 1

Jewish Association for Services for the Aged, 1970-71 Budget Conference Minutes, Page 2

Jewish Association for Services for the Aged, 1970-71 Budget Conference Minutes, Page 2

In an April 1, 1970 letter, below, from Mitchell M. Waife, Executive Director of the Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged to Jerome L. Saltz, Budget Director of FJP, it was stated that its resident population was increasing and that there was a need for more intensified medical care among the sicker and older new residents.

Jewish Home and Hospital for [the] Aged, Letter to Jerome L. Saltz, April 1, 1970, Page 2

Jewish Home and Hospital for [the] Aged, Letter to Jerome L. Saltz, April 1, 1970, Page 2

By the 1970-71 fiscal year, FJP funded five agency organizations dedicated to the care of the aged: Daughters of Jacob Geriatric Center, Home and Hospital of the Daughters of Israel, Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA), Jewish Home and Hospital for [the] Aged, and the Metropolitan Jewish Geriatric Center.

The Central Bureau for the Jewish Aged, an organization supported by Federation with extra-budgetary “subventions”, disseminated information about and promoted development and coordination of services to the Jewish aged of Greater New York, Westchester and Nassau County.  The Bureau sponsored conferences, institutes and meetings on problems of the aged, involving the participation of individuals, not only from member agencies, but also from the wider community. The Bureau worked closely with FJP in joint efforts to improve and expand services for the Jewish aged of New York City.

Although a Medical Care agency, the Beth Abraham Hospital also participated in care of aged services through its affiliation with the Central Bureau for the Jewish Aged, funded by Federation, and the Hirschman Coordinating Committee for Services for the Aged.

We look forward to sharing more information about the functional groups as we continue to process the annual agency budgetary material and more information becomes available.

December 18, 2012

Joseph Rappaport and the Committee on Research

Filed under: found in the archives, interesting or noteworthy archival material — thiscangobacktothearchives @ 2:17 pm

Seven boxes of archival material from Joseph Rappaport, Director of the Federation’s Research Department, and the Committee on Research will be heading to off-site storage later this week. The material documents an interesting development at the Federation and the creation of a new committee.

After a recommendation from the Communal Planning Committee and an endorsement from the Executive Committee, the Committee on Research was created in 1966 by the Federation’s Board of Trustees. Like many areas of governance within the Federation, the creation of the committee was divided between lay leaders, which would have composed the Committee on Research, and professional staff, which would have been employed as part of the Research Department. The committee and its corresponding research department were “designed to supply Federation with research information on which to formulate policy in the areas of fund-raising, communal planning, agency coordination, headquarter operations, government support, and planning for the future” (quoted from Committee on Research, Statement of Aims, June 1967). The committee did not (and likely could not) create policy, but, instead, provided the leadership of the Federation with the information necessary for making intelligent decisions.

While there had been commissioned studies and reports done for the Federation in the past, the creation of the committee acknowledged that “ad hoc studies do not provide flexible guidelines to meet new fund-raising needs in a rapidly shifting metropolitan community and changing economic scene” (quoted from a draft statement on the Committee’s duties, functions, and responsibilities, January 1967). Not just in research related to fund-raising efforts, the Federation’s Committee on Research gave the governance of the philanthropic organization the flexibility to identify areas in need of further study and to have that research performed by the Federation itself. Again, according to the 1967 draft statement, the research department “would be prepared, in conjunction with the several committees of Federation, to undertake studies in the areas of budget, distribution, investment, joint purchasing, personnel costs, office maintenance and catering services.” Imagine, it would now have been possible, in theory, to charge the Committee on Research with looking into devising a series of recommendations on cost-effective, yet wonderfully tasting canapes.

The tenure of Dr. Joseph Rappaport (1967-1970), as the Director of the Federation’s Research Department, seems to have fairly closely coincided with the Executive Vice President David G. Salten’s own tenure (1967-1969). In correspondence found in the Rappaport folders, Salten offered his own ideas on the importance of the committee and seemed to stress the importance of the studying the internal workings and processes of the Federation.

Note to Joseph Rappaport from David G. Salten

A brief note on the priorities for the newly established Committee on Research, January 30, 1967.

Right around this time, the outgoing Executive Vice Presidents Joseph Willen and Maurice B. Hexter had retired to become consultants and, not too surprisingly, the new Executive Vice President may have seen this time as an opportunity to analyze what was working for the organization and what might need to be changed for the sustainability of the Federation.

In addition to studying the Federation itself, the Rappaport folders contain his correspondence between the Committee on Research and the Research Department as well as Federation studies that he helped to coordinate and other relevant research that he wanted to pass on to Federation leadership.  From the archival material we have processed so far, the Committee on Research and its corresponding research department may not have continued after Dr. Rappaport completed his tenure as Director. It is unclear whether we will encounter any additional material on what might have been a short-lived Committee on Research.

December 14, 2012

Trades and Professions during the 1960-1961 Campaign

Filed under: Uncategorized — thiscangobacktothearchives @ 10:52 am

In earlier posts, we have had the opportunity to discuss to some of our findings related to the coordination of fund-raising efforts within the Trades and Professions Divisions of the Federation. While processing several boxes of archival material initially put into storage by Margot Auerbach, I have uncovered a series of folders dedicated to the Federation’s 1960-1961 Campaign from the perspective of the Trades and Professions Divisions, most every division from the Iron and Steel Division to the Pleaters and Stitchers Division to the Women’s Woolen Division.

The division folders, as an aggregate, provide some interesting details about the activities and even the prominence of the certain divisions. The thickness of the folder for the Radio, Television, Electronic and Allied Industries Division offers some insight into the rising popularity of televisions (as well as the continuing popularity of radio) with a dinner-dance at what the event-related correspondence describes at the “plushiest hotel in the city” with the leaders in the industry and “top-flight stars in the business.”

Another thick folder, Iron and Steel Division offered a more utilitarian tone in the invitations and fliers advertising their annual dinner, including a flier that highlights the brotherhood and friendship within the division. With a drawing of a construction worker holding a pair of scissors on an suspended iron beam, the flier reads, “Don’t cut yourself off…from meeting all your good friends at the Annual Dinner…”

Iron and Steel Division Annual Dinner Announcement

A flier advertising the Annual Dinner of the Iron and Steel Division of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, December 7, 1960

The Trade and Professions Divisions folders help draw out some of the the similarities and differences of the divisions at the time. In September 1960, among other fund-raising events that the respective divisions may have held as part of the Federation Campaign, the Iron and Steel Division, the Plumbing and Heating Division, and the Real Estate Division held golf parties to raise funds for the Federation. Also, several divisions shared a similar template for their annual dinner invitations.

Program for Dinner to honor David Rose

Real Estate Division invitation for Dinner to honor David Rose, November 22, 1960

Alongside the Real Estate Division, the Iron and Steel Division and the Lumber, Millwork, Woodwork and Allied Industries Division used a very similar template to honor a member of their division. In addition to likely sharing the same printers, the similar division dinner invitations give the 1960-1961 Campaign, within the Trades and Professions Division, a unified feel and tone. With the assistance and coordination of the Federation, many of the divisions would have shared a similar template for their testimonial luncheons or dinners as well.

Just a few observations about the archival material found in the early 1960s Trades and Professions Divisions, much more could (and hopefully will) be discovered about the various divisions from this time period and earlier.  Currently, a majority of the Trades related material we have processed so far has been from the 1970s, primarily from Edward Vajda’s tenure as Director for Community Support.

December 6, 2012

Plate Dinners

Filed under: found in the archives, the process of archival processing — susanwoodland @ 4:05 pm

We’ve processed hundreds of boxes of Federation Finance and Budget boxes, and have hundreds more to bring in.  The files in these boxes, once made available for research, will provide enormous amounts of data on every aspect of the social service agencies in New York City during most of the 20th century.  I’ve been surveying 68 boxes of poorly described material that arrived this week, and have found the following groups of records: audited agency files, other financial reports mostly arranged by agency, 5 boxes of bound reports labeled, “Financial Experience of Affiliated Societies” circa 1939 – 1970s.  Some of these groups of records, which fall into the structural hierarchy we are creating for the Federation papers, run throughout the tenure of a specific budget director.  Jerome L. Saltz, who we’ve written about in the past, worked as Budget Director of Federation for 30 years; on his retirement in 1971 Jack Applebaum succeeded him for a few years, retiring himself in 1977.  All of the boxes we’ve brought in in the last few weeks were put into storage by Applebaum’s successor, Philip Friedman, and at first appeared to be his budget files but in fact they precede him almost entirely.

Part of the challenge (and fun) of working with these records is figuring out what things are.  It usually becomes clear by simply looking at the folder titles, but sometimes it takes a bit more work to go through enough folders to figure out what the overall group is, if there is another box with similar files even if the box label is different, if the files are of permanent archival value, and how the files were originally arranged within the department that created them, before the order was disturbed when they were packed up and sent to storage.

Among the poorly described materials we are discovering in these 68 boxes are Budget department subject files which cover the full range of activities within Federation, mostly during Saltz’s leadership of that department.  2 files jumped out at me today from among the subject file boxes.  One I’ll discuss in a future post.  The other file is titled, “Trades Division, 1969-1970”.

The box is filled with folders filed by name of department within Federation, and contain detailed worksheets, memos and other information documenting the expenses of each department and division for that one budget year.  Within the fundraising division for many years the groups that raised money through industry dinners were referred to as “Trades”.  We have barely touched the surface of these trade groups – there are many boxes still to be looked at, that appear to have originated in that department – so we don’t yet know much about these trade groups.  The folder titled, “Trades Division”, 1969-1970 includes a carbon copy of a list of the different trade groups that had what was referred to as “plate dinners” that year.   This simple list of trade groups is wonderfully evocative of a very specific place and time – when certain industries in New York City had enough Jewish employees to make such dinners possible.

budgets trades plate dinners 100

It’s hard to remember a time when garages and open air parking lots employed a large number of Jewish men.  Or meats and poultry.  Handwritten on one of the two copies of this document in the file, pictured above, are “Stamps & Coins” and “All Automotive (excluding taxi)”.  If the document were undated, I would have assumed it was from longer ago than 1970.

Another list in the same folder is a list of  “combined dinners”, some form of fundraising event different from the plate dinners – apparently several trade groups, perhaps smaller ones, planned their dinners together.budgets trades combined dinners 100

The pairings are lovely – Cotton Goods with Rayons; Artist Materials with Brushes & Bristles; Grocers with Beverages & Syrups.  I hope that when we start to work on the Trades department’s own files, some of the terminology as well as the specific work of the department will become more clear.  Once we figure something out, we can describe it in our finding aid, as an aid to researchers.  The answers, as always, are with the files themselves.

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