January 31, 2013

Special thanks to Dr. Morton Teicher

Filed under: Uncategorized — thiscangobacktothearchives @ 11:19 am

On Tuesday, we spoke with Dr. Morton Teicher, via phone, about his recollections of working with the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. Dr. Teicher was the Dean of the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University from 1957-1972. From his home office, he discussed the founding of the school at Yeshiva University, the history of Jewish-oriented social work and services education in New York City, and his cooperative and supportive relationship with the Federation, including receiving advice from Federation executives and assistance in finding field placements for his students at Federation agencies. Also, Dr. Teicher shared his understanding of the Federation’s structure and agencies, during his tenure as Dean, and how he became acquainted (and later friends) with prominent Federation executive staff members Maurice Hexter, Joseph Willen, Martha Selig, and Graenum Berger.

Dr. Morton Teicher at Chapel Hill

Dr. Morton Teicher at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

After his tenure as Dean at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, he became the Dean of Social Work at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and remained Dean there until 1985. (Credit for the photograph above goes to School of Social Work at Chapel Hill, which uploaded the image to Flickr. The full image can be viewed here.)

The archivists working on the UJA-Federation processing project would like to thank Dr. Morton Teicher for taking the time to speak with us. It was interesting and informative to learn about the cooperative spirit between the Wurzweiler School and the Federation during the 1960s and early 1970s.

January 25, 2013

Ordering office supplies, 1974-1975

Filed under: found in the archives, the process of archival processing — susanwoodland @ 11:11 am

Federation’s Budget Director approved all but the most basic orders of office supplies in the 1970s, judging by a brief collection of memos to the Order Department at Federation from the Budget Department.  During Jack Applebaum’s tenure as Budget Director, his name appears on half of the 12 memos in his file for the fiscal year 1974-1975.

Boorum & Pease Columnar spreadsheet pads, 11" x 17"

Boorum & Pease spreadsheet pads, 11″ x 17″

Endless numbers of the spreadsheets ordered via the memo above survive in the budget files, so many that they are one of the few items we do not unfold and rehouse in oversized boxes.  We find most of the spreadsheets folded in legal size folders and we leave them there, as they are stable and more useful when not removed from the other, 8 1/2 x 11″ documents in the folder.  Some spreadsheets are final, typewritten documents that appear to have been distributed with various reports (apparently typed on wide-carriage typewriters to accommodate 17″ paper) and some are drafts in pencil.  Some have columns inserted or added on top with corrections, held in place with scotch tape or rubber cement (see memo below).  Neither tape nor rubber cement is archival in nature and many of the insertions have loosened; to unfold one of these spreadsheets is to risk losing track of which piece goes with which sheet.

Because we are minimally processing the Federation files, we cannot take the time to rehouse, photocopy or scan each of these sheets.  We attempt to clip pieces together which does no further damage to the spreadsheets.  If these budget files generate research interest, which they should because of the enormous amount of data contained within them, we will return to them at a later date and stabilize and/or rehouse them to a greater degree.

Rubber Cement

Rubber Cement

The rubber cement referred to above.  Google images has many familiar looking images of rubber cement cans.  Judging by the amount of pasting that was going on in the Budget Department, the can the department ordered on August 7, 1975 was probably at least the gallon size.

Binder Clips

Binder Clips

Binder Clips still remain in some of the files.  We remove them as they take up a lot of space, may rust, and can damage the paper.

Adding Machine Ribbons

Adding Machine Ribbons

Adding machines were in use in the 1970s of course, and adding machines needed typewriter ribbons and narrow strips of paper.  Many of the calculations run through an adding machine are clipped to the spreadsheets, further documenting the analysis and calculation that went into the pulling together of huge amounts of data into a reliable and informative spreadsheet.  The Budget Department’s spreadsheets, of course, made it possible to present concise figures in the many consolidated budget reports presented by the Budget Department to Federation’s Distribution Committee.  It was this Committee that made final budgetary recommendations every year to the Board of Trustees, for each of the more than 100 agencies funded by Federation.

And the most important supplies of all:

And the most important supplies of all ...

The reason any work at all was done at Distribution Committee meetings …

January 20, 2013

Air Raid Drills

Filed under: Uncategorized — susanwoodland @ 10:02 am

The grownup version of  the “Duck and Cover” technique schoolchildren rehearsed regularly in the 1960s is laid out in the following chart.  It was the procedure Federation employees rehearsed in their mid-town New York offices so they would be prepared in case of an air raid.  Below is Federation’s list of wardens and instructions on where to go, from May 1, 1961.

Air Raid Instructions, 1961

Air Raid Instructions, 1961

No doubt this directive was  retained permanently among other Budget Department papers because Jack Applebaum, Assistant Budget Director at Federation throughout the 1960s, was the floor warden for the 7th floor, and because it appears from his endless files that Jack never threw anything out.  Ever.

This document turns out to be a good source of who worked in which department in 1961, and we will retain it in the files permanently.

January 11, 2013

Functional Groups

As the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies evolved throughout the 20th century, there were significant changes in Federation’s functional groups throughout the decades.  As stated in a previous blog, a functional group is a group of agencies that served similar functions within the community.  Names of functional groups were typically derived from the subcommittee divisions of the Distribution Committee. For example, the Child Care subcommittee of the Distribution Committee had an associated functional group, Child Care, in the Budget Department’s annual agency files.  Over the course of the 20th century, groups changed and agencies moved from group to group, as Federation determined how the budget should be split amongst the groups.

In the first four years of FJP from 1917 to 1920, eight definite categories were defined by the budget department for Federation’s funding, plus additional categories listed (unnumbered) after the outline numbered ones.

I.          Child Care

II.        Delinquency

III.       Education of Handicapped

IV.       Care of Aged

V.        Medical Care

VI.       Medical Social Service

VII.     Relief

VIII.    Vacation Activities


Jewish Community Service


Technical Education

Starting in 1921, the budget files were categorized into eleven main categories with an optional twelfth category, Subventions, depending on whether any agencies were subvented in the year (see below). A subvention was given to an agency that was not an official agency of Federation but nonetheless received financial support from the FJP. Please see the outline of budget files that started in 1921 below:

I.     Child Care

II.     Correctional Work with Delinquents

III.     Education and Recreation of Handicapped

IV.     Care of Aged and Infirm

V.     Medical Care

VI.     Medical Social Service

VII.     Relief of Sick & Needy

VIII.     Religious Education

IX.     Vocational Education

X.     Community Center Activities

XI.     Fresh Air Activities

[optional XII. Subventions]

By 1939, Medical Care (formerly Subgroup V) and Medical Social Service (formerly Subgroup VI) shown above were lumped together as one functional group (Subgroup V) and in 1945-1946 was renamed simply as Medical Care.  Also in 1945-1946, Delinquency, Handicapped, Relief and Vocational Education all merged under the heading Family Welfare & Vocational Services (Subgroup IV below).

In the 1945-1946 fiscal year, a new functional group scheme was adopted, consisting of eight series as follows:

I.     Child Care

II.     Care of Aged & Infirm

III.     Medical Care

IV.     Family Welfare & Vocational Services

V.     Religious Education

VI.     Community Centers

VII.     Fresh Air Work

VIII.     Subventions

Besides these categories, FJP had another category called “Other Allotments,” for other expenses incurred by FJP.

Several more changes happened to the overall functional group scheme during the 1950s and 1970s.  In the 1952-1953 fiscal year, Fresh Air Work became simply known as Camps.  In the 1970-1971 fiscal year, the functional group, Religious Education became known as Jewish Education.  In 1973-1974 fiscal year, the Family Welfare & Vocational Services group changed its name to become the Family, Children, Vocational and Rehabilitation (FCVR) Services, which reflected the name change of the Subcommittee of the Distribution Committee in 1972.

As Federation evolved, several agencies started out as one functional group and eventually became part of another functional group. Several examples are as follows.  Blythedale Home started out as a Child Care agency and then became a Medical Care agency in 1945-1946 fiscal year reflecting the fact that its services had become more medical in nature; the name of the agency eventually changed to the Blythedale Children’s Hospital in the 1964-1965 fiscal year.  The Jewish Board of Guardians (JBG) started out as a Delinquency agency and became a Child Care agency in the 1945-1946 fiscal year.  Initially Child Care agencies for many years, First Hebrew Day Nursery and Louise Wise Services became agencies of the FCVR category in 1974-1975.

Special grants were grants given by Federation to organizations that were not fully funded by Federation or were not considered a subvention.  In 1976, there was a subcommittee of the Distribution Committee called “Subventions, Special Grants, and Membership” and FJP started awarding these special grants to organizations in the late 1970s.  We are hoping to learn more about the “Special Grants and Other Allocations” agencies once these become processed.

In processing the Budget Materials – Annual Agency Files (our team’s administrative category M-1), each folder for a particular agency has the functional group written on it accompanied by the name of the agency in order to facilitate a researcher’s use of the collection.  In addition, we have retained agency numbers whenever possible.  For instance, the agency Surprise Lake Camp would appear on the folder as VII. Camps – Surprise Lake Camp (106) and in the EAD finding aid as well with the same string as the title.  In addition, in each box to distinguish between functional groups, we have used dividers to differentiate between the functional groups and when there are two fiscal years within a box, we have used a divider to separate the years.

So far, the logical groupings in FJP utilizing functional groups are the Budget Materials – Annual Agency Files (category M-1), reports to the Budget Department to the Distribution Committee (category M-2), and the audited agency reports.  We hope that the processing work we are undertaking will enhance the research potential of these rich files.

January 4, 2013

Aide Memoire

Filed under: found in the archives — susanwoodland @ 5:40 pm

What’s a good way to keep track of facts and details at work, when it is no longer possible to slip a written reminder into a paper folder?  Key in a reminder to an iPhone?  Scribble something on a sticky note and stick it to a computer screen?  Send an e-mail to oneself?  Or, more formally, write a memo in WORD and file it in an electronic file?

I’ve seen notes in paper folders in the past that called themselves “note to file”, but I’ve recently come across two documents addressed to “Aide Memoire”, really to the writer’s memory.

Jerome Saltz was the longtime Federation Budget Director, holding that position from 1941 to 1971.  I have no idea how he remembered all that he had to remember.  I think a good staff helped a lot, including what we imagine was a huge clerical/typing/filing staff, which probably still existed through 1971 but which most certainly disappeared during the long, painful budget crisis of the 1970s.  A glimpse into the brain, and the memory, of Mr. Saltz can be found in his 1966 Aide Memoire regarding the United Fund of Long Island, pictured below:

Jerome Saltz "aide memoire", 1966

Jerome Saltz “Aide Memoire”, 1966

Clearly, he was thinking through a problem, perhaps in preparation for a meeting or for a report to a committee or agency executive.  Nothing was decided in this memo, but he could return to it whenever necessary to refresh his memory as to what he had already thought through in solving this particular problem.

Jack Applebaum followed Jerome Saltz as Budget Director of FJP, promoted in 1971 after about 20 years in the Budget Department.  Applebaum has his own example of an Aide Memoire from the year of his promotion.  He was attempting to wrestle with the meaning of a report that had landed on his desk, coincidentally concerning another form of a United Fund:

A Systematic Approach to United Fund Allocations

A Systematic Approach to Planning United Fund Allocations


And below is his Aide Memoire:

"Aide Memoire" by Jack Applebaum, Budget Director

“Aide Memoire” by Jack Applebaum, Budget Director

It may be that only leadership in the Budget Department wrote such memos to place in their own files, or it may have been the Federation style in the 1960s and 1970s.  We’ll continue to look for more of these documents, which are simple windows into a different way of working, and of keeping our thoughts in order and in the right place while those thoughts are still incomplete.

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