Samuel J. “Buddy” Silberman now has two sets of recordings related to his tenure as Federation President and Campaign chairman available at access.cjh.org. In 1982, Mr. Silberman contributed an oral history interview for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York Oral History Project. But, earlier in 1957, Mr. Silberman participated in a campaign workshop conducted by the Federation recorded on a set of wire spools.
The recording being available online marks a 56th anniversary of sorts. The wire spools for the recording are labelled September 17, 1957, 7:00-7:50 PM and 8:00-8:35 PM. The session is billed as the first Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York Campaign Workshop and features the following speakers: Arthur C. Fatt, advertising executive and member of the Committee on Fund-Raising; Gustave L. Levy, Federation President; Samuel “Buddy” Silberman, Campaign Chair; Nathan W. Math, member of Committee on Fund-Raising; and Lawrence Marx, Jr., Chair of the Committee on Fund-Raising. The workshop focuses on the 1957 Campaign, “116 gifts in one to get the big job done,” telling the story of the Federation and the increased needs of Federation-affiliated agencies, media coverage of the 1957 campaign, tips on solicitation of donors and preparing for campaign events, suggestions relating to card-calling, and a brief feedback session with the lay leadership in attendance. The reference to 116 pertains to the number of Federation-affiliated institutions and agencies in 1957.
The digitized recording provides insight into the coordination of a particular campaign, but also some understanding into the growth and financial needs of Federation agencies, concerns associated with fundraising in New York City in lean times, and what public speaking entailed at the time. However, please be advised that Spool 1, from 0:35-1:30, contains a racial epithet and possibly additional inappropriate language in Arthur C. Fatt’s opening to the workshop.