thiscangobacktothearchives

December 5, 2014

A Special Grant made to the American Jewish Historical Society

In the 1970s and 1980s there was a department at Federation that held various names through the years – Special Grants Department, Program Development, Community Services & Planning, Policy Research & Planning, and Resources & Development. Files from the different incarnations of this department fill about 70 boxes.  From the early 1970s until the merger in 1986, the department was run first by Rachel Radlo Lieberman and then by Stephanie K. Newman.  Stephanie Newman left Federation around the time of the merger to return to graduate school, and Rachel Lieberman resumed her work in the department.  In addition to Lieberman and Newman’s  files, the 70 boxes also include the files of a number of staff members, including Michele Mindlin, whose files reflect primarily her work with Federation’s Russian Resettlement program, and Brenda Gevertz.

Soon after retiring as EVP in 1981, Sanford Solender had written a memorandum to his successor William Kahn, letting him know that one area Federation should build up was in Special Grants.  With enough staff, such a department could take the time to locate funding outside Federation’s usual funding streams and allocations for specific programs at Federation agencies as well as unaffiliated organizations with programs of interest to Federation.

Within the Special Grants materials, there are many boxes of agency proposals – agencies seeking “special grants” for agency programs from foundations, government agencies and other funding sources separate from Federation’s annual distribution of funds to agencies.

Also seeking funding from the Special Grants department were organizations with no formal affiliation with Federation, including the American Jewish Historical Society.  We have seen AJHS files in previous series in the Federation subgroup, but this file also includes pamphlets and other printed material issued by AJHS in 1980-1981.

Local Jewish Historical News", April 1980, which includes historical information, news and contact information for Jewish historical societies in the US and Canada.

Local Jewish Historical News”, April 1980, which includes historical information, news and contact information for Jewish historical societies in the US and Canada.

It may also be the first time Federation planned to fund an AJHS program. In 1980, AJHS was seeking $5000 in funding for their annual meeting in 1981, which coincided with the centennial of “Czarist Russia’s May Laws of 1881, which propelled the great stream of Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe”.  After some correspondence between Federation and AJHS it was decided to fund the meeting with a $3000 grant.  Federation’s bottom line was saved from this expenditure when it was announced at a Federation Executive Committee meeting sometime between the fall of 1980 and the spring of 1981 that John Loeb, Jr. would “underwrite the cost of the Society’s 1981 Annual Meeting”:

John L. Loeb, Jr. personally funds $3000 towards the AJHS 1980 annual meeting.

John L. Loeb, Jr. personally funds $3000 towards the AJHS 1980 Annual Meeting.

By March 1981, AJHS was able to announce the details of the Annual Meeting to its many members, donors and friends:

Mailing announcing the details of the AJHS 1981 Annual Meeting.

Mailing announcing the details of the AJHS 1981 Annual Meeting.

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1 Comment »

  1. This was a walk down memory lane – one day I’d love to see my old files (the very thought that they have been archived). The work we did in Soviet Jewish (the name then) resettlement and special grants was very gratifying. One not mentioned here (and shaped my future career) was the early work special grants did in GRID (later to be named AIDS).

    Michele Mindlin

    Like

    Comment by Michele Mindlin — May 16, 2015 @ 6:13 pm


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