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.

October 23, 2014

Cultural Arts at Federation

The files of the Cultural Arts Department in the Community Services Division (8 Bankers boxes) at Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York (FJP) were recently processed. From 1979 to 1986, the date range of files in the collection, the Cultural Arts Coordinator (CAC) position at Federation was held by three people: Terry E. Sutton (1979-1981), Jeanne B. Siegel (1981-1984), and Rabbi Daniel Landsman (1984-1986). The CAC position was established under the Community Centers and Y’s umbrella and it is unclear whether the position continued after the merger of Federation with UJA in 1986. No additional files have been found.

According to the documentation, prior to 1979 FJP and its agencies had limited involvement or interest in Jewish arts and culture programming. It was not until the 1970s that Federation began to encourage agency programming that emphasized a Jewish component. For example, in the field of Jewish Education, outreach to unaffiliated Jews and informal Jewish education was a low priority goal. In 1979 FJP began to expand its role into the area of Jewish arts and culture when they obtained a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts for $5,000. It was this grant that served as the leverage for obtaining an additional $22,500 from three outside foundations. In 1980, the Cultural Arts Committee of Federation created an incentive grant program to see if seed grants could influence new initiatives in agency programming in the Cultural Arts.

From 1980 to 1985, the CAC compiled the “Guide to the Arts and Culture: The New York Jewish Experience”, a listing of Jewish art events in New York. It was published in The Jewish Week, and cosponsored by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture (NFJC) and the Jewish Art Subsidy Fund (JASF). It started out as a quarterly four page supplement and became a weekly full page feature. Even if one could not attend the concerts, plays, lectures, or special events, it made one feel that there was something exciting going on. In 1983, the first of three Jewish Arts Festivals of Long Island was held, and the William Petschek Music Fund was established, both demonstrating Federation’s new commitment to the Jewish arts.

The Cultural Arts Coordinator was a leader and specialist in the cultural and arts worlds. The CAC acted on behalf of Federation to carry out a variety of functions in providing assistance to agencies and coordinating activities throughout the metropolitan area. The Coordinator provided technical assistance to arts workers at Federation’s community centers and other agencies, through individual consultation, workshops and seminars. Topics included the use of media, grantsmanship and public relations. In addition to coordinating activities and programs among the community centers, the CAC created a clearinghouse for the performing artists who joined Federation’s affiliate artists program, to encourage the development of programs by individual centers throughout the New York City area. In 1984, the clearinghouse turned into a directory of Jewish Artists, a published resource guide for agencies’ use. Finally, the Coordinator participated in fundraising to help agencies submit proposals to government sources.

The Cultural Arts files are interesting for their coverage of different facets of arts and culture and for giving a flavor of the Jewish arts scene in the 1970s and early 1980s. There are many files on the directory, which was called, “In The Jewish Tradition: Directory of Performing Artists.” Included are the files and photographs of artists who were included in the Directory as well as files of artists to be published in its Supplement. The artists were exclusively performing artists, including actors/actresses, singers, mimes, storytellers and poets. Below are several images from the Artists’ directory files.

Aida Weiss

Aida Weiss, international songstress

Donald Heller, The Hurdy-Gurdy Man (puppet theater)

Donald Heller, The Hurdy-Gurdy Man (puppet theater)

Joe Elias (folksinger)

Joe Elias, folksinger

The Kol Golan Duo, folksinging duo

The Kol Golan Duo, folksinging duo

The Western Wind, Vocal Ensemble

The Western Wind, Vocal Ensemble

February 6, 2014

Before and After

ScriptsBefore       ScriptsAfter

In the course of processing the FJP Public Relations files, I encountered a few boxes as well as some stray file folders here and there that were labeled “scripts.” The contents of these exceptionally dusty boxes were somewhat of a mess. One box contained several rough bundles of stained, yellowing documents, like the one seen above on the left, tied up with thick twine. Some bundles were wrapped up in brittle brown butcher paper dating back to the 1940s and 1950s, when these scripts were written. Another box contained some loose and disheveled documents in bad condition and in no particular order.  This happens often enough with archival materials. Archivists do not always know under what chaotic conditions the boxes we encounter were originally packed. We keep our eyes open for any and all clues that could help a researcher put the materials to use in the future.

Closer inspection of these records revealed scripts for radio and television programs, film projects, spoken presentations and slides shows. Much of the processing work here involved selecting the best copy of any given script and discarding the numerous duplicates. The scripts were then housed in fresh new acid-free folders and packed snugly into sparkling white acid-free cartons. Processing reduced the total volume of material by about half. The files are arranged first chronologically, then by program title, if it was supplied.

December 16, 2013

Budget Files complete!

Filed under: the process of archival processing — Tags: , , , , , — thiscangobacktothearchives @ 1:25 pm

The processing of the budget files is now complete!  The files of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are the largest series in the entire collection. The budget files themselves are over 500 linear feet after being processed (that’s over 5 football fields!).  The budget files consist of a variety of budgetary files such as annual agency files, Budget Department subject files, financial reports, agency financial reports, audited agency reports, Distribution Committee reports, functional committee reports, Greater New York Fund files, and Financial Experience of Affiliated Societies files.

Of significance to researchers is the completion of the annual agency files.  This means that agency files from 1917-2000 are now available to researchers, spanning 84 years and 9 decades.  The files cover the entire Federation of Jewish Philanthropies (FJP) lifespan, plus 13 years of UJA-Federation (UJF) files after the merger, from 1986 to 2000. This sub-subseries is the largest of any in the collection. The files comprise 293.5 linear feet (294 bankers boxes and over 8,000 folders).  The processing of the agency budget files is the culmination of more than a year’s work of arduous processing by a single archivist. The FJP Annual Agency Budget Files finding aid is now available online ( and the files are available for research.

This sub-subseries will be indispensable to researchers seeking information about a particular agency that Federation funded in a particular year or across many years.  In addition to the expected budgetary details, the files give a snapshot of the scope of Federation’s work in any given year or decade.  Without even looking at the files themselves, the folder lists are evocative of the time they represent just in the names of the agencies (Brightside Day Nursery – Auxiliary Guild, 1917; Recreation Rooms and Settlement, 1918; Hebrew Orphan Asylum – Ladies’ Sewing Society, 1919).  Because Federation provided funding where the need was greatest, it is possible to see the evolution of social services in the boroughs of New York City as more funding was provided by the government and as the City as a whole became wealthier.  Initially saving a poor population from starvation with funds for Passover food, and by supporting hospitals, care of the elderly and of orphans, Federation grew to support a more middle-class Jewish community that had spread out to Long Island and Westchester with summer camps, community centers and Jewish education, while continuing to support formerly Jewish hospitals in neighborhoods that remained poor.

We will continue to post more about our progress on the project as more series and subseries are completed.

June 21, 2013

The Reality of Jewish Poverty in New York

One of the major issues that UJA-Federation is faced with to this day is Jewish poverty.  Jewish poverty has been a concern to Federation of Jewish Philanthropies (FJP) and UJA-Federation (UJF) throughout its long history.  One agency in particular that FJP funded and UJA-Federation continues to fund that deals primarily with the issue of Jewish poverty is the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty (later the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty).  The files of this agency can be found in the annual agency budget files of FJP as well as UJF, starting in the 1978-1979 fiscal year as a subvention and later becoming a part of the Community Relations/Development files in the 1980s.  The files continue through the 1990s.  Files pertaining to Jewish poverty can also be found in the Budget Department Subject Files, in the Sanford Solender-William Kahn Subject Files, and in the Stephen Solender Subject Files.

In 1972, it was estimated that the number of impoverished Jews stood at approximately 300,000 people, most likely as a result of the 1971 Jewish population survey.  This statistic helped prompt the establishment of the Metropolitan Council in 1972 and its mission was “to combat poverty in Jewish neighborhoods through community-based offices on a city-wide basis.”  The agency’s mission was carried out in a two-fold manner.  First, social services agencies provided information and referral and crisis oriented services and second through community development programs which served to combat crime, improve housing and generate community policy in targeted areas.

In the UJF subgroup, during the 1990-1991 fiscal year, the Metropolitan Council provided services for the elderly, homeless and Jewish poor of New York in conjunction with 21 UJF-funded locally based Jewish Community Councils.  The Jewish Community Councils assisted the poor in their communities in obtaining essential services from government and private agencies such as Medicare, Medicaid, Public Assistance, SSI, Food Stamps, housing, employment, legal services, transportation and escort services, clothing and furniture.  The Met Council administered these programs in conjunction with the New York City Departments for the Aging, Human Resources Administration and the Community Development Agency, as well as UJA-Federation.

The Met Council also provided various neighborhood preservation services.  Crime prevention, housing issues and community policy were addressed in coalition groups with local synagogues, government offices and civic groups.  Funding for neighborhood preservation efforts came from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development of New York City and the State Department of Housing and Community Renewal.

Currently, Met Council works in conjunction with 25 locally based JCCs. The release of UJA-Federation of New York’s 2011 population study published in consultation with Met Council, “The Jewish Community Study”, is published on the Met Council website (accessible here).  On their website, it is stated that currently “the Met Council serves over 100,000 clients on site and throughout our network of Jewish Community Councils in each of the City’s five boroughs. From affordable housing, capacity building initiatives, career services, crisis intervention, and family violence services, to health insurance enrollment assistance, home care programs, home services, immigrant services, and kosher food distribution, Met Council continues to be the voice of New York’s poor and working poor.”

In the UJA-Federation of New York’s 2011 Executive Summary of this survey (, it was mentioned that today “nearly 1 in 5 Jewish households is poor today, with incomes under 150% of the federal poverty guideline, and the proportion of poor Jewish households is higher than it was 10 years ago.  The relative increase has been especially dramatic in the suburbs, where 10 years ago there was very little Jewish poverty.  In the eight-county area, 130,000 Jewish households are poor.  In terms of individuals, 361,000 people (both Jews and non-Jews) live in poor Jewish households.  About 19% of all Jewish households are poor, as are 20% of all people in Jewish households — a considerable increase since 2002, when 15% of people in Jewish households in the New York area lived in poverty.  Jewish poverty has increased considerably in the suburbs, but it is still greatest in New York City, where 24% of Jewish households and 27% of all people in Jewish households are poor (compared with 20% of all people in New York City Jewish households living in poverty in 2002).  An additional 1 in 10 Jewish households is “near poor” — households with incomes between 150% and 250% of the federal poverty guideline.  Beyond the people living in poor Jewish households, an additional 204,000 people can be classified as near poor.  Thus, 565,000 people living in Jewish households in New York are affected by poverty.”

In an email newsletter (“The Reality of Jewish Poverty in New York”) dispensed by John Ruskay, CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, nearly two weeks ago and accessible here, he mentioned that Jewish poverty is a painful reality in the New York community.  He cited the above statistics and talked about the magnitude of the numbers and why it is so difficult to comprehend.   In order to highlight the magnitude of poverty, Ruskay provided several examples such as the Masbia restaurant-style soup kitchens in Brooklyn and Queens run by the Met Council on Jewish Poverty and Project ORE operated by the Educational Alliance in Lower Manhattan.  He went on to mention how hundreds of people wait for hours on line for a package of groceries provided by the Met Council.  Finally, he stated that we must be a caring community and that no agency or philanthropy will eradicate Jewish poverty, but only through our eyes and hearts that we can make things better.

May 24, 2013

Budget Files Progress

Filed under: the process of archival processing — Tags: , , — thiscangobacktothearchives @ 9:17 am

As we are inching our way through the Budget Department files, we are pleased to announce the completion of two major subsubseries. The first, FJP (Federation of Jewish Philanthropies) Annual Agency Budget Files (our internal category M-1), is composed of 188 bankers boxes (nearly 2 football fields in length if laid end to end) and encompasses all the agencies that Federation funded from 1917 to 1986. The second subsubseries, FJP Reports of the Budget Department to the Distribution Committee, spans the years 1938 to 1982 and is comprised of 38 bankers boxes. We are also processing subject files of the Budget Department, which will become its own subsubseries; currently this subsubseries is about 35 bankers boxes in size. We also will have subsubseries for budget files pertaining to the Distribution Committee, the Functional Committee, and the Greater New York Fund, as well as 4 bankers boxes of FJP financial reports that summarize without the detail of the subsubseries above the financial information approved each year by the Board of Trustees.

The UJF M-1 subsubseries, which are the annual agency budget files after the merger of UJA and Federation (FJP) in 1986, is currently being processed. The files currently being processed from our most recent shipment are from Budget Director Steven Rosenbloom, spanning the years 1986 to 1994, and is composed of 56 bankers boxes prior to processing. The UJF files are being arranged according to the following schema:

I. Care of Aged and Infirm
II. Medical Care
III. FCVR /Human Services
IV. Jewish Education and Culture
V. Community Center Activities
VI. Community Relations/Development
VII. Camps
VIII. Subventions
Special Grants and Other Allocations
Designated Organizations

In the 1983-1984 fiscal year, Family, Children’s, Vocational and Rehabilitation (FCVR) Services became known as Human Services. In the 1984-1985 fiscal year, the Community Relations functional group split into Community Relations and Community Development. The Jewish Community Council (JCC) agencies became part of Community Development. In the 1985-1986 fiscal year, these two groups became part of the collective heading of Community Development.

Each year of the Rosenbloom files contains office copies which may contain duplicates of previously processed M-1 files from a different staff member’s office, as well as additional material not previously found and these folders are marked with “Supplement”. In some cases, these office files fill in missing gaps of agencies that were not previously encountered in the first shipment of UJF boxes. It appears that FJP as well as UJF maintained a system of these office files in colored folders where each color represented a functional group; for example blue folders were used for Community Centers, yellow folders indicated Designated Organizations, etc. One of the constraints of processing a large collection using our minimal processing workflow is that once boxes are completed they are sent off-site for storage, and it will not be possible to check folder by folder for duplicates. So as not to lose unique documents, we risk maintaining some duplicates.

The image depicted below is a summary of grants for the Federation Joint Services of the Lower East Side. This type of chart appears in every folder of every agency that Federation funded from the late 1970s through 1986.

Federation Joint Services of the Lower East Side, 1988-1989 Budget

Federation Joint Services of the Lower East Side, 1988-1989 Budget

April 3, 2013

Processing of FJP “M-2” Community Centers files

Filed under: the process of archival processing — Tags: , , — thiscangobacktothearchives @ 9:20 am

We are currently processing the FJP “M-2” category Budget files.  These files contain reports from the Budget Department to the Distribution Committee and are snapshots of how a particular agency was funded in any given fiscal year.  A complete set of one agency’s files will typically start at 1940 (1940-41 fiscal year) and end at 1982 (1981-1982 fiscal year), a complete run without gaps in years.

The reports in this subseries are being arranged by functional group, then alphabetically by agency, and then chronologically for each agency.  A report typically consists of a Budget Memorandum from the Budget Department to the Distribution Committee as well as completed budgetary forms and supporting schedules.  The report is often accompanied with minutes of the agency budget meetings from that particular year, inter-office memoranda, correspondence and other budgetary material.

The Community Center Activities functional group consisting of approximately 13 linear feet of material (representing about 33% of the FJP M-2 files) were unpacked and organized in alphabetical order.  Then each pile was organized in chronological order.  The files were then rehoused into acid-free Hollinger boxes which are currently being processed.  Pictured below are photos of our reorganization of these files prior to rehousing:








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.

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.

October 11, 2012

Effect of World War II on Federation and its agencies

The budget files of FJP’s social service agencies from the late 1940s are being processed. From the contents of the budget files up to this point, it is evident that World War II had an impact on Federation as well as the agencies that it funded. The war had an impact in all areas of funding, especially the child care agencies and medical care agencies.  Agencies were more cautious in their spending during those hard times.  In general following the war, budgetary requirements from agencies increased considerably and agencies began to ask for more funds from Federation. Furthermore the war had an effect on the United Jewish Appeal that had just been formed in 1938. Below are several documents culled from the Budget Files that demonstrate the impact of World War II.

In the minutes of the 1943-44 budget hearing of the Jewish Board of Guardians (JBG) depicted below, it was stated that the impact of the war created additional difficulties for the society and that there was a spike in juvenile delinquency. In addition, JBG promised in future memoranda to indicate projects that should be ceased following the war.

Jewish Board of Guardians Minutes,  1943-44

page 2 of Minutes

The following 1948 letter from Ira Younker to I. Edwin Goldwasser (FJP Executive Director, 1917-1920, Chairman of Distribution Committee, and Vice President in 1948) mentions that should there be an economic downturn that Federation would be in a position to supply money for economic relief as well as sustenance.

Correspondence from Ira Younker to I. Edwin Goldwasser, April 13, 1948

Correspondence from Ira Younker to I. Edwin Goldwasser, April 13, 1948

Finally, this memorandum from Jerome Saltz (FJP Budget Director, 1941-1971) to the Distribution Committee indicates the budget as well as budgetary recommendations for Community Centers and Fresh Air Work agencies separate from the Special Allowances for Wartime costs.

Memorandum from Jerome Saltz to the Distribution Committee, May 21, 1948

Memorandum from Jerome Saltz to the Distribution Committee, May 21, 1948

page 2

page 2 of Memorandum

Older Posts »

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: