Page 83 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 28

Basic HTML Version

K
a g a n o f f
— A
m e r ic a n
J
e w is h
H
is t o r ic a l
S
o c ie t y
77
are the papers of George Rabinoff, one of the outstanding figures
in this area. There are also the full papers of the several efforts
made by the American Jewish community to provide formal
training for this profession. Very substantial are the archives of
the Graduate School for Jewish Social Work (which functioned
during the 1920’s and 1930’s) and its successor organization, the
T ra ining Bureau for Jewish Communal Service (which was active
in the post World War II period).
Many of the national Jewish agencies have deposited all or part
of their archives in the Society's library. Among these are the
People’s Relief Committee, one of the constituent agencies of the
original Joint Distribution Committee whose collection numbers
approximately 55,000 items. There are also papers of such
organizations as the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and the Hebrew
Sheltering Guardian Society of New York City. The records of
the Office of War Records established by the American Jewish
Committee during the First World War have been deposited in
the library and more recently those of World War I I compiled
by the National Jewish Welfare Board.
The Society feels that it owes an obligation to serve as the
Jewish community archival repository. Being the oldest and only
non-sectarian archival agency devoted exclusively to American
Jewish history, it has offered this service to the Jewish community
at large. Many national organizations have, within the past few
years, made the Society their official archival repository. Among
these are the American Jewish Congress, the Reconstructionist
Foundation, and the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare
Funds. The Society would prefer that unrestricted use be made
of such records, bu t understanding that in some instances certain
limits must be imposed, it accepts such requests from depositing
agencies.
Besides providing space and professional care, preservation and
cataloging of individual and institutional collections, the Society
also seeks material it believes will be historically significant in the
future. Thus, during the Six Day War in 1967, the Society
accumulated over twenty cartons of material which reflect upon
the American response, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to the
Middle East crisis. Similarly, the Society has gathered the mate-
rials produced in the “campus protests,” and now possesses what
is without doubt the most extensive collection revealing the
activities of student and other university groups. These collections
will certainly be a major source for future historians working in
the field of American Jewish history.
The library has been active, too, in securing material reflecting
on American Jewish cultural accomplishments. Among these
should be noted the acquisition of the Molly Picon collection, as