American Jewish Historical Society

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Newsletter "Heritage"

AJHS Contributes Materials to UJC On-Line "FedWeb" Library

The United Jewish Communities, America's largest Jewish philanthropic organization and central address for the support for Jewish culture in America and Israel, has invited the American Jewish Historical Society to create an ongoing partnership. According to the arrangement, AJHS supplies UJC (the successor organization to the Council of Jewish Federations and the United Jewish Appeal) with historical information and images for use in UJC's unique internet initiative. Titled "FedWeb," the program provides a "skeleton" for websites sponsored by dozens of Jewish federations around the United States. Through its content sharing capacity, UJC's FedWeb offers these local federation websites materials and images drawn from UJC's extensive library of news stories, feature articles and images. Currently, more than 40 federations are engaged in the program.

The …rst element AJHS supplied to FedWeb is the Society's highly popular "Chapters in American Jewish History," which can be found both on www.ujc.org, and many of the other FedWeb sites, as well as on AJHS's own site, www.ajhs.org. Recently, AJHS provided UJC with images from the AJHS collection of American Jewish postcards. UJC animated these cards and made them available to send as e-cards, that is, messages that the visitor to the UJC site can forward to friends or relatives over the Internet. Please visit the UJC site to view these cards and send them to others.

After viewing the cards on-line, if you would like to order a box of 18 note cards and envelopes for sending by conventional mail, please contact AJHS/Waltham at 781-891-8110, e-mail us at info@ajhs.org to place an order.

Richard Cohen and Jewish Public Relations: A Look Behind the Scenes

Richard Cohen, a remarkable public relations advocate for the Jewish community, passed away in 1994. His …rm, Richard Cohen Associates, founded in a 1979 partnership with his wife Aphrodite Clamar-Cohen, spoke publicly at one time or another for many of the most important national Jewish organizations in the United States: the American Jewish Congress, World Jewish Congress, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the American Zionist Movement, among many others. Taken together, the …rm's press releases and position papers, usually issued in the name of the organizations that retained their services, document the stances that these major Jewish agencies took on important public issues such as America-Israel relations, the Arab boycott, terrorism, human and civil rights, Soviet Jewry and other issues central to American Jewish life.

The challenge to AJHS staff was how to best arrange and index the approximately 16,000 documents in the collection. Society intern Jason Schechter and associate archivist Adina Anflick sorted through the material, copied the news clippings onto acid-free paper, removed staples and re-housed the papers into acid-free boxes and folders. They then created a reference guide that will help researchers easily …nd what they are looking for. The guide will be available on the AJHS website, searchable by keyword. When the staff explored the records, they were struck by the diversity of clients and (often controversial) issues that the …rm managed. Clients included the International conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy, the …lm Schindler's List and the Committee for Economic Growth of Israel, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and public relations work for Edward Kennedy's presidential primary campaign in 1980, Gary Hart's primary campaign in 1984 and Walter Mondale's 1984 presidential campaign. AJHS is grateful to Aphrodite Clamar-Cohen for choosing AJHS to hold and preserve these records. As she wrote to us, "Thanks for taking care of our (and our clients) history – I cannot tell you how pleased I am that our papers have found such a good home."

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This section was last updated on April 24, 2014
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