UJA-Federation of New York Digital Collections
Basil Rathbone, Gloria Swanson, Imogene Coca, and Tallulah Bankhead at Long Island - Westchester Women's Federation Day
Over the course of the four year project, thousands of pages and unique objects were digitized and made available online, everything from oral histories interviews to photographs to campaign radio spots to scrapbooks. Each digitized item has been assigned subject headings and described to include date, when known, the name of the affiliated agency or event, as well as recognizable staff, public figures, and officers. Many of the digitized items were arranged into collections that can be further explored by using the search bar in the top right corner, “Search within these results.”
Public Relations Photographs
Photographs were selected from the Public Relations Departments of Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York, UJA-Federation Joint Campaign, and UJA-Federation of New York. The photographs include visual information related to historical events, affiliated agencies and institutions, executives and officers, and campaigns. Many of the photographs were used within Public Relations publications and mailings.
Through a special arrangement with UJA-Federation of New York, a unique selection of photographs from the UJA-Federation Marketing and Communications Department, physically located within their building, was transported to and digitized at the Center for Jewish History. Digital copies of photographs are available for research, but the physical photograph is not part of UJA-Federation of New York collection.
UJA-Federation of New York's Oral History Project was started in 1981 by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York and continued through the merger between Federation and the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York until 2004. The project eventually grew to include over 200 oral histories, where volunteer leadership and professional staff were recruited and interviewed, some repeatedly, until their stories were captured more completely. Interviews were generally conducted after active involvement had ended, when perspective on their contributions would have been possible. The interviews of the Oral History Project have been digitized and are available online.
When possible both the interview recording and transcript have been made available. The interview participants range from Nathan Ancell to Gary Zucker and feature perspectives from many walks of life, anyone from business executives to civic leaders to social agency executives to politicians to television producers. The digitized oral histories not only provide a unique, multifaceted history of the UJA-Federation, but also many interesting details on the 20th Century history of New York City and American Jewry.
A selection of printed material from the UJA-Federation of New York collection was digitized. The material was created or distributed by the Public Relations Departments of United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York, and UJA-Federation Joint Campaign for the purposes of outreach, education, and fundraising. Often, the digitized items demonstrate the organization’s ability to assess and anticipate the needs of the Jewish community within New York and Israel. To accomplish this, they used a range of studies and evaluations of the New York metropolitan area population, agencies and the patrons served; annual reports; and financial analysis. Some highlights of the printed material include a scrapbook created by Isidore Sobeloff recounting the work of the Public Affairs Department in 1929, a series of recommendations for building construction and service development in post-World War II New York City from the Building Fund Committee, and a compilation of primary documents regarding the merger between Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York and United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York.
Digitized audio recordings from the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York collection include material selected from United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York, UJA-Federation Joint Campaign, and Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. Recordings were selected first on the basis of scarcity, such as recording without an extant transcript or correlating paper in the archives, and then on the basis of subject matter and its connection to the philanthropic organization. Original formats of the digitized material include reel-to-reel tapes, vinyl records, and audiocassettes.
A selection of digitized maps created by Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York to illustrate the range as well as the geographical location and distribution of Federation-affiliated agencies in the greater metropolitan New York area. The maps offer a stylized view of the city and the services provided by the affiliated agencies from the 1950s to 1970s. The Federation City Interactive Map takes its inspiration from these maps and allows researchers to view the locations and information about UJA-Federation affiliated agencies throughout the 20th Century.
The minutes and related material of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities, United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York, and the UJA-Federation of New York represent the largest collection of material documenting the events, agencies, campaigns, resolutions, and deliberations of the philanthropic organization and its predecessors, digitized and available online.
The digitized UJA-Federation of New York minutes and related material can be divided into three parts:
- Board of Trustees, Minutes, range from the establishment of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York in 1916 through its merger with the Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities in 1944 to become the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies until its merger with United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York in 1986;
- Board of Directors presided over both the Domestic and Overseas Affairs of UJA-Federation. The Minutes begin with the merger between Federation and United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York in 1986 and continue through some organizational restructuring in 1992;
- The Executive Committee consisted of a subsection of the Federation Board of Trustees members: made up of officers, including the current President, President elect, and all ex-Presidents, as well as agency representatives and trustees at large. Given its smaller size, the Committee met to discuss, evaluate, and endorse policy and resolutions in lieu of full Board meeting. Executive Committee, Minutes, coincide with the establishment of the UJA-Federation Joint Campaign in 1973 through the merger between Federation and United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York in 1986.
The digitized minutes and related material have been scanned using optical character recognition and can be searched in the viewer using the keyboard shortcut Control + F. For a search across all minutes and related material, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate with an AJHS archivist to initiate research that utilizes an offline Adobe Catalog Index.
United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York
Small but significant collection of governance documents from the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York. The digitized material includes minutes and proceedings from the governing bodies and boards of the United Jewish Appeal, from 1966-1986, prior to their 1986 merger with the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York and the UJA-Federation Joint Campaign.
In 1999, The National United Jewish Appeal merged with the Council of Jewish Federations to become the Jewish Federations of North America. Currently, the Jewish Federations of North America does not have a corporate archive available for researchers to contact regarding the National United Jewish Appeal and its connection to the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York. The resulting paucity of archival material available to researchers relating to United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York and National United Jewish Appeal, as a consequence, means that these digitized governance files represent the largest collection on the organization open and accessible for research.
Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities
The Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities (BFJC) was formed in 1909 and in 1944 merged into the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York City to form the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities supported local Jewish social service agencies with funding, administrative and other professional aid. Agencies in the Brooklyn Federation included Beth Moses Hospital, Brooklyn Free Loan Association, Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum, First Hebrew Day Nursery, Hebrew Educational Society, Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, and numerous neighborhood YM-YWHAs.
The digitized materials contain Brooklyn Federation minutes, 1909-1944, annual reports, 1910-1920, and a 1938 Study on the Jewish Community Centers affiliated with Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities.
Six films have been digitized that were created by UJA, the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies or the UJA-Federation Joint Campaign, prior to the 1986 merger with United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York. Included are two celebrity-narrated film or television broadcasts: "A Journey into Life" (1960), narrated by Sid Caesar, describing a life-saving operation performed in a Federation-supported hospital; and in "At Any Given Moment" (1972), Alan King narrates a television broadcast of the many services and programs supported throughout the metropolitan New York area by Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. Three short films that have been digitized include information on the YM-YWHA of Williamsburg and Long Island Jewish Hospital, highlights from the 1973 Dial-a-thon campaign, and a film missing its sound component used for a UJA-Federation Joint Campaign news release. The UJA film documents a 1949 mission to Israel by leaders from UJA of Greater New York and gives the viewer a glimpse of Israel a year after independence.