Guide to the Records of the Graduate School for Jewish Social Work (New York, N.Y.),
undated, 1925-1950

*I-7

Reprocessed by Rachel A. Wise

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160

Fax: (212) 294-6161

Email: reference@ajhs.org

URL: http://www.ajhs.org

© 2014, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Abigail H. Schoolman as MS Word document, May 1999. Electronic finding aid converted to EAD 1.0 by Dianne Ritchey Oummia, January 2002. Description is in English.
April 2005. Converted to EAD 2002. Revised as GrdtSchlJewishSocialWork02.xml by Tanya Elder. Removed deprecated elements and attributes, updated repository codes, added language codes, changed doctype declaration, removed boilerplate entities, etc. April 22, 2005. Photograph of a knish seller, Lower East Side of Manhattan, added by Tanya Elder. January 2006. Entities removed from EAD finding aid.

Descriptive summary

Creator: Graduate School for Jewish Social Work (New York, N.Y.)
Title: Graduate School for Jewish Social Work (New York, N.Y.) Records
Dates: undated, 1925-1950
Abstract: This collection documents the activities of the Graduate School for Jewish Social Research. It contains many papers concerning various projects undertaken by the School, especially the Lower East Side documentation project and a project that compared letters sent to Der Tag newspaper. In addition, the collection holds papers having to do with the daily activities of the school
Languages: The collection is in English and Yiddish.
Quantity: 7.35 linear feet (4 manuscript boxes; 1 half manuscript box; 3 20 x 16 x 3 oversized flat boxes)
Identification: I-7
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
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Historical Note
Photo of a Knishman, Lower East side, 1933

Knishman, Lower East side, 1933

The Training School for Jewish Social Work (New York, NY) was founded in 1925. In 1932 the school changed its name to the Graduate School for Jewish Social Work. The school stopped accepting students in 1939, and was open only a few more years until the graduate students were able to finish their work. The GSJSW administered a master's degree in Social Work and a master's degree in Social Service. The goal of the institution was to train new social workers, give additional training to workers already in the field, and to build a library on Jewish social work and Jewish communities. The master's theses produced at this school addressed a range of issues facing Jews in America.

The GSJSW maintained committees to oversee different functions of the school. The Committee on Research was made up of members of the faculty. The Committee's role was to oversee the research projects the graduate students undertook as a requirement for their degree. The research projects were the basis for the students' master's theses. This Committee also designed rules and procedures for producing graduate level work and functioned as a board to edit the theses.

In 1932, GSJSW began a research project called the East Side Project. This project set out to document Jewish life on the Lower East Side of New York. Between 1932 and 1934, over 300 photographs were taken of the Lower East Side. The inspiration for this project came from J.B. Lightman who had been a student at the school, and later the research librarian. Lightman, a relative newcomer to New York City in 1932, was enthralled by the sights and sounds of Jews in New York. Lightman, "saw the passing of a picture of Jewish communal life, activities and endeavor,"1 and identified the historical importance of recording a community that he perceived to be changing.

References

"National Jewish Organizations." American Jewish Yearbook 40 (1939): 429-430.

Goldman, Robert S. "Acquisition Note." American Jewish Historical Quarterly 59 n.3 (1970): 371-378.

Lightman, J.B. Here, There, 'Most Everywhere: Memoirs of an International Social Worker and Educator. Montreal: J.B Lightman, 1997.

Wenger, Beth S. "Memory as Identity: The Invention of the Lower East Side." American Jewish History 85 n.1 (1997): 3-27.

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Scope and Content Note

The Graduate School for Jewish Social Work Records comprises material from the administration of the school and material relating to various research projects undertaken by individual students at the school, and by the school as a whole. Materials include by-laws, course announcements, library acquisition lists, minutes, reports, studies, scrapbooks, a student register, file lists, notes, thesis abstracts, thesis outlines, rules and procedures for thesis projects, correspondence, a project proposal, research diaries, maps, newspaper articles, pamphlets, and photographs. Please note that the collection does not include copies of students theses; these are available at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. The bulk of the collection consists of records of the Lower East Side documentation project undertaken as a school-wide project in 1932. Also of interest is a project embarked upon to compare original letters written to the Men's and Women's Department of Der Tag (a Yiddish newspaper) to letters that were actually published in the newspaper.

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Arrangement

Original order and original folder titles were retained wherever possible.

The collection is arranged in four series:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

Graduate School for Jewish Social Work (New York, NY) Records
Yeshiva University Archives, New York, NY.

Training Bureau for Jewish Social Work Records, I-8
American Jewish Historical Society, Newton Centre, MA and New York, NY.

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Provenance

The Society acquired the collection prior to 1968. For more information, please consult the Archivist.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Graduate School for Jewish Social Work (New York, N.Y.) Records; I-7; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY.

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Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

 

Series I: Administration, undated, 1925-1950

Languages in this series include English and Yiddish.
4.4 linear ft.
Arrangement:

Material is arranged alphabetically by type.

Scope and Content:

Series I includes minutes from meetings of the school's Board of Professional Advisors, undated, 1927-1929 (Box 1, Folder 1), a complete set of Course Announcements, 1925-1940 (Boxes 1-2 Folders 4-13), and two Scrapbooks, 1925-1935 (Boxes 6-7, Folders 116-122) documenting the school's activities. Of special interest to researchers are the Reports and Studies, undated, 1933-1950 (Box 2, Folders 15-19) on the GSJSW, particularly those that document the last years of the school and plans to keep the school viable.2 Also of interest to researchers is the Student Register, 1925-1939 (Box 2, Folder 21), which includes a list of GSJSW students, their previous degrees and their research topics. Many of the alumni of the GSJSW became prominent social workers and were influential in the American Jewish community.

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Board of Professional Advisors: Minutes undated, 1927-1929
1 2 Board of Professional Advisors: Report 1929
1 3 Bylaws 1931
1 4 Course Announcements 1925-1926
1 5 Course Announcements 1927-1928
1 6 Course Announcements 1929-1930
1 7 Course Announcements 1930-1931
1 8 Course Announcements 1931-1932
1 9 Course Announcements 1932-1933
1 10 Course Announcements 1933-1935
1 11 Course Announcements 1935-1937
1 12 Course Announcements 1937-1938
Box Folder Title Date
2 13 Course Announcements 1925-1940
2 14 Library Aquisistions 1933-1937
2 15-16 Reports and Studies undated,1933
2 17 Reports and Studies 1935
2 18 Reports and Studies 1938
2 19 Reports and Studies 1939-1940, 1950
Box   Title Date
Box Folder Title Date
2 20 Scrapbook: Volume I: Items taken from Scrapbook 1925-1927
Box Folder Title Date
Scrapbook: Volume II [oversized] 1928-1935
Box Folder Title Date
2 21 Student Register 1925-1939
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Series II: Committee on Research, undated, 1932-1938

The predominant language in this series is English.
Box 2, Folders 22-23 - Box 3, Folders 24-29; .25 linear ft.
Arrangement:

Material is arranged alphabetically by type.

Scope and Content:

Series II contains records of the committee responsible for overseeing student research projects, particularly those leading to master's theses. Administrative decisions in regard to the thesis projects can be seen in Rules and Procedures, 1932-1934 (Box 3, Folder 29) and Meeting Minutes, 1932-1935 (Box 3, Folder 24). Of particular interest is a list of Department Research Files, 1932-1934 (Box 2, Folder 22) that outline research projects undertaken by the students. Researchers should note that this collection contains the Abstracts, undated, 1937-1938 (Box 3, Folders 25-27) and Outlines, 1932 (Box 3 Folder 28) of thesis projects, but not bound copies of the theses.3

Box Folder Title Date
2 22 Department Research Files 1932-1934
2 23 Faculty Notes undated, 1932-1937
Box Folder Title Date
3 24 Meeting Minutes 1932-1935
3 25-27 Theses: Abstracts undated, 1937-1938
3 28 Theses: Outlines 1932
3 29 Theses: Rules and Procedures undated, 1932-1934
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Series III: Der Tag Project, undated, 1932-1933

Languages in this series include English and Yiddish.
Box 3, Folders 30-48; .25 linear ft.
Arrangement:

Material is arranged by document type.

Scope and Content:

During the 1932-1933 academic year, a project was undertaken to compare the original letters written to the Men's and Women's Department of Der Tag (a Yiddish language newspaper, also called The Day) with letters that were actually published. Series III: Der Tag Project contains an outline of this project that can be found in Letter Comparison Study, 1933 (Box 3, Folder 30). Also included are the Original Letters, undated, 1932-1933 (Box 3, Folders 31-48) that were sent to the newspaper. Most of these letters are in Yiddish, but some are in English.4

Box Folder Title Date
3 30 Letter Comparison Study 1933
3 31 Original Letters undated, 1932
3 32-38 Original Letters: January 1933
3 39-48 Original Letters: February 1933
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Series IV: East Side Project, undated, 1925-1935

Languages in this series include English and Yiddish.
Boxes 3, Folders 49-51 - Box 5; 2.45 linear ft.
Arrangement:

Research diaries are arranged alphabetically by author, research materials and photos are arranged alphabetically by type.

Scope and Content:

Also in the 1932-1933 academic year, the GSJSW undertook an ambitious project to document the Lower East Side. Series IV comprises diaries that document the inception and day to day activities of the project (Subseries A: Research Diaries); background material gathered to aid the project (Subseries B: Research Materials); and results of the project in the form of photographs of the Lower East Side (Subseries C: Photographic Study).

The bulk of Series IV: East Side Project: Subseries C: Photographic Study comprises Photographs (Boxes 4-5, and 8, Folders 60-115 and 123-126) documenting buildings, businesses, organizations and people on the Lower East Side of New York from 1932-1934. Most of the photographs were taken in 1933. The photographs have been arranged according to roll numbers, with the first experimental batch of photographs coming first. Each folder of photographs also contains captions describing most of the images on the corresponding roll. Researchers should be aware that the negatives from this collection have been housed separately. Contact prints, filed with the photographs, have been made from almost all of the negatives.5

Subseries A: Research Diaries, 1932

Box 3, Folders 49-51.
Box Folder Title Date
3 49 J.B. Lightman 1932
3 50 George Wolfe 1932
3 51 George Wolfe, Draft 1932

Subseries B: Research Materials, undated, 1931-1935

Boxes 4, Folders 52-56.
Box Folder Title Date
4 52 Maps undated
4 53 Newspaper Articles: Forward undated, 1934-1935
4 54-55 Newspaper articles: Various 1933-1935
4 56 Pamphlets undated, 1931-1932

Subseries C: Photographic Study, undated, 1931-1934

Box 4, Folders 57 - Box 5.
Box Folder Title Date
4 57 Correspondence 1931-1934
4 58 Meeting Minutes 1933
4 59 Notes undated, 1932-1934
4 60 Photographs: Early Experimental Batch circa 1932
4 61 Photographs: Roll 1 ca 1932
4 62 Photographs: Roll 2 circa 1932
4 63 Photographs: Roll 3 1933
4 64 Photographs: Roll 4 1933
4 65 Photographs: Roll 5 [See also Box 8] 1933
4 66 Photographs: Roll 6 [See also Box 8] 1933
4 67 Photographs: Roll 7 [See also Box 8] 1933
4 68 Photographs: Roll 8 1933
4 69 Photographs: Roll 9 1933
4 70 Photographs: Roll 10 1933
4 71 Photographs: Roll 11 1933
4 72 Photographs: Roll 12 1933
4 73 Photographs: Roll 13 1933
4 74 Photographs: Roll 14 1933
4 75 Photographs: Roll 15 [See also Box 8] 1933
4 76 Photographs: Roll 16 [See also Box 8] 1933
4 77 Photographs: Roll 17 1933
4 78 Photographs: Roll 18 [See also Box 8] 1933
4 79 Photographs: Roll 19 1933
4 80 Photographs: Roll 20 [See also Box 8] 1933
4 81 Photographs: Roll 21 [See also Box 8] 1933
4 82 Photographs: Roll 22 1933
4 83 Photographs: Roll 23 [See also Box 8] 1933
4 84 Photographs: Roll 24 1933
4 85 Photographs: Roll 25 1933
4 86 Photographs: Roll 26 1933
4 87 Photographs: Roll 27 [See also Box 8] 1933
4 88 Photographs: Roll 28 1933
Box Folder Title Date
5 89 Photographs: Roll 29 1933
5 90 Photographs: Roll 30 1933
5 91 Photographs: Roll 31 1933
5 92 Photographs: Roll 32 [See also Box 8) 1933
5 93 Photographs: Roll 33 1933
5 94 Photographs: Roll 34 [See also Box 8] 1933
5 95 Photographs: Roll 35 1933
5 96 Photographs: Roll 36 1933
5 97 Photographs: Roll 37 1933
5 98 Photographs: Roll 38 1934
5 99 Photographs: Roll 39 1934
5 100 Photographs: Roll 40 1934
5 101 Photographs: Roll 41 1934
5 102 Photographs: Roll 42 1934
5 103 Photographs: Roll 43 1934
5 104 Photographs: Roll 44 [See also Box 8] 1934
5 105 Photographs: Roll 45 [See also Box 8] 1934
5 106 Photographs: Roll 46 1934
5 107 Photographs: Rolls 47-48 1934
5 108 Photographs: Rolls 49-50 1934
5 109 Photographs: Rolls 51-52 1934
5 110 Photographs: Rolls 53-55 circa 1934
5 111 Photographs: Rolls 56-59 circa 1934
5 112 Photographs: Rolls 60-64 circa 1934
5 113 Photographs: Rolls 65-70 circa 1934
5 114 Photographs: Rolls 71-74 circa 1934
5 115 Photographs: Rolls 75-77 circa 1934
Box Folder Title Date
Photographs: Rolls 5-7 [oversized] 1933
Photographs: Rolls 15-16, 18, 20-21 [oversized] 1933
Photographs: Roll 23, 27 [oversized] 1933
Photographs: Rolls 32, 34, 44-45 [oversized] 1933-1934
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Separated Oversized Materials, 1925-1934

Box Folder Title Date
6 116 Scrapbook: Volume I 1925-1927
Box Folder Title Date
7 117-122 Scrapbook: Volume II 1928-1935
Box Folder Title Date
8 123 Photographs: Rolls 5-7 1933
8 124 Photographs: Rolls 15-16, 18, 20-21 1933
8 125 Photographs: Roll 23, 27 1933
8 126 Photographs: Rolls 32, 34, 44-45 1933-1934
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