Guide to the Leo Shapiro Newspaper Collection, undated, 1928-1974 (bulk 1948-1974)
 
*P-929

Processed by Abraham D. Miller

American Jewish Historical Society, New England Archives

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, Massachusetts

Phone: (617) 226-1245

Email: reference@ajhsboston.org

URL: http://www.ajhsboston.org

© 2014, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Abraham D. Miller as MS Word document, December 2011. Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek on January 18, 2012. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Shapiro, Leo
Title: Newspaper Collection of Leo Shapiro
Dates:undated, 1928-1974 (bulk 1948-1974)
Abstract: Leopold (Leo) Shapiro was born in Paris, France, in 1907 and emigrated with his parents and brother, Jacques, to Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts, when he was 8 years old. Shapiro began his career with the Boston Globe as a copy boy on the night shift. By 1928, Shapiro was reporting on education topics in Boston. Through much of his career, from the 1940s through the 1970s, Shapiro wrote about the Jewish community in Boston and abroad. Although he covered many other topics, most of the articles were about Israel, Jewish life in Boston and abroad, and the local Jewish community. Between 1946 and 1969, Shapiro wrote the column "Local Lines," which documented and publicized the activities of and programs within the Boston Jewish community. This collection contains newspaper articles written by Leo Shapiro from much of his 52-year career with the Boston Globe. The collection of articles contains works on education, politics, sports, civil right, Boston life, the arts, and the Jewish community in Boston, Israel, and abroad.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 4 record boxes (8 linear feet)
Identification: P-929
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located at AJHS, Boston, MA.
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Biographical Note1

Leopold Shapiro (1907-1994)

Leopold Shapiro was born in Paris, France, in 1907 and emigrated with his parents and brother, Jacques, to Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts, when he was 8 years old. While a student at Boston English High School, Shapiro held a variety of jobs, including selling newspapers, working in a bottling plant, delivering food for a market, and working as an usher. During his sophomore year, going door to door, looking for a job, Shapiro met Leverett D.G. Bentley at the State House office of the Boston Globe. Shapiro was then introduced, by Bentley, to the Globe's managing editor, William D. Sullivan. Shapiro began his career with the Globe as a copy boy on the night shift. By 1928, Shapiro was reporting on education topics in Boston.

Through much of his career, from the 1940s through the 1970s, Shapiro wrote about the Jewish community in Boston and abroad. Although he covered many other topics, most of the articles were about Israel, Jewish life in Boston and abroad, and the local Jewish community. Between 1946 and 1969, Shapiro wrote the column "Local Lines," which documented and publicized the activities of and programs within the Boston Jewish community. Shapiro worked with Leo J. Lyons, who founded the Jewish Advocate. After a 52 year career with the Boston Globe, Shapiro retired in 1974.

Shapiro was active with B'nai B'rith. In 1942, Shapiro headed the Brighton, Massachusetts lodge. He joined the New Century Club of Boston, in 1956, an organization that promoted education and professional careers. Through his roles with B'nai B'rith, he traveled to Israel to cover the 1959 conference for the Globe. In 1968, the Brotherhood of Temple Beth Torah honored Leo Shapiro for his "role in reporting and interpreting the role of Judaism in the community via the English language press." Shapiro was an honorary member of the Brotherhoods at Temple Kehillath Israel, Temple Kadimah-Toras Moshe, and Temple B'nai Moshe. In 1969, Shapiro was honored by B'nai B'rith for "outstanding reporting of Jewish news."

Shapiro was married to Marion D. Weinstein (1918-1996), an elementary school teacher, born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. They lived in Brookline and Newton, where they belonged to Temple Emanuel. Shapiro died at the Coolidge House Convalescent Center, Brookline, Mass., on February 23, 1994.

Footnote

1 Information used in this finding aid is from the following sources:

Long, Tom. "Leopold Shapiro, retired editor and reporter at the Globe; 87 [City Edition]" in The Boston Globe (Boston, Mass.), Feb. 24, 1994.

"Marion Shapiro, 78 Retired Belmont teacher: City Edition" in The Boston Globe (Boston, Mass.), Feb. 24, 1994.

Materials from the collection.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains newspaper articles written by Leo Shapiro from much of his 52-year career with the Boston Globe. The collection of articles contains works on education, politics, sports, civil right, Boston life, and the arts. The bulk of the collection, though, contains Shapiro's articles written while reporting on the Jewish community in Boston, Israel, and abroad. These articles focused on everything from events and programs in the community to news about major institutions, such as synagogues and Jewish philanthropic organizations, and from Israel to Jewry in the Soviet Union. Much of the coverage of Jewish life, between 1946 and 1969, was documented through "Local Lines," a column that appeared in the Sunday Globe. "Local Lines" frequently spotlighted a major event or issue in the community, while also listing other events in the Jewish Community during the week. During the same period, Shapiro reported on sermons delivered for major Jewish holidays and the Sabbath. The holiday and Shabbat (Sabbath) sermons frequently discussed the major issues of the day, such as memorializing the holocaust or interfaith relations. The leadership within the Jewish community was also a frequent topic. The series on Israel documents the reaction of American Jewry to the formation of and life in the State of Israel.

There is a small amount of other material in the collection, including a notebook of manuscript letters to the editor, a photograph of Leo Shapiro, and typescript book reviews.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged by subject into five series as follows, with subseries chronologically within each unit.

When searching for material in this collection, it may be useful to look in multiple places, since newspaper articles frequently covered multiple topics. For example, many of the "Local Lines" articles in the "Jewish Life" series contain material that could fit into several other 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

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this 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

Records of the New Century Club, I-95
Jewish Advocate on microfilm, AJHS New England Archives
Records of Kehillath Israel, I-488
Papers of Aaron Gorovitz, P-87
Records of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis and Addendum, I-56 and I-56A
Papers of the Rabb Family, P-679
Records of Beth Israel Hospital, I-455 (see also Beth Israel Deaconess Archives at BIDH, Boston, Massachusetts)
Records of Temple Israel (Boston, MA), I-458 (see also the Temple Israel Archives at Temple Israel, Boston, Massachusetts)
Temple Emanuel of Newton Archives, Newton, Massachusetts

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Newspaper Collection of Leo Shapiro; P-929; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY, and Boston, MA.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by James Cawley, Boston Globe Library, November 1992.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

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

 

Series I: Jewish Life, undated, 1943-1974

The Series is in English.
Box 1 -- Box 3, Folder 1.
Arrangement:

Arranged into six subseries.

Scope and Content:

Articles in the Jewish Life series document some of what occurred in the Jewish community between 1943 and 1974. A bulk of the articles (1946-1969) were from the "Local Lines" column, by Shapiro, that listed events and discussions in the Jewish community. Events could include lectures, schools, rabbinical appointments, synagogue mergers, and the affairs of organizations. The columns frequently began with a discussion of a major topic, such as civil rights or Soviet Jewry. For this reason, many of the series described below have articles related to them in Jewish Life. Other articles in the series discuss education, youth affairs, and elderly affairs within the Jewish community.

Subseries I: General, undated, 1945-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 1, Folders 1-11.
Scope and Content:

Articles in this subseries are about education and youth and elderly affairs within the Jewish community.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1-11 General undated, 1945-1974

Subseries II: Holidays, 1943-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 1, Folder 12 -- Box 2, Folder 3.
Scope and Content:

The major Jewish holidays, other than the Sabbath, Shabbat, covered by Leo Shapiro were Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, Passover, and Shavuot. The articles in this series describe the meanings of the holidays, but also add context, based on current events. For example, the theme of liberation in the Passover seder (ritual feast and service) is frequently discussed in context to justice in the world, whether it is related to Soviet Jewry, Civil Rights, or the Holocaust.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 12-15 Holidays 1943-1964
BoxFolderTitleDate
2 1-3 Holidays 1965-1974

Subseries III: Synagogues, 1947-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 2, Folders 4-8.
Scope and Content:

Articles in this series include documentation of events occurring at Synagogues. This also includes discussion of Synagogue affairs, mergers, dissolutions, and moves. Articles include Temple Mishkan Tefila's move to Newton, the merger of B'nai Hillel and B'nai Torah, and the attack on Agudath Israel. These events are notable, but this series is notable because of the documentation of regular actives in the synagogues, such as classes and events. Also of interest are the "Sabbath Eve Services" articles, which ran during the 1950s and 1960s. The articles give brief summaries of the sermons delivered from the pulpits that week.

BoxFolderTitleDate
2 4-8 Synagogues 1947-1974

Subseries IV: Organizations, 1943-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 2, Folders 9-11.
Scope and Content:

This series includes articles on non-synagogue organizations in the Jewish community. Organizations include B'nai B'rith, Hadassah, American Jewish Congress, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Zionist Organization of America, Hillel, the Rabbinical Court (Bet Din). The Jewish Appeal and the Combined Jewish Fund are discussed including fundraising goals and accomplishments. Topics covered include business affairs of the organizations, such as a potential split in Zionist groups, or political stands taken, such as the American Jewish Congress discussing urban development issues and the Rabbincal Court ruling on housing issues.

BoxFolderTitleDate
2 9-11 Organizations 1943-1974

Subseries V: Leadership, 1943-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 2, Folders 12-13.
Scope and Content:

Articles in this series describe leadership within the Boston Jewish community, with many of the articles on the religious leadership. Some of the articles relate to ordinations and changes in leadership at the synagogues.

BoxFolderTitleDate
2 12-13 Leadership 1943-1974

Subseries VI: Soviet Union and Russia, 1956-1973

The Subseries is in English.
Box 3, Folder 1.
Scope and Content:

Articles in this series show how American and Boston Jewry reacted to the state of Jewish people in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Frequently, this includes documentation of the protests and rallies held by American Jews in support of their foreign brethren.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 1 Soviet Union and Russia 1956-1973
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Series II: Historical Events, 1944-1974

The Series is in English.
Box 3, Folders 2-10.
Arrangement:

Arranged into three subseries.

Scope and Content:

Articles in the Historical Events series focus on the establishment of the State of Israel, the Holocaust and World War II, and Jewish refugees fleeing Europe and Syria.

Subseries I: Israel, 1944-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 3, Folders 2-7.
Scope and Content:

Leopold Shapiro witnessed the birth and development of the State of Israel. This series of articles documents the history of the nation, such as calls for the state to be established during the Second World War, major milestones and wars. For example, Israel's thirteenth birthday is commemorated with a "Bar Mitzvah" article that lists accomplishments and major events during those years. Articles include discussion and debate over Israel's politics and United States policies towards Israel. Of note are the discussions of Israel's relations with the Arab states, including war, such as the Six Day War of 1967 or the Yom Kippur War of 1973, both of which included mass fundraising drives. Also of note are visits to Boston by dignitaries, such as David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir, on fundraising campaigns. The series also includes articles on the state of life in Israel.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 2-7 Israel 1944-1974

Subseries II: Holocaust of European Jewry and World War II, 1941-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 3, Folders 8-9.
Scope and Content:

Shapiro had the position, as a reporter, to document news of the Holocaust of European Jewry, itself, and the commemorations and memorials that occurred thereafter. Articles between 1941 and 1945 illustrate what was known about the Holocaust and the plight of European Jewry, while also calling for reparations. Later articles include the stories of survivors, usually when talking at an event in the Boston metropolitan area. In many April articles, Leo Shapiro and the Boston Jewish community mark the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 8-9 Holocaust of European Jewry and World War II 1941-1974

Subseries III: Refugees, 1940-1973

The Subseries is in English.
Box 3, Folder 10.
Scope and Content:

Included in this series are articles that document refugees fleeing from their countries of birth. Most of the articles document Jewish peoples, such as those leaving Eastern Europe or Syria.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 10 Refugees 1940-1973
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Series III: General, undated, 1929-1974

The Series is in English.
Box 3, Folder 11 -- Box 4, Folder 10.
Arrangement:

Arranged into ten subseries.

Scope and Content:

This series contains miscellaneous topics pertaining to life in Boston and the United States.

Subseries I: Boston Life, undated, 1940-1973

The Subseries is in English.
Box 3, Folders 11-12.
Scope and Content:

Boston Life documents events occurring in the Boston metropolitan area. Many articles document conventions coming to Boston, frequently held at the Statler Hotel, or parades and town fairs. Shapiro also wrote travel pieces, frequently dealing with Cape Cod, such a 1964 series, "A Summer on Cape Cod." Shapiro also wrote about different professions and various Boston development plans, such as Mayor Collins urging new development to address urban issues in 1970.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 11-12 Boston Life undated, 1940-1973

Subseries II: General Interest, 1931-1969

The Subseries is in English.
Box 3, Folder 13.
Scope and Content:

These articles are broadly about American life and have an appeal to a non-Jewish readership. Examples include a story of two childhood sweethearts marrying after being reunited as adults in 1957, and Mr. Montana attending the 1964 World's Fair in New York City.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 13 General Interest 1931-1969

Subseries III: Holidays, 1952-1969

The Subseries is in English.
Box 3, Folder 14.
Scope and Content:

These articles covered Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Columbus Day, mainly focused on the Boston area. One exception covered the growing practice of Christmas in Japan.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 14 Holidays 1952-1969

Subseries IV: Arts and Entertainment, 1937-1973

The Subseries is in English.
Box 3, Folder 15.
Scope and Content:

Shapiro wrote some reviews, but chiefly discussed what was happening in Boston's arts scene. Of note are articles covering Yiddish and Israeli arts in Boston.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 15 Arts and Entertainment 1937-1973

Subseries V: Education and Youth, 1929-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folders 1-4.
Scope and Content:

Shapiro began his career as a newsman covering education issues. The topics covered in this series range from educational theory to student activities. The focus is frequently on the problems and accomplishments of Boston institutions. Higher education is also covered. Of note are the articles on juvenile delinquency, including reactions to and proposed solutions to the perceived problem of "youth gone wild." One sub-series covers the founding of Brandeis University, funding, special events, and student organizations. Of note are articles on the founding of the university and Eleanor Roosevelt visiting the campus.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 1-3 Education and Youth 1929-1974
4 4 Brandeis 1946-1973

Subseries VI: Food, 1946-1972

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folder 5.
Scope and Content:

This series covers articles on restaurants, chefs, and food products, both in Boston, and internationally.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 5 Food 1946-1972

Subseries VII: Military and Defense, 1952-1960

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folder 6.
Scope and Content:

Shapiro wrote a handful of stories on civil defense, including bomb-shelters. Other related articles were about the Women's Air Corp and a cruiser on tour.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 6 Military and Defense 1952-1960

Subseries VIII: Sports and Athletics, 1928-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folder 7.
Scope and Content:

Shapiro infrequently covered sports and athletics. Included are articles on athletics, archery, football, baseball, and boxing.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 7 Sports and Athletics 1928-1974

Subseries IX: Technology and Business, 1952-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folder 8.
Scope and Content:

This series includes articles about business practice and technological advances and innovation. Articles range from discussion of "gadgets" to space flight.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 8 Technology and Business 1952-1974

Subseries X: World News, 1938-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folders 9-10.
Scope and Content:

Articles in this series document news reported from around the globe, including developments in post-war Europe, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam. Of particular note is coverage of the Cold War, including Russo-Arab relations.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 9-10 World News 1938-1974
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Series IV: Social Issues, 1940-1974

The Series is in English.
Box 4, Folders 11-19.
Arrangement:

Arranged into seven subseries.

Scope and Content:

This series contains articles written by Shapiro on a variety of social issues and, in many cases, how these issues impact Jewish life.

Subseries I: Religion, undated, 1945-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folder 11.
Scope and Content:

This series documents religious thought, particularly related to issues of faith, the state of religion in society, and intermarriage. For example, one 1959 article decries materialism while a 1966 article documents a Rabbi's plea for unity in Judaism.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 11 Religion undated, 1945-1974

Subseries II: Labor, 1953-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folder 12.
Scope and Content:

This series covers issues related to organized labor and unions, retirement ages, labor law, and unemployment.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 12 Labor 1953-1974

Subseries III: Civil Rights, 1945-1973

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folder 13.
Scope and Content:

Leo Shapiro documented the challenges to segregation and integration. Articles document Boston's challenges in particular, especially housing issues. Of note are the Jewish reactions to integration efforts, such as B'nai B'rith's discussion of Southern segregation. Another noted article is about Freedom House, administered by Otto and Muriel Snowden.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 13 Civil Rights 1945-1973

Subseries IV: Crime, 1958-1973

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folder 14.
Scope and Content:

This subseries covers police and community relations. Also included are several crime reports.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 14 Crime 1958-1973

Subseries V: Healthcare, 1939-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folders 15-16.
Scope and Content:

Shapiro covered innovations in the medical field, such as the testing of new vaccines. Also included are articles on hospitals, practices, and the new procedures. Of note are the debates over health insurance.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 15-16 Healthcare 1939-1974

Subseries VI: Interfaith, 1943-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folder 17.
Scope and Content:

This series documents the interactions between Christian church organizations, Protestant and Catholic, and the Jewish community. Of note are events where preachers and rabbis switched pulpits to deliver sermons. Coverage also focuses on Cardinal Cushing's interactions with the Jewish community.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 17 Interfaith 1943-1974

Subseries VII: Politics, 1949-1974

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folders 18-19.
Scope and Content:

Shapiro covered politics as part of his local beat reporting. Articles included discussions of candidates, planning for the city, and ordinances. An example is discussion over whether pet shops should be licensed.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 18-19 Politics 1949-1974
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Series V: Personal, undated, 1942-1969

The Series is in English.
Box 4, Folders 20-23.
Arrangement:

Arranged into three subseries.

Scope and Content:

This series contains new clippings about Leo Shapiro, as well as a black and white photograph the journalist. Book reviews with indeterminate authorship, but about Judaism and Israel, are also in this series, as well as letters to the editor from Shapiro on a variety of topics.

Subseries I: General, undated, 1942-1969

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folders 20-21.
Scope and Content:

These clippings describe Leo Shapiro's accomplishments, awards, honors, and travels. Of note is Shapiro's involvement with B'nai B'rith and his travel to Israel to cover the B'nai B'rith conference in 1959. Also included is an undated black and white photograph of Leo Shapiro.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 20 General 1942-1969
4 21 Photograph undated

Subseries II: Book Reviews, 1951-1952

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folder 22.
Scope and Content:

The book reviews were published by the Jewish Information Bureau. The reviews are of works about Judaism and Israel. It is unclear if Leo Shapiro was the author of any of the reviews.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 22 Book Reviews 1951-1952

Subseries III: Letters to the Editor, 1949-1950

The Subseries is in English.
Box 4, Folder 23.
Scope and Content:

Found in a marble-bound book, the manuscript letters to the editor cover a variety of issues about Jewish life, Boston, and American life.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 23 Letters to the Editor 1949-1950
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