Guide to the Records of Present Tense Magazine
undated, 1940-1991
RG 1374

Processed by Sarah Ponichtera in 2013, made possible by the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support "Illuminating Hidden Collections at the Center for Jewish History."

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, NY 10011

Phone: (212) 246-6080

Fax: (212) 292-1892

Email: archives@yivo.cjh.org

URL: http://www.yivoinstitute.org

©2013 YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Sarah Ponichtera in August 2013. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: American Jewish Committee
Title: Records of Present Tense Magazine
Dates:undated, 1940-1991
Abstract: Present Tense magazine, which was published by the American Jewish Committee from 1973-1990, published articles on Jewish affairs with an international bent. These papers contain the letters of the magazine’s editor, Murray Polner, photographs collected for publication, and subject files which consist primarily of article proofs and correspondence with contributing authors.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 8.75 linear feet (7 bankers' boxes).
Identification: RG 1374
Repository: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
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Historical Note

Present Tense Magazine was founded in 1973 to provide a global perspective on Jewish issues to the American Jewish community. Published by the American Jewish Committee’s department of Foreign Affairs, Present Tense represented an alternative to Commentary, the other magazine published by the AJC, which had taken a hard turn to the right under the editorship of the neoconservative pundit Norman Podhoretz. According to the magazine’s Statement of Purpose, Present Tense’s mission was to publish journalism “expressing a wide diversity of opinion on the situation of Jews in countries around the world, the special problems of Israel, the relationships among Jewish communities, and those issues and events in the United States and abroad which affect Jewish life and institutions.”

The magazine was edited by Murray Polner, and regular columnists included the novelist and memoirist Anne Roife, and the scholar Arthur Hertzberg. The magazine remained in print until 1990, when a budget crisis forced the American Jewish Committee to restructure. At this time, it was decided that both magazines (Present Tense and Commentary) had to become self-supporting. Commentary was able to find independent funding and stayed in print, while Present Tense did not.

References

Nathan Abrams, Norman Podhoretz and Commentary Magazine: The Rise and Fall of the Neocons. (New York: Continuum International Publishing, 2010), 124-126.

Roger Cohen, "Liberal Jewish Bimonthly Magazine to Close," New York Times, February 8, 1990.

Marianne Rachel Sanua, Let Us Prove Strong: The American Jewish Committee, 1945-2006 (Lebanon, NH: Brandeis University Press, 2007), 329-331.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains three primary groups of materials: the correspondence of Murray Polner, the editor of Present Tense, a file of photographs that accompanied articles published in the magazine, and subject files, which contain proofs of articles and correspondence with authors, arranged by subject. Frequently the subject will be the author of the article; however this is not always the case. In cases where an author contributed more than one article, each article is typically separated into its own folder, with the subject of each article noted in the second part of the title. The subject files contain several indexes to articles published in Present Tense which may be useful to the researcher.

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Arrangement

The series are arranged by type of material.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

Permission to use the collection must be obtained from the YIVO Archivist.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish part or parts of the collection must be obtained from the YIVO Archives. For more information, contact:
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011
email: archives@yivo.cjh.org

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Records of Present Tense Magazine; RG 1374; box number; folder number; YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

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Acquisition Information

These records were received from the American Jewish Committee in 1994.

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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

 

Series I: Editorial Correspondence, 1976-1990

1 box
Scope and Content:

Series I contains the correspondence of Editor-in-Chief Murray Polner, primarily correspondence with authors who contributed articles to Present Tense. Most of this correspondence was filed alphabetically and chronologically. Folders 1-3 contain correspondence that was not filed alphabetically, so these folders were filed only chronologically. Some correspondence from 1988 was filed alphabetically (folders 4-8), while some was not (folder 3).

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 Correspondence 1990
  

 
1 2 Correspondence 1989
  

 
1 3 Correspondence 1988
  

 
1 4 Correspondence A-D 1988
  

 
1 5 Correspondence E-J 1988
  

 
1 6 Correspondence K-P 1988
  

 
1 7 Correspondence Q-S 1988
  

 
1 8 Correspondence T-Z and misc 1988
  

 
1 9 Correspondence 1987
  

 
1 10 Correspondence A-E 1987
  

 
1 11 Correspondence F-K 1987
  

 
1 12 Correspondence L-S 1987
  

 
1 13 Correspondence T-Z and misc 1987
  

 
1 14 Correspondence 1986
  

 
1 15 Correspondence A-E 1986
  

 
1 16 Correspondence F-K 1986
  

 
1 17 Correspondence L-P 1986
  

 
1 18 Correspondence R-Z 1986
  

 
1 19 Correspondence 1985
  

 
1 20 Correspondence A-G 1985
  

 
1 21 Correspondence H-N 1985
  

 
1 22 Correspondence P-Z 1985
  

 
1 23 Book Awards Correspondence 1985
  

 
1 24 Correspondence 1984
  

 
1 25 Correspondence A-G 1984
  

 
1 26 Correspondence H-L 1984
  

 
1 27 Correspondence M-R 1984
  

 
1 28 Correspondence S-Z 1984
  

 
1 29 Correspondence 1983
  

 
1 30 Correspondence 1981-1982
  

 
1 31 Correspondence Autumn 1978
  

Includes article clippings and page proofs

 
1 32 Correspondence 1978
  

Includes article clippings and page proofs

 
1 33 Letters to the Editor 1977-1987
  

Includes article clippings and page proofs

 
1 34 Correspondence Spring 1978
  

Includes article clippings and page proofs

 
1 35 Correspondence undated, 1976
  

Includes article clippings and page proofs

 
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Series II: Photographs, undated, 1940-1989

1 box
Scope and Content:

Series II contains photographs that were taken for Present Tense Magazine. They are arranged alphabetically by the main subject of the photograph.

BoxFolderTitleDate
2 36 American Jewish Congress undated
  

 
2 37 AJSS undated
  

 
2 38 Dr. Nehama Aschkenasy undated
  

 
2 39 Aliza Auerbach - Israel scenes undated
  

 
2 40 Beth Hatefutsoth undated
  

 
2 41 Moshe Arens undated
  

 
2 42 Brandeis University undated
  

 
2 43 Bruzonsky review undated
  

 
2 44 Cambodia - Israel Aid undated
  

 
2 45 Geula Cohen, MK Israel undated
  

 
2 46 Dead Sea Scrolls Qumran undated
  

 
2 47 Robert Lazar Miller, Denver Co Stockyard 1980 (photo 1932)
  

The child in this photo is identified as Stanley Stein in the accompanying letter; however the original folder identified the child as Shirley Lee

 
2 48 Simha Dinitz 1989
  

 
2 49 Eilat, Israel undated
  

 
2 50 Ethiopian Jews 1972-1975
  

 
2 51 Falasha Jewry - Graenum Berger 1977-1979
  

 
2 52 German Tourist Office 1977-1989
  

 
2 53 Girl Weaving - Israel undated
  

 
2 54 Dr. Leonard Gold undated
  

 
2 55 Hadassah 1973-1979
  

 
2 56 Ruta E. Hauser undated
  

 
2 57 Holocaust undated
  

 
2 58 Israeli Youth undated
  

 
2 59 Israel - Animal slaughter undated
  

 
2 60 Jewish Family 1940-1949
  

Original folder marked Louis Jay Spear, Baltimore, MD

 
2 61 Joys of Judaism - Spiritual Retreat undated
  

 
2 62 Latin America 1959
  

 
2 63 Rabbi Levinger - Kiryat Arba undated
  

 
2 64 "Monastic" - Jane Silverman 1979
  

 
2 65 Moscow undated
  

 
2 66 Cynthia Ozick undated
  

 
2 67 President Navon 1979
  

 
2 68 Rumania undated
  

 
2 69 Russian Immigrants, South Dakota, 1894 undated
  

 
2 70 Sabra of Yemenite Origin undated
  

 
2 71 Samaritan Leader, Yiftah Zedaka 1961
  

 
2 72 Morris U. Schappes undated
  

 
2 73 Dr. Ismar Schorsch undated
  

 
2 74 Ariel Sharon undated
  

 
2 75 Shelter Hattiesberg Park 1979
  

 
2 76 Southwest Africa Association Members undated, 1937
  

 
2 77 Syria 1965
  

 
2 78 Thailand - Israel Aid undated
  

 
2 79 Jacob Timerman 1959
  

 
2 80 U.N. Sources 1947-1980
  

 
2 81 Vatican Judaica 1988-1989
  

 
2 82 New York City - East Side Synagogue undated
  

 
2 83 William Philips undated
  

 
2 84 Rhodes - Beatrice Levin undated
  

 
2 85 Unidentified undated, 1964
  

 
2 86 Meir Rosenne undated
  

 
2 87 Gail Rubin - Psalmist with a Camera undated
  

 
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Series III: Subject Files, undated, 1971-1991

5 boxes
Scope and Content:

Series III contains primarily proofs of article submitted to Present Tense, with accompanying correspondence. The arrangement is primarily by last name of the author, except in cases where there is no clear author, such as folders 97-102, which contain materials relating to the Book Awards. Where the subject is noted, it comes after the author's last name, such as folder 106, titled Berger - Falashas, which contains the proofs of an article about the Jewish community of Ethiopia, known as the Falashas, by Graenum Berger.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 88 Jacob Agus undated
  

 
3 89 Anderson - Egypt undated, 1978
  

 
3 90 Appel 1982-1983
  

 
3 91 Aharon Appelfeld 1977-1980
  

 
3 92 Hannah Arendt undated
  

 
3 93 Ascher - Correspondence 1986-1987
  

 
3 94 Ascher - Newspaper Clippings 1986
  

 
3 95 Anthony Astrachan 1986-1987
  

 
3 96 Aliza Auerbach undated
  

 
3 97 1980 Book Awards undated, 1981
  

 
3 98 1988 Book Awards undated, 1987
  

 
3 99 1987 Book Awards undated, 1986
  

 
3 100 1986 Book Awards undated, 1987
  

 
3 101 1985 Book Awards 1985-1986
  

 
3 102 1984 Book Awards undated, 1985
  

 
3 103 Leonard Baker undated
  

 
3 104 Isidore Barmash undated, 1978
  

 
3 105 Barsky undated
  

 
3 106 Berger - Falashas 1978
  

 
3 107 Ira Berkow undated
  

 
3 108 Carmel Berkson - Indian Jews 1977
  

 
3 109 Bermant - Chief Rabbi 1982
  

 
3 110 Wolf Blitzer 1983
  

 
3 111 Bole 1988-1989
  

 
3 112 Book Reviews 1 undated, 1978
  

 
3 113 Book Reviews 2 undated
  

 
3 114 Book Reviews 3 undated, 1977-1978
  

 
3 115 Brickner 1982
  

 
3 116 William Burke 1988
  

 
3 117 Bushinski - Tel Aviv Report 1978
  

 
3 118 Carmel - Ariel 1980
  

 
3 119 Jim Castelli 1982
  

 
3 120 CBS Survey 1988
  

 
3 121 Cohen - Timmerman undated
  

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
4 122 Cohen undated
  

 
4 123 Arthur Cohen - Last Word - Spring undated
  

 
4 124 Larry Cohler undated
  

 
4 125 Certification 1971-1984
  

 
4 126 Copyright Assignments 1974-1981
  

 
4 127 Copyright Forms 1984-1987
  

 
4 128 Copyright Certificates 1985-1990
  

 
4 129 Copyright Certificates 1973-1988
  

 
4 130 Adam Czerniakow Diary 1978
  

 
4 131 Diamant 1982-1983
  

 
4 132 David Edgar - National Front 1977-1978
  

 
4 133 Evans 1989
  

 
4 134 Feinglass 1982
  

 
4 135 Stanley Feldstein undated
  

 
4 136 Charles Fenyvesi - Baden-Baden 1977
  

 
4 137 Fiction 1989
  

 
4 138 Edith Frankel - Mount Sinai 1976-1977
  

 
4 139 J. Friedman - Yerida 1981
  

 
4 140 James Friedman - Photos 1983
  

 
4 141 Maurice Friedberg - USSR 1978
  

 
4 142 Friedman - Philadelphia 1978
  

 
4 143 R. Friedman - Damascus 1981
  

 
4 144 Saul Friedman undated
  

 
4 145 Furstenberg 1982
  

 
4 146 Estelle Gilson undated
  

 
4 147 Estelle Gilson - Poliakov 1978
  

 
4 148 Hersh Goodman - Labor 1981
  

 
4 149 Gross - Business 1978
  

 
4 150 Grossman - Chicago 1981
  

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
5 151 Grossman - Skokie 1978
  

 
5 152 Bedrich Grunzweig 1978
  

 
5 153 Gurock - Self Interest 1981
  

 
5 154 Index of Articles (A-F) 1984-1988
  

 
5 155 Index of Articles (G-J and Poetry) 1984-1988
  

 
5 156 Index of Articles (K-P) 1984-1988
  

 
5 157 Index of Articles (R-Z) 1984-1988
  

 
5 158 Index of Articles vol XII 1984-1985
  

 
5 159 Index of Articles vol XIII 1985-1986
  

 
5 160 Index of Articles vol. XI 1983-1984
  

 
5 161 Richard J. Israel - Yale undated
  

 
5 162 Jacobson - Shanghai 1981
  

 
5 163 Jacoby - Last Word undated
  

 
5 164 Jolles, Andrea 1982
  

 
5 165 Judith Resnick Memorial 1986
  

 
5 166 Kaufman - Yale undated
  

 
5 167 Kaufman - Princeton undated
  

 
5 168 Edy Kaufman 1987
  

 
5 169 Hesh Kestin 1983-1988
  

 
5 170 Ruth S. King undated
  

 
5 171 Rosann Klass 1981
  

 
5 172 Hans Knopp 1978
  

 
5 173 Komisar - Greece 1983
  

 
5 174 Korey - Holocaust 1982
  

 
5 175 Kosut - Kansas City 1981
  

 
5 176 J. Russel Kraus - West Bank 1978
  

 
5 177 Kupferberg 1982
  

 
5 178 Larry Lefkowitz - Circles 1978
  

 
5 179 Jane Levere - Journalism 1978
  

 
5 180 Levine - Pollard 1988
  

 
5 181 Levine - Berlin 1978
  

 
5 182 Levinson 1982
  

 
5 183 Amia Lieblich - Tin Soldiers 1978
  

 
5 184 Bernard Meares - Osip Mandelstam undated
  

 
5 185 Menten 1978
  

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
6 185A Menten Affair undated
  

 
6 186 Miscellaneous undated, 1977
  

 
6 187 Montague - Argentina 1976
  

 
6 188 Benny Morris 1980-1982
  

 
6 189 Alfred H. Moses - Last Word undated
  

 
6 190 J. Robert Moskin 1978
  

 
6 191 Yitzhak Navon undated
  

 
6 192 Nesvisky - Daniel Levy undated
  

 
6 193 Jay Neugenboren - Kehilla 1978
  

 
6 194 Nonfiction 1985-1991
  

 
6 195 Pash undated
  

 
6 196 Geoffrey D. Paul - Last Word 1978
  

 
6 197 Victor Perera - Alexandria 1982
  

 
6 198 Nathan Perlmutter 1981
  

 
6 199 Philadelphia 1974
  

 
6 200 Pinsky - South 1978
  

 
6 201 Poetry 1981-1982
  

 
6 202 Present Tense 1983-1984
  

 
6 203 Present Tense 1981
  

 
6 204 Present Tense Trip to Morocco and Israel 1981
  

 
6 205 Present Tense Newsletters 1978-1979
  

 
6 206 Present Tense Radio 1974
  

 
6 207 Samuel Rabinove ca 1987
  

 
6 208 Morton H. Reichek - Chaim Grade 1977-1978
  

 
6 209 Reimer and Stampler - Ethical Wills 1982-1983
  

 
6 210 Neil Reisner - San Francisco undated
  

 
6 211 Reprint Data 1975-1990
  

 
6 212 Reviews undated, 1982
  

 
6 213 Harrier Rochlin - LA Report 1978
  

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
7 214 Gary Rosenblatt - Baltimore 1978
  

 
7 215 Stephen Rosenfeld 1978-1982
  

 
7 216 Jay Rosengard - SE Asia 1976-1977
  

 
7 217 Roth 1982
  

 
7 218 Sylvia Rothchild - David Zilberman 1977-1978
  

 
7 219 Ruth Rovner - Switzerland 1978
  

 
7 220 Marcia Rudin - Women Rabbis undated
  

 
7 221 Naomi Shepherd - Israel after Sadat 1978
  

 
7 222 Shenker 1983
  

 
7 223 Silver, Pash - Chavurah 1978
  

 
7 224 Silverberg - Jewish Studies 1978
  

 
7 225 Isaac Bashevis Singer undated
  

 
7 226 Barbara Solomon 1983
  

 
7 227 Spero - In the Cathedral undated
  

 
7 228 Spero - Siena 1978
  

 
7 229 Ernest Stock - Israel Labor Party 1978
  

 
7 230 Szonyi undated
  

 
7 231 Gideon Telpaz 1978
  

 
7 232 Toll - Silence 1981
  

 
7 233 Melvin I. Urofsky - History 1978
  

 
7 234 Union of American Hebrew Congregations Series - Jews in Distant Lands undated
  

 
7 235 Urofsky - Zionist Congresses 1978
  

 
7 236 Varon 1983
  

 
7 237 Irene Wavell 1982
  

 
7 238 Elie Wiesel 1978
  

 
7 239 Yarmon - Morocco undated
  

 
7 240 Zilberman undated
  

 
7 241 Yiddish Film Festival 1978
  

 
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