Guide to the Papers of Harry Levine (1895-1977), undated, 1944-1977 (bulk 1962-1970)
 
*P-592

Processed by Margaret Whiteside

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 Margaret Whiteside as MS Word document, June 25, 2008. Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek on October 23, 2008. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Harry Levine, papers
Title: Harry Levine Papers
Dates:undated, 1944-1977 (bulk 1962-1970)
Abstract: Harry Levine was the Massachusetts President and Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Plastic and Chemical Company. He was highly involved in the establishment of the State of Israel, primarily related to his facilitating the construction and import of Uzi submachine guns into then British-Mandated Palestine. The majority of this collection includes transcribed interviews with Levine, photographs and correspondence. Biographical information, certificates, speeches and news articles are also included.
Languages: The collection is in English and Hebrew.
Quantity: .5 linear feet (1 manuscript box)
Identification: P-592
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located at AJHS, Boston, MA.
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Biographical Note

Harry Levine was born in New York, New York on August 1, 1895. He was educated in New York public schools and at the College of the City of New York. After serving in the U.S. Navy mine force from 1917 to 1919, he worked at the Commonwealth Plastic Company and the New England Plastic Company in Leominster, MA, and later served as President and Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Plastic and Chemical Company.

In 1919, Levine married Hannah (maiden name unknown, died 1941). They had three children: Irwin (killed in WWII), Morton, and Barbara. In 1942, Levine married Leona Edelstein.

Levine was introduced to Zionism by Elihu D. Stone and influenced by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. He was largely responsible for overseeing the construction and import of Uzi submachine guns into British-Mandated Palestine for the purpose of establishing the State of Israel. Levine was a friend of Israeli President Dr. Chaim Weizmann and a charter member of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, as well as the major contributor (with Leona Levine) of the Harry and Leona Levine Institute of Applied Science of the Weizmann Institute. Harry Levine died on May 1, 1977.

Chronology

1895HL born in New York City
1917Serves in U.S. Naval Mine Force in the North Sea
1919Marries Hannah (last name unknown)
1923Moves to Leominster, MA to work in the plastics industry
1935Becomes a Zionist
1937Co-founder of Camp Young Judea, Zionist Youth Camp
1941Wife Hannah dies
1942Marries Leona Edelstein
1944Charter Member and Treasurer for the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
1945Meets Haim Slavin, agent of David Ben-Gurion
1946Serves as President of New England Plastics and Commonwealth Plastic
1946Begins mobilizing arms for Jews of Mandated Palestine before establishment of the State of Israel
1949Founds the Serafon Plastics Factory in Rehovot, Israel
1952Serves as President and Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Plastic and Chemical Company
1961Donor for the Harry and Leona Levine Institute of Applied Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science
1977HL dies
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Scope and Content Note

This collection primarily deals with HL's contributions to the Weizmann Institute of Science as a donor and board member, and his role in establishing the State of Israel. Two transcripted interviews with HL detail his meeting with Haim Slavin, the agent for David Ben-Gurion, and subsequent establishment of a munitions factory in then British-Mandated Palestine and the use of the weapons in the Israeli military force. The collection also deals with the establishment of the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Harry and Leona Levine Institute of Applied Science at the Institute. Correspondence includes letters from Golda Meir, David Ben-Gurion, Chaim Weizmann, Clarence Berger and Meyer Weisgal. The photographs include pictures of Dewey D. Stone, David Ben-Gurion, Hubert Humphrey, Golda Meir, Chaim Weizmann, Abba Eban, and Albert Sabin.

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Arrangement

The collection has been arranged into eight series as follows:

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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 Executive Director 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

Dewey D. Stone Papers (P-529)
Elihu David Stone Papers (P-555)

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Harry Levine Papers; P-592; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY, and Boston, MA.

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Acquisition Information

Acquisition information not found.

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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: Biographical Information, undated, 1970-1975

This series is in English.
1 folder.
Scope and Content:

This series consists of HL's curriculum vitae and biographical notes. In addition, a booklet celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Weizmann Institute of Science and the 70th birthday of Meyer Weisgal is included with a dedication from HL.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 Biographical Information undated, 1970-1975
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Series II: Interviews, undated, 1969

This series is in English.
2 folders.
Scope and Content:

This series consists of two interviews with HL, one with Leonard Slater for Slater's book The Pledge and one by an interviewer only identified as "G." In both interviews, HL gives details on his introduction to Zionism, his role in the establishment of the State of Israel, including his meeting with Haim Slavin, the agent for David Ben-Gurion, his ten year blacklist from Canada related to his manufacture of Thompson machine guns, and his relationship with Chaim Weizmann.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 2 Typescript Interview with Leonard Slater 1969
1 3 Interview by “G” undated
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Series III: Correspondence, undated, 1944-1977

This series is in English.
3 folders.
Scope and Content:

This series consists of correspondence from David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Chaim Weizmann, Oved D. Ben-Ami, Clarence Berger, Meyer Weisgal, and Brandeis president A.L. Sachar. Topics included are the founding of the Weizmann Institute of Science, the 20th anniversary of Haim Slavin and HL's first meeting, and charitable contributions by the Levines.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 4 Correspondence 1944-1966
1 5 Correspondence 1967-1969
1 6 Correspondence undated, 1970-1977
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Series IV: Speeches, undated, 1962

This series is in English.
1 folder.
Scope and Content:

This series consists of speeches and introductory remarks by HL. Topics included are speeches HL gave at annual Weizmann dinners, as well as introductions of Meyer Weisgal and Rabbi Harold H. Gordon.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 7 Speeches undated, 1962
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Series V: Banquets and Tributes, 1967-1970

This series is in English.
1 folder.
Scope and Content:

This series contains certificates, invitations and announcements related to HL's Zionist and charitable work.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 8 Banquets, Tributes, Certificates 1967-1970
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Series VI: Photographs, undated, 1937-1974

This series is in English.
2 folders.
Scope and Content:

This series contains photographs of HL, Leona Levine, Hannah Levine, Albert Einstein, Dewey D. Stone, David Ben-Gurion, Hubert Humphrey, Golda Meir, Chaim Weizmann, Abba Eban, and Albert Sabin.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 9 Photographs undated, 1937-1970
1 10 Photographs undated, 1952-1974
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Series VII: News Articles, undated, 1950-1976

This series is in Hebrew and English.
2 folders.
Scope and Content:

This series contains news articles about HL, largely related to the Weizmann Institute, Weizmann dinners, tribute dinners to HL and Dewey D. Stone, the Israel diorama, and book reviews of The Pledge, Leonard Slater's published history of Israel.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 11 Newspaper Articles undated, 1962-1976
1 12 New York Times Magazine 1950
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Series VIII: Weizmann Institute of Science, undated, 1961-1975

This series is in English.
1 folder.
Scope and Content:

This series contains speeches, invitations, photographs and pamphlets regarding the dedication of the Weizmann Institute of Science and dedications to HL by associates of the Institute.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 13 Weizmann Institute of Science undated, 1961-1975
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