Guide to the Jonah J. Goldstein (1886-1967) Papers,
[1890]-1967 (bulk 1931-1966)

P-61

Processed by Rachel Miller as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.

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.
Finding aid was created by Rachel Miller in MS Word and Excel 2000 and converted to EAD 2002 in August 2010, and was uploaded in September 2010. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Jonah J. Goldstein (1886-1967)
Title: Jonah J. Goldstein Papers
Dates:[1890]-1967 (bulk 1931-1966)
Abstract: The Jonah J. Goldstein Papers chronicle Goldstein’s roles as a New York City judge (1931-1956) pushing for court reform in the 1930s; as a leader of, founder of and donor to local organizations, especially those devoted to the prevention of juvenile delinquency in the Jewish community; as the New York City mayoral candidate on the Liberal-Republican-City Fusion ticket in 1945; and as a voice for drug law reform in the 1950s and 1960s. Materials include correspondence, speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, awards, campaign posters, audiotapes and clippings.
Languages: The collection is in English, with a small amount of material in Yiddish.
Quantity: 7 manuscript boxes, 1 half-sized manuscript box, 4 oversized boxes (3 OS1, 1 OS2), 2 card file boxes, 1 MAP-1 folder
Quantity:12 linear feet
Accession number: P-61
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
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Biographical Note

Jonah Jamison Goldstein was born April 6, 1886 in Ontario, Canada to Abraham Getzel and Chaia (Jamison) Goldstein. His family moved to Madison Street on New York’s Lower East Side in 1891. Between 1905 and 1910, young Goldstein became a leader in the Educational Alliance, Jewish Big Brother Movement and East Side Neighborhood Association. In 1907, Goldstein graduated New York University Law School and started a law office with a brother and other lawyers. Goldstein claims that his law firm was one of the first in New York City to extend employment to African-American lawyers in 1919 and female lawyers in 1921.

In 1931, Goldstein was appointed to the bench of the New York City Magistrates’ Court. While in that position, he authored The Family in Court (1936), which advocated for the extraction of domestic relations cases from the criminal court system. In 1939, he was elected Judge of the New York County Court of General Sessions and would be the judge presiding over the controversial Morris U. Schappes case of 1941. During his tenure as judge, he successfully pushed for reforms in the city court’s handling of domestic relations, women and youthful offenders. After his 1956 retirement from the Court of General Sessions, he remained active in legal affairs, for example, by pressing for shifts in drug law reform in New York State.

Judge Goldstein ran for New York City Mayor in 1945 on the Republican-Liberal-City Fusion ticket, losing to William O’Dwyer.

Goldstein was actively involved in such organizations as the Grand Street Boys’ Association, Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, New York Jewish Committee of the Boy Scouts of America, Jewish Education Association and University Settlement.

In 1920, Goldstein married Harriet B. Lowenstein, who was a lawyer, advisor to Felix Warburg, and comptroller of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Harriet Goldstein died in 1961 and Jonah six years later in July 1967.

References

American Jewish Yearbook (Necrology, p. 608), 1968. Accessed August 2, 2010: http://www.ajcarchives.org/AJC_DATA/Files/1968_15_DirectoriesLists.pdf

Biographical Materials, 1940-1967; Jonah J. Goldstein Papers; P-61; Box 1; Folder 2; American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection primarily reflects Goldstein’s professional life and organizational affiliations following the 1931 start of his tenure as Judge of the New York City Magistrates’ Court. Documentation of his career as a lawyer prior to that time is scant. In addition to providing a general cross-section of the social, political and legal landscape of New York in the first half of the 20th century, the collection covers such subjects as New York City court reform in the 1930s, female and juvenile offender laws, 1950s and 1960s drug legislation, Jewish education, and local charities engaged in outreach to Jewish youth.

A substantial portion of the material in the collection was generated surrounding celebrations of Goldstein, events which were generally thrown by the organizations he supported. Many of the plaques, poems, songs and scrapbooks in the collection were dedicated or gifted to him in connection with these celebratory events.

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Arrangement

The collection has been arranged into six series. The first two series, Personal and Legal, represent the two topical categories into which the collection loosely breaks down, whereas the last four series are dictated by format.

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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

E-mail: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

AJHS Archives

Grand Street Boys' Association Records; I-312; AJHS.

In 1961 Goldstein donated to AJHS his wife's papers, the Harriet B. Lowenstein Goldstein Papers (P-31), which document relief activities of American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Europe in 1919.

For materials related to the Morris Schappes Case over which Goldstein presided as judge, see Subgroup I of the Morris U. Schappes Papers (P-57) at AJHS.

For Detective Abraham Shoenfeld’s oral history, in which he gives anecdotes about Goldstein, see Box 5A, Folders 10 and 11, of the Abraham Shoenfeld Papers (P-884) at AJHS.

AJHS Library

Goldstein, Jonah J. The Family in Court. New York: Clark Boardman, 1934. [Call Number HQ536.G5]

Other Collections

Jonah J. Goldstein Papers (MS-380). [0.4 linear feet] American Jewish Archives. Cincinnati, OH.

Jonah J. Goldstein Photographs (PC-1541). [1 folder] American Jewish Archives. Cincinnati, OH.

Reminiscences of Jonah J. Goldstein; 1966; Columbia University Oral History Collection. New York, NY.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Jonah J. Goldstein Papers; P-61; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY, and Boston, MA.

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Acquisition Information

These papers were donated to AJHS by Beatrice (Jonah Goldstein's daughter) and Jules Gordon in 1968.

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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: Personal, 1893, 1904, 1926-1967

1.5 linear feet. Boxes 1-4.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical.

Scope and Content:

This series broadly encompasses Goldstein’s personal, as well as some political, professional and organizational, activities. A major strength of the series is Goldstein’s correspondence and speeches, which are spread throughout the folders. His correspondence touches on subjects such as juvenile delinquency, Jewish education, the duties and responsibilities of judges, the relationship between law and social service, tenement life, Communism, World War II and Israel. His speeches and addresses, many of which he gave as President of the Grand Street Boys’ Association or as the Judge of the Court of General Sessions, reflect a similar scope. Some of his speeches are in memory of or in honor of individuals, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Lillian Wald, Cardinal József Mindszenty, and Eddie Cantor.

Other items of potential interest are the notes that Goldstein took down during 1904 talks given to Educational Alliance boys by Dr. David Blaustein, head of the Educational Alliance (Box 2, Folder 9), and the 176-page book draft, It Can Be Done, or The Grand Street Story, which is Goldstein’s account of the founding of the Grand Street Boys’ Association (Box 3, Folder 3). There is a large cache of correspondence between Goldstein and Arthur Hays Sulzberger, regarding religion and the Boy Scouts of America (Box 1, Folder 6), and a short note from Louis Brandeis to Goldstein accompanying a signed photograph (Box 2, Folder 6; the original photograph has been moved to Series IV, Folder 1).

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 Awards 1955-1959
1 2 Biographical Materials 1940-1967
1 3 Birthday Book in Celebration of Goldstein 1925
1 4 Boy Scouts of America -- NY Jewish Committee 1947-1958
1 5 Boy Scouts of America -- NY Jewish Committee 1945-1961
1 6 Boy Scouts of America -- NY Jewish Committee -- Correspondence with Arthur Hays Sulzberger 1943-1953
1 7 Breziner Relief Committee 1962
1 8 Camps 1935-1936
1 9 Certificates 1933-1966
1 10 Christian Associations 1936-1963
1 11 Clippings 1931-1961
BoxFolderTitleDate
2 1 Correspondence 1927-1939
2 2 Correspondence 1941-1949
2 3 Correspondence 1950-1959
2 4 Correspondence 1960-1967
2 5 Correspondence undated
2 6 Correspondence -- Brandeis, Louis 1940
2 7 Correspondence -- Eshkol, Levi 1958
2 8 Correspondence -- Gitelson, M. Leo 1961-1962
2 9 Educational Alliance 1904, 1949
2 10 Emergency Building Fund for the Repossession of Mesivtha Tifereth Jersusalem 1934
2 11 Federation of Jewish Philanthropies 1934-1936
2 12 Goldstein, Harriet -- Birthday Card to Jonah undated
2 13 Goldstein, Harriet -- Obituary 1961
2 14 Goldstein, Harriet -- The Poetical Works of Jean Ingelow [awarded and inscribed to Harriet] 1893
BoxFolderTitleDate
3 1 Grand Adirondack Lodge -- Yearbook and Dinner Journal 1948, 1958
3 2 Grand Street Boys' Association 1941-1961
3 3 Grand Street Boys' Association -- It Can Be Done, or The Grand Street Story [1958]
3 4 Grand Street Boys' Association -- Scroll of Honor 1938
3 5 Holy Name Centre for Homeless Men 1952-1966
3 6 Jewish Agency for Palestine 1932-1933
3 7 Mayoral Campaign 1945
3 8 Medical Schools and Medical Students 1945-1953
3 9 Membership Cards 1950-1967
3 10 Miscellaneous 1952-1962
3 11 Poems and Songs for Goldstein undated, 1962
3 12 Providence College Honorary Degree 1956
3 13 Speeches (1 of 2) 1926-1963
BoxFolderTitleDate
4 1 Speeches (2 of 2) 1926-1963
4 2 Speeches -- Jewish Education 1929-1943
4 3 United Jewish Campaign 1929
4 4 University Settlement 1931-1965
4 5 Williamsburg Settlement 1958
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Series II: Legal, 1914-1967

2.2 linear feet. Boxes 4-8.
Arrangement:

Arranged into three sections: General, Drug Law Reform, and Books.

Scope and Content:

This series documents Goldstein’s career as judge, both as Judge on the New York City Magistrates’ Court (1931-1936) and as Judge of the New York County Court of General Sessions (1939-1956). Represented are his efforts to restructure the city court system, which included the creation of a domestic relations court and women’s court, as well as his work on juvenile justice and drug reform laws. Documents include correspondence, court proceedings, transcripts and clippings, as well as books (most of which are inscribed by their authors to Goldstein). The Morris U. Schappes Case folders (Box 5, Folders 3 and 4) include a small amount of correspondence, clippings, and Goldstein’s drafted statement read at the passing of Schappes’s sentence. For more legal correspondence, see correspondence in Series I (Box 2, Folders 1-5).

General

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 6 Domestic Relations Court 1932-1934
4 7 Domestic Relations Court -- Correspondence Recommending Goldstein for Chief Judge 1933
4 8 The Family in Court -- Reviews and Correspondence 1934-1936
4 9 Howard Ostroll Case 1965-1966
4 10 Judge of the Court of General Sessions Elections 1936-1939
4 11 Judge of the Court of General Sessions Elections -- Clippings 1936
4 12 Jury Correspondence, Praise and Remarks 1936-1956
4 13 Magistrates' Court -- Committee on Reorganization 1931-1932
4 14 Magistrates' Court -- Committee on Reorganization -- Records of Meetings (1 of 2) 1931-1932
4 15 Magistrates' Court -- Committee on Reorganization -- Records of Meetings (2 of 2) 1931-1932
4 16 Magistrates' Court -- Committee on Reorganization -- Records of Meetings 1932
BoxFolderTitleDate
5 1 Miscellaneous 1936, 1956-1958, 1965
5 2 Miscellaneous Cases 1933-1966
5 3 Morris U. Schappes Case 1941
5 4 Morris U. Schappes Case -- Clippings 1941-1943
5 5 New York University Law School 1947-1963
5 6 William J. Keating Case 1955
5 7 Women's Court 1932-1935
5 8 Writings by Goldstein 1931-1958
5 9 Youthful Offender Laws (1 of 2) 1933-1966
5 10 Youthful Offender Laws (2 of 2) 1933-1966

Drug Law Reform

BoxFolderTitleDate
5 11 Correspondence 1954
5 12 Correspondence 1955
5 13 Correspondence 1955
5 14 Correspondence 1956-1966
5 15 Correspondence about Narcotics Legislation 1955-1957
5 16 "Give Drugs to Addicts So We Can Be Safe" [by Goldstein] 1966
BoxFolderTitleDate
6 1 "Give Drugs to Addicts So We Can Be Safe" -- Correspondence 1966-1967
6 2 National Association of Prevention of Addiction 1964-1965
6 3 Reference Materials (1 of 7) 1939, 1955-1966
6 4 Reference Materials (2 of 7) 1939, 1955-1966
6 5 Reference Materials (3 of 7) 1939, 1955-1966
6 6 Reference Materials (4 of 7) 1939, 1955-1966
BoxFolderTitleDate
7 1 Reference Materials (5 of 7) 1939, 1955-1966
7 2 Reference Materials (6 of 7) 1939, 1955-1966
7 3 Reference Materials (7 of 7) 1939, 1955-1966
7 4 Speeches 1956

Books

Box TitleDate
8  Criminal Justice in America by Roscoe Pound 1930
8  Police Practice and Procedure by Cornelius Callahan 1914
8  The Policewoman: Her Service and Ideals by Mary Hamilton 1924
8  The Policewoman's Handbook by Eleonore Hutzel 1933
8  Ventures in Judicial Education by Jean Block 1967
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Series III: Scrapbooks, 1930-1966

3.7 linear feet. Box 7, 11, 13, and 1 MAP-1 folder.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical.

Scope and Content:

The scrapbooks in this series document Goldstein’s 1931 appointment to the bench of the New York City Magistrates’ Court, Goldstein’s 1945 bid for mayor, and various birthday celebrations in the 1950s and 1960s. In the interest of preservation, contents have been removed from their original scrapbooks and plastic sleeves, with the exceptions of the 1956 and 1966 birthday scrapbooks.

The birthday scrapbooks contain speeches, photographs, clippings, and correspondence. The 1966 birthday scrapbook includes original letters from Robert F. Kennedy, Nelson A. Rockefeller and John V. Lindsay.

The 1945 mayoral election scrapbook contents are especially rich. They include campaign posters, canvas campaign banners, flyers (some in Yiddish), campaign songs, matchbook covers, silk ribbon, and a comic book dramatizing Goldstein’s life and accomplishments (a copy of the comic book can also be found in Box 3, Folder 7). Slogans on the campaign advertisements, many of which were funded by the Independent Citizens Committee, include: “Line Up for Good Government,” “Good Government is Good Housekeeping,” and “Keep the Tiger Out of City Hall.”

BoxFolderTitleDate
11 (OS1) Birthday Celebration Scrapbook [includes photos] 1956
11 (OS1) Birthday Celebration Scrapbook [includes photos] 1966
BoxFolderTitleDate
7 5 Birthday Celebration Scrapbook Contents 1954
BoxFolderTitleDate
13 (OS2) Magistrates' Court Newspaper Clippings Scrapbook Contents 1930-1932
BoxFolderTitleDate
MAP-1 Mayoral Campaign Scrapbook Contents 1945
BoxFolderTitleDate
7 6 Mayoral Campaign Scrapbook Contents 1945
7 7 Mayoral Campaign Scrapbook Contents -- William O'Dwyer 1945
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Series IV: Photographs, [1890-1967]

5 folders of prints and 7 sleeves of negatives have been separated into the AJHS Photography Collection.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical, then chronological.

Scope and Content:

The bulk of the photographs in this series are of Goldstein himself. Most photographs are also unlabelled and undated, so dates are approximate. Folder 2 includes photographs of a P.S. 2 class in 1901 and Goldstein as a club leader for the Educational Alliance in 1909. Folder 3 includes photographs of Goldstein being sworn into one of his court positions in the 1930s and a Grand Street Boys’ Association event in 1936. Folder 4 includes a photograph of Goldstein in the 1940s standing between two men who might be Larry Doby and Satchel Paige, the first African-American baseball players in the American League, as well as a photograph of Goldstein with Dwight D. Eisenhower at a Federation for Jewish Philanthropies event. There may be unlabelled photos of Goldstein in his childhood and of his family in Folder 1. In the same folder is a group photo of men (potentially members of the Grand Street Boys’ Association) in blackface circa 1930s.

Seven 4 x 5 black and white negatives have been separated by a previous archivist into the Negatives boxes of the AJHS Photography Collection. Six of the negatives include unidentified women and children, possibly while at camp or at Goldstein’s country home. A print of the seventh negative, which is of Goldstein and unidentified others circa 1920s is in Folder 2.

BoxFolderTitleDate
Photo 1 Miscellaneous Photographs [1890]-1959
Photo 2 Photographs of Goldstein [1901-1929]
Photo 3 Photographs of Goldstein [1930-1939]
Photo 4 Photographs of Goldstein [1940-1967]
Photo 5 Photographs of Goldstein -- Birthday Celebration 1954
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Series V: Audio, 1945-1960

Boxes 9 (large card file) and 13 (OS2).
Arrangement:

Alphabetical.

Scope and Content:

The audio recordings are of events in celebration of Judge Goldstein and a radio segment from during his mayoral campaign.

Box TitleDate
13 (OS2)   "Birthday Celebration Presented by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York over Station WEVD, April 11, 1954" [Book of 6 Audiodiscs, 12 sides, gifted by Lillian and Sol Ash] 1954
Box TitleDate
9   "June Induction Jonah Goldstein" [reel-to-reel] 1958
Box TitleDate
13 (OS2)   "Independent Citizens Committee, Judge Jonah Goldstein Talk, 'House vs. [Home],' Air: WEAF, October 20, 1945, 7:45-8 PM" [33 1/3 RPM audio record, single side] 1945
Box TitleDate
9   "IPS Testimonial Dinner to Louis Tauscher, Harry Bessler, Nat Handleman Gen'l Chairman, May 25, 1960" [reel-to-reel, single track, speed 3 3/4] 1960
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Series VI: Plaques and Memorabilia, undated, 1920, 1945-1966

4.6 linear feet. Boxes 9-14 (Box 9 is a card file [large]. Box 14 is a card file, which has been placed in the AJHS Curatorial Collection.)
Arrangement:

Alphabetical.

Scope and Content:

This series consists of awards, in plaque, medal, medallion and other forms, which Goldstein received in the 1950s and 1960s from the organizations with which he was involved. In addition, there are a few wall hangings signed by large personalities, campaign buttons from the 1945 mayoral campaign scrapbook in Series V, and a few address and invitation templates.

Box TitleDate
14   Ashtray with JJG initials and Star of David undated
14   Buttons from Goldstein's Mayoral Campaign 1945
14   Copper template for the Goldsteins' Wedding Invitation 1920
14   Gavel presented to Goldstein by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York 1960
14   Gavel presented to Goldstein by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York undated
14   Matchbox case presented to Goldstein by Louis J. Glickman undated
14   Medal presented to Goldstein by the National Society of the American Revolution 1957
14   Medallion presented to Goldstein by American Friends of the Hebrew University undated
14   Medallion presented to Goldstein by Bronx Community College 1963
14   Medallion presented to Goldstein by Williamsburg Settlement 1958
14   Name and address stamps undated
Box TitleDate
12 (OS1)   Plaque of the Grand Street Boys' Association, "Declaration of Guilt" undated
Box TitleDate
10 (OS1)   Plaque of the Grand Street Boys' Association, "Goodfellowship, Benevolence, Charity" undated
Box TitleDate
9   Plaque on box presented to Goldstein by United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York 1964
9   Plaque presented to Goldstein by Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan undated
Box TitleDate
12 (OS1)   Plaque presented to Goldstein by Educational Alliance 1954
Box TitleDate
10 (OS1)   Plaque presented to Goldstein by Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York 1952
Box TitleDate
12 (OS1)   Plaque presented to Goldstein by Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York 1964
Box TitleDate
13 (OS2)   Plaque presented to Goldstein by Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York 1960
Box TitleDate
9   Plaque presented to Goldstein by Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York 1961
Box TitleDate
12 (OS1)   Plaque presented to Goldstein by Good Citizens' League 1965
12 (OS1)   Plaque presented to Goldstein by Israel Bonds 1966
12 (OS1)   Plaque presented to Goldstein by Seward Park High School Parents Association 1963
Box TitleDate
10 (OS1)   Plaque presented to Goldstein by the Board of Managers of the Harlem Branch of the YMCA 1953
Box TitleDate
9   Plaque presented to Goldstein by United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York 1963
9   Plaque presented to Goldstein by United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York 1965
Box TitleDate
12 (OS1)   Plaque presented to Goldstein by University Settlement 1965
Box TitleDate
10 (OS1)   Plaque with a photograph and signature of Archbishop Patrick Joseph Hayes to Goldstein undated
10 (OS1)   Plaque with a photograph and signature of Benjamin Cardozo to Goldstein undated
Box TitleDate
12 (OS1)   Plaque with an Eleanor Roosevelt comic given to Goldstein and signed by Anna Roosevelt Halsted 1965
Box TitleDate
14   Silver card presented to Goldstein by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York 1960
14   Spade presented by the Greater Yeshiva of Flatbush to Goldstein on the occasion of cornerstone ceremonies 1950
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