Guide to the Label A. Katz Papers,
1910s-1969
(bulk 1953-1965)

P-92

Processed by Rachel Miller

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.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Rachel Miller in 2012. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Katz, Label
Title: Label A. Katz Papers
Dates:1910s-1969
Dates:bulk 1953-1965
Abstract: The Label A. Katz Papers are largely comprised of materials generated while Label Katz served in leadership positions with B’nai B’rith from the 1950s through the 1960s. Best represented is his tenure as president of B’nai B’rith International between 1959 and 1965, during which time Katz concentrated on challenges faced by Soviet Jews and on the improvement of Jewish education. Materials consist of correspondence, speeches, clippings, photographs, minutes and reports.
Languages: The collection is in English, except for a few items in Hebrew, Yiddish, French, Hungarian, German, Spanish and Dutch.
Quantity: 7.5 linear feet (15 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized folder [OS1F])
Identification: P-92
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
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Biographical Note

Label A. Katz was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on September 22, 1918 to Ralph Katz, who had emigrated from Odessa in 1903, and Matilda Counterman Katz, a New Orleans native. After receiving a BA (1938) and LLB (1941) degree from Tulane University, Label Katz practiced law and invested in housing rehabilitation and real estate.

Highly active in Jewish organizations, Katz was especially involved with B’nai B’rith, starting in 1932 as a 15-year-old member of its youth organization, Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA). He went on to become president of B’nai B’rith Lodge No. 182 of New Orleans, 1946-1947; president of B’nai B’rith District Grand Lodge No. 7, 1953-1954; chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League Committee in New Orleans, 1955-1958; and president of B’nai B’rith International, 1959-1965. During his B’nai B’rith International presidency, Katz focused on issues of Jewish education and international affairs, particularly in respect to Soviet Jewry. He also served as district chairman of B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation and the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization and chairman of the Anti-Defamation League Mid-South Regional Board.

Additionally, on the national level, Katz was chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, 1960-1961, and president of the National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. Locally, Katz served as president of the Communal Hebrew School of New Orleans, 1943-1948, which he himself had attended; president of the New Orleans Jewish Welfare Fund, 1955-1958; and vice president of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans. Katz was a member of both Orthodox and Reform Jewish congregations.

In 1940, Katz married Alice Mayer, who became president of the Ida Weis Friend chapter of B’nai B’rith Women, and they had two sons, William and Robert, and a daughter, Walda. Katz died on April 3, 1975.

References

"Necrology: United States." American Jewish Year Book, 1977, p. 596.

“Autobiographical Materials;” Label A. Katz Papers; P-92; Box 1, Folder 1.

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Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the collection documents Label A. Katz’s activities on behalf of B’nai B’rith from the 1950s to the 1960s, especially during his presidency (1959-1965). Facets of B’nai B’rith best represented are the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundations, B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, Anti-Defamation League and the International Council. Frequent B’nai B’rith correspondents include Maurice Bisgyer, Philip Klutznick and Saul Joftes. In addition to correspondence, materials include speeches, clippings, minutes, reports and photographs.

Major subjects in the collection are Soviet Jewry, Jewish education, and U.S. and international anti-semitic incidents. There is some material related to Katz’s efforts on behalf of displaced persons, B’nai B’rith’s post-WWII claims against Germany, civil rights and desegregation in the American South, B’nai B’rith’s relations with the Vatican, and local New Orleans issues.

The collection carries very little related to Katz’s business ventures and legal work. His personal and family life is best represented in photographs in Series III, as well as in his brief account of his background (Box 1, Folder 1) and the scrapbook contents (Box 4, Folder 3) in Series I.

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Arrangement

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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

AJHS Archives

Philip Lax Papers (P-915)

Lewis H. Weinstein Papers (P-641)

Other Archives

B’nai B’rith International Records. American Jewish Archives. Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Label A. Katz Papers; P-92; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY, and Boston, MA.

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Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to AJHS in 1970 (accession # 1970.017).

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Processing Information

A previous archivist processed the collection and created a box list. In 2012, Rachel Miller enhanced the collection description, wrote a full finding aid, rehoused the collection, and outside of folder shifts made in order to maintain alphabetical order, largely kept to the physical and intellectual arrangement given to the collection by the previous archivist, including folder titles.

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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 and Professional, 1931-1969

In English, with a few items in Hebrew, Hungarian, French, German, Yiddish, Spanish and Dutch.
Boxes 1-5. 2 linear feet and 1 oversized (OS1) folder.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical.

Scope and Content:

Primarily through clippings, correspondence and speeches this series documents Label Katz’s leadership activities and a small portion of business and personal matters. Much of the material is related to Katz’s B’nai B’rith work.

Clippings about Katz originate from various regional, national and international (including British, South African, Australian and Israeli) press – much of it Jewish press. Titles include the Times-Picayune, Southern Jewish Weekly, New York Times and Intermountain Jewish News. Also in these clippings files are entire issues of periodicals and newspapers, as well as memoranda from the B’nai B’rith Public Relations office, which collected many of these clippings.

Correspondence, alphabetized by last name, often relates to B’nai B’rith affairs and includes correspondence from David Ben-Gurion, Hale Boggs, Michael Comay, Lily Edelman, Levi Eshkol, Hubert H. Humphrey, Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert F. Kennedy, Philip Klutznick, Theodore Kolleck, Russell B. Long, deLesseps S. Morrison, Richard Nixon, Abraham Ribicoff, Dore Schary, Victor H. Schiro, Zalman Shazar and Harry Truman. There are also copies of Katz’s correspondence to Romulo Betancourt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Golda Meir and Pope Paul VI. The “Correspondence regarding John Frank” folders document Katz’s efforts at assisting János Frank, a Hungarian Jewish refugee, with U.S. immigration issues. In addition to correspondence, these folders include Frank’s passports, photographs, and his accounts of his childhood, war experience in camps and the aftermath.

Within the “Speeches” folders are texts of and notes towards speeches, which Katz delivered not only at B’nai B’rith conventions, but also in front of gatherings of the New Orleans Jewish Fund, Joint Defense Appeal, World Zionist Congress, Cleveland Jewish Federation and Welfare Fund, Presidents’ Conference, Tom Paine Forum, American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry, Zionist Organization of America and various congregations. His talks frequently touch on Soviet Jewry, Jewish education, Jewish youth, international affairs and the purpose of B’nai B’rith. Some talks also revolve around topics such as the Eichmann trial, intermarriage and desegregation in the South.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 Autobiographical Materials undated, 1952-1959
1 2 Business Ventures -- The Jewish Ledger (New Orleans, Louisiana) 1940-1951
1 3 Business Ventures -- Sports, Inc. 1948-1949
1 4 Certificates and Awards 1953-1964
BoxFolderTitleDate
OS1F 1 Certificates, Awards and B'nai B'rith Voice Spread Reprint 1952-1964
BoxFolderTitleDate
1 5 Clippings about Label A. Katz 1951-[1958]
1 6 Clippings about Label A. Katz 1959
1 7 Clippings about Label A. Katz 1960
1 8 Clippings about Label A. Katz 1961
1 9 Clippings about Label A. Katz 1962
1 10 Clippings about Label A. Katz 1963
BoxFolderTitleDate
2 1 Clippings about Label A. Katz 1964
2 2 Clippings about Label A. Katz undated, 1965-1968
2 3 Clippings about Label A. Katz -- B'nai B'rith Publications 1946, 1959-1964
2 4 Clippings about Label A. Katz -- B'nai B'rith Publications 1954-1969
2 5 Clippings about Label A. Katz -- The Jewish Ledger (New Orleans, Louisiana) 1947-1963
2 6 Clippings about Label A. Katz -- The National Jewish Monthly 1959-1965
2 7 Correspondence -- A-F 1953-1969
BoxFolderTitleDate
3 1 Correspondence -- G-K 1953-1969
3 2 Correspondence -- L-Z 1953-1969
3 3 Correspondence regarding John Frank (János Frank) -- DP Immigrant Problem (includes photographs) 1945-1953
3 4 Correspondence regarding John Frank (János Frank) -- DP Immigrant Problem 1953-1956
3 5 Election as President of B'nai B'rith 1958-1959
3 6 Invitations 1959-1964
BoxFolderTitleDate
4 1 Invitations (includes photograph) 1964-1968
4 2 Label A. Katz Project 1966
4 3 Scrapbook Contents undated, 1931-1938
4 4 Speeches -- Dated (1) 1945-1960
4 5 Speeches -- Dated (2) 1961-1962
4 6 Speeches -- Dated (3) 1963-1965
4 7 Speeches -- Notes undated, 1960-1964
4 8 Speeches -- Undated, Titled undated
BoxFolderTitleDate
5 1 Speeches -- Undated, Untitled undated
5 2 Speeches -- Undated, Untitled undated
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Series II: B'nai B'rith, 1939, 1945-1965

In English, with a few items in Spanish and Hebrew.
Boxes 5-14. 5 linear feet.
Arrangement:

Arranged in three subseries.

Scope and Content:

This series contains materials generated or received in the course of Label Katz’s work with B’nai B’rith, such as minutes, reports, agendas, correspondence, clippings, press releases, legal memoranda, budgets, manuals and pamphlets. See Series I for more correspondence with major national and international figures and his speeches at B’nai B’rith events, as well as clippings chronicling his activities with B’nai B’rith. For photographs, see Series III.

Subseries 1: Committees and Activities, 1945-1965

Boxes 5-10. 2.5 linear feet.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical.

Scope and Content:

This subseries consists of files related to various committees, programs and projects of B’nai B’rith, especially the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundations and the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization. Materials include minutes, reports, agendas, correspondence, press releases, budgets, manuals and pamphlets.

BoxFolderTitleDate
5 3 Administrative Committee 1954-1959
5 4 Administrative Committee 1961-1963
5 5 Administrative Committee 1963-1964
5 6 Adult Education Committee 1962-1965
BoxFolderTitleDate
6 1 Board of Governors 1953-1961
6 2 Board of Governors 1961-1964
6 3 Convention Committee 1956
6 4 Coordinating Committee 1962
6 5 Correspondence 1962-1965
6 6 Evaluation Committee 1962-1964
6 7 Financial Reports 1953, 1961
6 8 Financial Reports 1961
6 9 Foundation 1959-1960
6 10 Function and History of B'nai B'rith undated, 1964
BoxFolderTitleDate
7 1 Fund Campaign Cabinet 1953-1960
7 2 Fund Campaign Cabinet 1960-1962
7 3 Hillel Foundations 1946-1959
7 4 Hillel Foundations 1960-1961
7 5 Hillel Foundations 1961-1965
7 6 Hillel Foundations -- Louisiana State University 1945-1950
7 7 Home and Hospital for the Aged 1954-1955
7 8 Income Potential Committee 1964
BoxFolderTitleDate
8 1 Israel Bond Program 1953-1955
8 2 Membership Cabinet 1963
8 3 National Service Committee for the Armed Forces and Veterans 1953
8 4 Publications Committee 1956
8 5 Salary Adjustment Committee 1964
8 6 Sociological Research Projects 1964
8 7 Staff Meetings 1962
8 8 State Association Meetings 1953
8 9 Structure Committee 1954-1955
8 10 Vocational Service Commission 1959-1960
8 11 Vocational Service Commission 1961-1964
8 12 Women's Organization 1959-1964
8 13 Youth Organization 1952-1954
BoxFolderTitleDate
9 1 Youth Organization 1954-1955
9 2 Youth Organization 1955
9 3 Youth Organization 1956-1957
9 4 Youth Organization 1957-1958
9 5 Youth Organization 1958-1963
BoxFolderTitleDate
10 1 Youth Organization 1963-1964

Subseries 2: Anti-Defamation League, 1953-1965

Box 10. 0.5 linear feet.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical.

Scope and Content:

This subseries consists of subject files related to Label Katz’s involvement with the Anti-Defamation League. Materials include correspondence, clippings, legal memoranda, reports and minutes.

BoxFolderTitleDate
10 2 ADL vs. Jordanian Pavilion at New York World's Fair 1960-1964
10 3 Antisemitism 1953-1964
10 4 Church-State Question 1961-1963
10 5 Civil Rights 1958-1964
10 6 Financial Reports 1961-1963
10 7 Joint Committee on ADL-Youth Services Fund Raising 1963
10 8 Miscellaneous 1959-1963
10 9 National Community Relations Advisory Council Discussions 1963-1965
10 10 National Executive Committee Meetings 1962
10 11 Right-Wing Politics 1963-1964

Subseries 3: International Affairs, 1939, 1954-1965

Boxes 11-14. 2 linear feet.
Arrangement:

Arranged in two sections.

Scope and Content:

This subseries documents Label Katz’s international activities with B’nai B’rith. Represented are his efforts on behalf of Soviet Jewish communities, his meetings with Pope John XXIII in 1960 and Pope Paul VI in 1964, reports of anti-semitism in various countries, B’nai B’rith’s post-WWII claims against Germany, and B’nai B’rith’s reactions to the Eichmann Trial and Rolf Hochhuth’s “The Deputy.” There is extensive correspondence from Saul Joftes, Secretary of the B’nai B’rith International Council, throughout this subseries.

The “Countries” section consists of substantive correspondence with politicians and Jewish community leaders in the named countries, as well as clippings, bulletins, travel materials, minutes, news of anti-semitic incidents, and statistics on the Jewish populations. Countries with greatest representation are Israel, Germany, Cuba and Great Britain.

For photographs of Katz’s international travels, see Series III.

General

BoxFolderTitleDate
11 1 Claims against Germany 1959-1964
11 2 Eichmann Trial 1960-1963
11 3 Hochhuth, Rolf -- "The Deputy" 1963-1964
11 4 International Council -- Budget 1960-1963
11 5 International Council -- Minutes 1959-1964
11 6 International Council -- Miscellaneous 1959-1964
11 7 International Council -- Reports 1962-1963
11 8 Latin American Committee 1956
11 9 Soviet Jewry 1958-1961
BoxFolderTitleDate
12 1 Soviet Jewry 1961-1962
12 2 Soviet Jewry 1962-1963
12 3 Soviet Jewry 1963-1964
12 4 Soviet Jewry 1964-1965
BoxFolderTitleDate
13 1 United Nations 1959-1964
13 2 Vatican -- Ecumenical Council 1960-1964

Countries

BoxFolderTitleDate
13 3 Algeria 1961
13 4 Argentina 1959-1965
13 5 Asia 1959-1962
13 6 Australia 1959-1964
13 7 Brazil 1960-1962
13 8 Canada 1962-1963
13 9 Chile 1963
13 10 Cuba 1960-1964
13 11 Czechoslovakia 1963
13 12 Egypt 1960
13 13 Germany 1939, 1959-1964
BoxFolderTitleDate
14 1 Great Britain 1960-1964
14 2 Hungary 1963-1964
14 3 Israel 1954-1962
14 4 Israel 1963-1965
14 5 Mexico 1963-1964
14 6 Morocco 1962
14 7 Panama 1960
14 8 Romania 1962-1963
14 9 South Africa 1960-1963
14 10 Spain 1962-1965
14 11 Turkey 1961-1962
14 12 Uruguay [1959-1965]
14 13 Venezuela 1963
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Series III: Photographs, undated, 1910s-[1968]

In English with some Hebrew.
Box 15. 0.5 linear feet. Separated into the AJHS Photography Collection.
Arrangement:

Arranged in four sections.

Scope and Content:

This series primarily consists of photographs of Label Katz engaged in B’nai B’rith-related activities in the early 1960s, as well as family photographs. A few photographs also document Katz’s involvement with Federation, JDC, Jewish Welfare Fund and Executives Club of Louisiana. Many photographs are undated and unlabelled throughout this series.

In the course of his B’nai B’rith presidency, Katz met with a number of national and international figures, some of which are represented in folder titles under the “Individuals” section and some of which are in the “Countries” section. The photographs in the country folders were generally taken in the named countries, although in some cases the photos are simply of their national leaders or of an event related to that country. The United States folders include individuals such as Max M. Fisher, Victor H. Schiro, Meyer Mendelvitz, Miriam Weiss, Irving Gerson, M.E. Polson and David Fichman. Also represented are various New Orleans figures, Katz’s visit to the State Department in Washington, DC, and various political leaders and Jewish community events and leaders in Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Cincinnati and Boston. The Israel folders include photographs of David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Sharett, Levi Eshkol, Kirk Douglas at a B’nai B’rith convention, Walter Schelitzer, Ogden Reid, Abba Eban and Theodore McKeldin. Also visually documented are events surrounding B’nai B’rith’s sponsorship of a library in S’de Boker. In Australia, Katz is pictured participating with Eric Woodward in ceremonies installing a new B’nai B’rith district in New Zealand and Australia. In the Netherlands, Katz appears with Otto Frank. At the Vatican, Katz is pictured with Pope Paul VI.

In the family folders most photographs are unlabelled, but definitely include childhood photographs of Katz and photographs of his wife Alice, as well as their children, William, Robert and Walda.

Personal

BoxFolderTitleDate
15 1 Family 1910s-1950s
15 2 Family and Professional 1951-[1968]

Individuals

BoxFolderTitleDate
15 3 Ben-Gurion, David 1960s
15 4 Buber, Martin 1960
15 5 Kennedy, Robert F. [1961-1965]
15 6 Nehru, Jawaharlal [1961-1964]
15 7 Truman, Harry S. 1960-1961

Countries

BoxFolderTitleDate
15 8 Argentina 1962
15 9 Australia 1961
15 10 Austria 1962
15 11 France [1961-1964]
15 12 Hungary 1962
15 13 Israel 1951-1960s
15 14 The Netherlands [1961-1964]
15 15 Spain 1963
15 16 United States 1950-1965
15 17 United States 1953-1965
15 18 The Vatican [1964]

Miscellaneous

BoxFolderTitleDate
15 19 Miscellaneous undated
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