Guide to the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America collection, undated, 1923-1993, 2003

*I-32

Reprocessed by Jonathan Lukasik

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.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Jonathan Lukasik as MS Word document, May 11, 2009. Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek on July 13, 2009. Finding aid written in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator:Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Title:Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America collection
Dates:undated, 1923-1993, 2003
Abstract:Contains the correspondence of the Anti-Nazi Boycott Committee of the Jewish War Veterans appealing for support against Nazi activities in the United States, 1933, and to assist Nazi sufferers in Europe, as well as other correspondence and printed material describing the purpose, history, and activities of the national organization and local chapters. Includes a scrapbook (1924-1930) containing newspaper clippings in English and in Yiddish relating to these activities, and protests against the massacres of the Jews in Romania and the riots in Palestine in 1929, as well as appeals for financial and political support on behalf of Palestine Jewry. A large portion of this collection consists of photographs depicting the work of the organization.
Languages:The collection is in English and Yiddish.
Quantity: 2.5 linear feet (5 manuscript boxes)
Identification:I-32
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
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Historical Note

Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, 1896-Present

Founded in 1896, the Jewish Civil War veterans were an organization with a goal to help Jews obtain complete equality and benefits for themselves and their fellow veterans. During the early 20th Century, Jewish Veterans who fought in the Spanish-American War created the Hebrew Veterans of the War with Spain. In 1912, both the Jewish Civil War Veterans and the Hebrew Veterans combined and obtained corporate status. More importantly, the newly merged group earned the right for Jews to serve in the National Guard, regardless of their religious beliefs. A decade later, the association would have their first national convention where they would elect their first group of national officers. Shortly after in 1927, the organization secured passage of legislation requiring the American Battlefield Monument Commission to place Star of David markers on the graves of Jewish soldiers buried in France. Two years after, the group would change their name to the present name, the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) of the United States of America. During the 1930's, the JWV would push for many Anti-Nazi activities, including boycotting German goods and the 1936 Olympics. Many Jews would serve in the Second World War, and the organization would respond by advocating for the passage of the "G.I. Bill of Rights" legislation.

After World War II, the organization would push for European Jews to be allowed into Palestine, and in 1948, they would stage the Largest Parade in Jewish history with over 250,000 veterans marching for the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine, where Israel would be created shortly after. In 1954, the organization would move its National Headquarters to Washington, D.C. and ten years after would help break a Senate filibuster which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. During the 1970's, the organization would be the first veterans organization to support withdrawal from Vietnam, and would show its opposition to the Soviet Union's treatment of Jews by opposing U.S. participation during the 1980 Olympic Games. In 1996, the organization held its centennial anniversary. Today, the organization continues to fight for equal treatment of Jewish war veterans, as well as veterans of other faiths, women, and people of color.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the establishment, accomplishments, activities, and political beliefs of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America from 1930 to 2003. Although not all of the series present records in their entirety, a quality representation of materials is on hand. An extensive variety of research may be explored inside this compilation and may comprise sources for American Jewish History, Anti-Nazi activities pre-World War II, The National Shrine for the Jewish War Dead, immigration laws from the 1950's, radical Right-Wing movements in the 1960's including the John Birch Society, political stances for the Jewish War Veterans, studies concerning veterans service programs, American press coverage of Jewish events, and political movements concerning the well-being of Israel. Individuals represented in this collection include President Harry Truman, President George H.W. Bush, Vice President Dan Quayle, President Bill Clinton, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, National Commanders Reubin Kaminsky, Archie Greenberg, Murray L. Rosen, Alfred Schwartz, and Ira Novoselsky.

The collection consists primarily of correspondence, publications, programs, reports, and newspaper clippings (including a scrapbook). Other types of material include speech transcripts, press releases, photographs, stamps, and a photo booklet. There is a small amount of news clippings written in Yiddish.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into six 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

National Jewish Welfare Board, I-337

National Museum of American Jewish Military History, Washington, D.C.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America collection; I-32; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY.

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Acquisition Information

Unknown acquisition.

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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: Administrative and Organizational Records, undated, 1932-1993

English.
Box 1, Folders 1-13.
Scope and Content:

Composed of reports, policy statements, studies, invitations, memos and letters, this series provides a vast look at the agenda of the administration for the Jewish War Veterans. The Jewish War Veterans Manual and multiple constitution and by-laws booklets can be found in this series. Material concerning a study done on the veteran’s service program can also be found here. Also included in this series is a confidential memorandum on the Jewish Defense League. Various letters to public officials such as former United States Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle and former Russian President Boris Yeltsin are located in this series. Information concerning the National Shrine for the Jewish War Dead can also be found in this collection.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 Administrative Records for Jewish War Veterans undated, 1932, 1936, 1948-1968
1 2 JWV Conventions: Resolutions and Policy Statements 1951 (damaged), 1963, 1967-1973, 1986
1 3 Study and Evaluation of Veterans Service Program of the JWV 1964
1 4 “50 Years of JWV” Booklet/Patch 1946
1 5 Announcements of Memorial Day Exercises/Services/Dedication of Mural 1937, 1945
1 6 Invitations 1936, 1940, 1985
1 7 Confidential Memo on Jewish Defense League 1970
1 8 Jews Want No Exemption (from fighting in war) 1985
1 9 Letters of Appreciation 1940, 1945
1 10 Letters to the Editors 1990-1991
1 11 Letters to Public Officials 1985-1993
1 11 Letter from Asst. Sec. of State concerning Wheelus AFB 1970
1 12 Memorandums 1988-1991
1 13 National Shrine to the Jewish War Dead undated, 1958, 1968-1969
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Series II: Committees of the Jewish War Veterans, undated, 1933-1991

English.
Box 1, Folder 14 -- Box 2, Folder 1.
Scope and Content:

This series is made up of three sub-committees that were either formed under the Jewish War Veterans or had a large association with them. The Anti-Nazi Boycott Committee (Box 1, Folder 14) consists of letters written to and from committee officials concerning rising Nazi activity in the New York Area. The folder also includes “Don’t Buy German Goods” stamps. Information on the National Ladies Auxiliary (NLA) can also be found in Box 1, Folder 15. The NLA folder includes pamphlets for joining the organization as well as newsletters concerning the group’s activities. Information on the Jewish War Veterans, Framingham Post can also be found in Box 2, Folder 1. This folder provides a look at the Jewish War Veterans from a more local stance and includes newsletters put out by the post as well as a program book for their silver anniversary.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 14 Anti-Nazi Boycott Committee undated, 1933
1 15 National Ladies Auxiliary undated, 1939, 1966-1967, 1984-1986, 1991
BoxFolderTitleDate
2 1 Jewish War Veterans, Framingham Post 1944-1963, 1982
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Series III: Printed Material of the Jewish War Veterans, undated, 1937-1981

English.
Box 2, Folder 2 -- Box 3, Folder 2.
Scope and Content:

The third series is made up of various types of printed material explaining the history and purpose of the Jewish War Veterans. The series includes printed material on a range of Local JWV Posts such as local news releases, program books and health insurance benefits. A large collection of News Releases (released by the national committee) can be found in this series covering a span of over 45 years of news directly concerning Jewish War Veterans. A photo booklet put out by the JWV, "Candid Moments in the Military," can also be found in this series. Various political pamphlets and speeches can also be found in this series.

BoxFolderTitleDate
2 2 History, Purpose and Activities Printed Material of the JWV undated, 1941, 1945, 1953, 1955, 1981
2 3 JWV Local Posts Printed Material 1942-1979
2 4 Kings County Council JWV Program Book 1937
2 5-8 News Releases 1946-1994
BoxFolderTitleDate
3 1 Candid Moments in the Military Booklet undated
3 2 Political Pamphlets and Speeches undated, 1958, 1962
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Series IV: Publications, Newsletters and Clippings, 1929-2003

English and Yiddish.
Box 3, Folders 3-11.
Scope and Content:

This series includes multiple publications and newsletters that have been published by the Jewish War Veterans including the “Headquarters Letter” and “Routes to Roots” as well as more recent publications like the Jewish Veteran Newsletter. This series also includes publications from other similar organizations not directly connected to the Jewish War Veterans including the New York Jewish Citizen Newspaper. Also found in this series are newspaper clippings that can be found in English and Yiddish.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 3 Congressional Record 1968
3 4 Headquarters Letter 1959-1962
3 5 JWV Reporter 1944
3 5 The Shofar Newsletter 1935
3 6 Jewish Veteran Newsletter 2003
3 7 Loose Newspaper Clippings in English and Yiddish 1930
3 8 Monthly Newsletter 1957
3 9 Routes to Roots 1982-1989
3 9 Miscellaneous newsletters 1953, 1957, 1980-1981, 1993
3 10 Washington Report 1980-1981
3 11 The New York Jewish Citizen Newspaper 1929
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Series V: Scrapbook, 1924-1930

English and Yiddish.
Box 3, Folder 12.
Scope and Content:

The scrapbook contains many articles relevant to events happening to Jewish Veterans, as well as major events for Jews in the United States during the late 1920’s. Aside from English, some of the articles in the Scrapbook are in Yiddish. The series also contains newspaper clippings that were previously found in the scrapbook but have fallen out. The clippings, like the scrapbook, can be found in English and Yiddish.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 12 Loose Newspaper Clippings found in Scrapbook 1924-1930
3 Scrapbook (bound) 1924-1930
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Series VI: Photographs, undated, 1924-1947

Boxes 4 and 5.
Scope and Content:

The photographs found in this series are from all different areas of the collection. These photographs include soldiers in the war, veterans of the war, elected officials of the Jewish War Veterans, as well as officials of the United States Government with elected officials of the Jewish War Veterans. Box 5 includes oversized photographs and posters found in the collection.

BoxFolderTitleDate
4 Photographs undated, 1924-1947
BoxFolderTitleDate
5 Oversized photographs
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