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Jewish Defense Organization Records

 Collection
Identifier: I-490

Scope and Content Note

The collection includes materials pertaining to the Jewish Defense Organization, a radical organization devoted to protecting Jews from their enemies, imaginary and real, using all means possible.

Collection consists of correspondence, financial documents, legal documents, such as depositions, subpoenas, and transcripts, and a large amount of printed materials.

The bulk of the materials consist of a variety of printed materials that are spread throughout the collection, with the larger segment found in Series III: Jewish Defense Organization Publications and Series IV: Printed Materials.

These materials consists of newspapers, magazines, journals, newsletters, leaflets, flyers, posters, and clippings and cover such topics as Anti-Semitism, Israel, Middle East, terrorism, Islam, labor movement, conservatives, right wing extremism, racism, and Soviet Jews.

There is also an abundance of materials pertaining to specific organizations, such as Jewish Defense League, Jewish Defense Organization, Ku Klux Klan, Palestinian Liberation Organization, and Nation of Islam.

The second largest portion of the collection deals with a number of legal cases against various members of the Jewish Defense Organization and the organization itself, in particular a case brought forward by former member Steven Rambam. These materials consist of court procedures and other legal documents in their entirety, as well as correspondence.

Other materials dealing directly with Jewish Defense Organization include official correspondence and correspondence dealing with Mordechai Levy's arrest, financial and legal documents, notes, and photographs and audio-visual materials documenting the organization’s work. These materials constitute just a fraction of the collection.

Many materials that one would expect to find among the organization’s records are missing. There are very few financial or bookkeeping records, very little membership information and aside from the printed materials, very little is documented in regards to the organization’s activities.

Dates

  • 1971-2003

Creator

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at mmeyers@ajhs.org.

For reference questions, please email: inquiries@cjh.org

Historical Note

The Jewish Defense Organization is a radical Zionist Jewish organization devoted to the fight against Anti-Semitism and protecting Jews from their enemies.

It was founded in 1981 by Mordechai Levy, a former member of the Jewish Defense League after he and JDL’s leader Irv Rubin came to disagreements they could not resolve.

JDO members participate in a wide variety of campaigns, such as patrolling Jewish neighborhoods, as well as staging and participating in protests against Neo-Nazis and other groups who openly express their hatred towards Jews.

The group demonstrated against Louis Farrakhan, David Duke, Lyndon LaRouche, Moshe Aryeh Friedman, PLO, and other individuals and organizations who are viewed by the organization as Anti-Semitic.

In addition to protests and other agitation work, Jewish Defense Organization runs Camp Jabotinsky where young Jews are trained in self-defense and participate in gun-training.

Jewish Defense Organization has been involved in a number of legal case, most notably with a former JDO member, turned private eye, Steven Rambam. Steven Rambam sued The Jewish Defense Organization in 1997 “alleging defamation, false light invasion of privacy, and incitement to violence”.

Extent

26 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Russian

Hebrew

Abstract

The collection includes materials pertaining to the Jewish Defense Organization, a radical Zionist Jewish organization devoted to protecting Jews from their enemies, imaginary and real, using all means possible. Collection consists of correspondence, financial documents, legal documents, such as depositions, subpoenas, transcripts, and a large amount of printed materials. The bulk of the materials consist of a variety of printed materials and materials pertaining to a number of legal cases against various members of the Jewish Defense Organization and the organization itself.

Arrangement

The collection is devided into four series:
  1. Series I: Court Materials, 1977-2003
  2. Subseries 1: California. Supreme Court: Steven Rambam vs. Jewish Defense Organization, 1977-2001
  3. Subseries 2: New York (State). Supreme Court: Steven Rambam vs. Jewish Defense Organization, 1977-2002
  4. Subseries 3: Other Court Cases, 1977-2003
  5. Series II: General, 1977-2002
  6. Series III: Jewish Defense Organization's Publication, 1980s-1999
  7. Series IV: Printed Materials, 1971-2003

Acquisition Information

Collection was donated by Mordechai Levy on behalf of the Jewish Defense Organization in 2000.

Related Material

AJHS Antisemitic Literature Collection

Separated Material

Books have been removed from the collection.
Title
Guide to the Records of the Jewish Defense Organization, 1971-2003 I-490
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Yakov Illich Sklar
Date
© 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
Processed as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • April 2021: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States