William Korey, papers
Scope and Content Note
The William Korey papers include materials from the late 1940s through 2010, and the bulk of the collection is dated 1970s-1990s. The documents include manuscripts, correspondence, notes, publications, news clippings, photographs, and a data CD.
- Creation: undated, 1946-1951, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1959-2010
- Korey, William, 1922-2009 (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in English and Russian.
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.
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
Biographical and Historical Note
The Papers of William Korey represent one collection housed within the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM). These papers reflect the effort, beginning in the 1960s through the late 1980s, of thousands of American Jews of all denominations and political orientations to stop the persecution and discrimination of Jews in the Soviet Union. The American Soviet Jewry Movement (ASJM) is considered to be the most influential Movements of the American Jewish community in the 20th century. The beginnings of the organized American Soviet Jewry Movement became a model for efforts to aid Soviet Jews in other countries, among them Great Britain, Canada, and France. The movement can be traced to the early 1960s, when the first organizations were created to address the specific problem of the persecution and isolation of Soviet Jews by the government of the Soviet Union.
William Korey was born in Chicago on June 16, 1922. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1946 and received a master’s degree and a doctorate from Columbia University. He initially taught Russian History and History of Western Civilizations at the Long Island University and the City College of New York.
Dr. Korey’s career in the human rights world initiated in 1954, when he became the director of the Illinois-Missouri office of the Anti-Defamation League and later of the ADL regional office in Washington, D.C. He was involved in the struggle for school integration and in opposing the "massive resistance" campaign in the South as it impinged upon the D.C. suburbs of northern Virginia. He remained close to Russian history and wrote reviews for The Washington Post on newly-released studies about Russia and the Soviet Union. At that time he completed his doctoral dissertation on "Zinoviev and the Problem of World Revolution, 1919-27." He received his Ph.D. in 1960, and wrote several articles on the topic for Slavic Review and Problems of Communism. Simultaneously he was writing on the subjects of human rights for Commentary and The Reporter.
Dr. Korey became directly involved in the Soviet Jewry Movement in 1960, when he headed the new office of ADL's parent organization, B'nai B'rith International in New York City. The office handled one of B'nai B'rith's top priority concerns--discrimination faced by Soviet Jews and their growing desire to emigrate. His scholarly expertise of Russian history became closely linked to his human rights aspirations and he later became the director of B’nai B’rith’s international council and its international policy research department. During the following decades he actively lobbied for issues pivotal to the success of the Soviet Jewry movement, such as the adoption of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the 1974 Trade Act and defending the 1975 Helsinki Accords between the Eastern bloc and the West, aimed at influencing the Soviet Union. Parallel to his work on behalf of Soviet Jewry, Dr. Korey participated in the efforts to realize the U.S. ratification of the genocide treaty that was signed into law by President Reagan in 1988. To increase awareness of these issues, Dr. Korey published over two dozen Op-Ed pieces for the New York Times (a total of 15 for that newspaper), The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun. More in-depth, scholarly analyses of the above topics written by Dr. Korey appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New Republic and The Washington Quarterly, among many other publications.
Dr. Korey taught at Brooklyn College, Columbia University, Yeshiva University and several other major universities. He authored hundreds of essays and several books including the seminal Soviet Cage: Anti-Semitism in Russia (Viking Press), The Promises We Keep: Human Rights, The Helsinki Process and the American Foreign Policy (St. Martin’s Press), and NGOs and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (St. Martin’s Press).
William Korey passed away on August 26, 2009 in Cambridge, Mass.
7.25 Linear Feet (14 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box)
William Korey Papers document life and works of a prominent human rights expert who played a leadership role in the American Soviet Jewry movement. Dr. Korey served as a regional director of Anti-Defamation League and later as a founding director of B'nai Brith International's U.N. office which worked on the problem of discrimination faced by the Jews in the Soviet Union. Dr. Korey was deeply involved in the processes pivotal to the success of the Sovet Jewry movement, such as the defense of the Helsinki Accords and the adoption of the Jackson-Vanik amendment. Parallel to his work on behalf of Soviet Jewry Dr. Korey participated in the efforts to realize the U.S. ratification of the genocide treaty that eventually came to fruition in 1988. William Korey authored hundreds of articles and essays and a number of books on the subjects related to the Jews in the Soviet Union. He taught at the Long Island University, City College of New York, Columbia University, Brooklyn College and several other major universities. The William Korey papers include materials from the late 1940s through 2010, and the bulk of the collection is dated 1970s-1990s. The documents include manuscripts, correspondence, notes, publications, news clippings, photographs and a data CD.
The collection is divided into five series as follows:
- Series I: Biographical Documents, undated, 1946-1949, 1951, 1953, 1957, 1959-1960, 1965, 1971-1974, 1977, 1981-1995, 1997-1998, 2000-2001, 2004-2005, 2007-2009
- Series II: Articles by William Korey, undated, 1960-2009
- Subseries A: Subseries A: Helsinki Accords, undated, 1975, 1977-1978, 1981-1983, 1986-1990, 1992-1995
- Subseries B: Human Rights, undated 1971-1973, 1977-1980, 1984, 1987-1989, 1997-2005, 2007-2008
- Subseries C: International Relations with Israel, undated, 1967-1968, 1970, 1972, 1975-1976, 1979, 1981-1986, 1988, 1990, 1998-2001, 2003, 2005-2006
- Subseries D: Jackson-Vanik Amendment, 1975-1976, 1983-1984, 1988-1989, 1993-1995, 2002, 2004-2005
- Subseries E: Protocols of the Elders of Zion, undated, 1976-1977, 1979, 1986, 1993, 2003, 2007
- Subseries F: Raoul Wallenberg, undated, 1989-1990, 1993-1995, 1997, 2000-2002
- Subseries G: Soviet Jewry, undated, 1960-1975, 1977-1991, 1993-1994, 1996, 1999-2000, 2007, 2009
- Series III: Non-Government Organizations, undated, 1964-1965, 1968-1972, 1974-1977, 1979, 1980-1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2006-2008
- Series IV: Secondary Sources, 1959, 1962-1969, 1971-1980, 1983-1992, 1994-1996, 1999-2009
- Series V: Photographs and Digital Files, undated, 1955, 1986, 1990, 1993, 2010
Donated by Eileen Korey Kaplan in 2010.
- Korey, William, 1922-2009 (Person)
- Wallenberg, Raoul, 1912-1947 (Person)
- Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry (Organization)
- National Conference on Soviet Jewry (U.S.) (Organization)
- Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (Organization)
- Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (Organization)
- B'nai B'rith (Organization)
Genre / Form
- clippings (information artifacts)
- Notes (documents)
- Press releases
- publications (documents)
- Guide to the Papers of William Korey, undated, 1946-1951, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1959-2010 *P-903
- Processed by Andrey Filimonov
- © 2011
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.