Seligman Solomon Society Records
Scope and Content Note
The records of the Seligman Solomon Society contain executive and membership meeting minutes, a 25th anniversary souvenir journal, bulletins, financial and presidential reports, correspondence, and photographs.
The records are of interest to genealogists and researchers studying the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New York, Jewish World War I soldiers, and Jewish philanthropy. Major correspondents within the records include Louis Freund (President, 1917-1920), Max Lefkowitz (President, 1920), Max Kaufman (President, 1920-1921), Charles Herman (President, 1921-1923), Herman Stark (Treasurer, 1921-1952), Ray Rabinowitz (Secretary, 1919- 1926), and Serena Rabinowitz (Corresponding Secretary 1919-1926). Information also exists concerning Edward Lauterbach, longtime trustee of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and bandleader and composer, Edwin Franko Goldman.
Of interest within the correspondence are: letters from Jewish World War I soldiers, lists and addresses of Society members, and proposition cards for membership spanning the years 1918-1921. Also of interest are group photographs of graduation classes and photographs of World War I soldiers.
Language of Materials
The collection is in English.
The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.
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Seligman Solomon Society (1887-1956)
Seligman Solomon (1822-1884) was a beloved benefactor of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New York (HOA). A German immigrant who made a huge fortune in real estate in New York, he retired at age thirty-eight to devote his life to charity. He spent much of his time at the Orphanage, paying daily visits to give food and moral support to the orphans. Known as “Papa Solomon” he did anything in his power to help the residents, including following up with discharged orphans, helping to find them work and adjust to their new life. When he died in 1884, Hebrew Orphans Asylum residents, alumni, and friends erected a monument over his grave. In March 1887, a group of Hebrew Orphans Asylum alumni formed the Seligman Solomon Society in the desire to carry on in Solomon’s footsteps.
The Society dedicated itself to perpetuating Solomon’s memory, providing moral and financial assistance to discharged orphans, aiding Society members in distress, and performing works of charity. Membership requirements included paying initiation fees, membership dues, and were dependent upon an election process. In return, Society members were given financial security through illness and death benefits. Society members could also look forward to several social engagements each year, such as annual balls, reunion days, and social meetings. A major event in the Society’s history was a relocation of the annual ball from Opera Halls to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The Society held its ball there from 1922-1926.
In 1939, a second alumni association was created, the Academy Alumni, which offered open membership. Both alumni groups continued after the Hebrew Orphan Asylum incorporated into the Jewish Child Care Association of New York in 1940. In October 1956, the Seligman Solomon Society and the Academy Alumni voted to merge their organizations to form the HOA Association.
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The Society was named after "Papa" Seligman Solomon (1822-1884), a German Jewish immigrant who accumulated wealth in New York real estate. Retiring at age 38, Solomon devoted his time to works of charity, particularly in the care of orphans at the Hebrew Orphans Asylum (HOA) in New York. When Solomon died, a group of alumni from the HOA formed the Society to carry on Solomon's work. The group perpetuated Solomon's memory, helped orphans, and performed charitable works. Members included Louis Freund, Max Kaufman, Charles Herman, Edward Lauterbach, and bandleader Edwin Franko Goldman. The Society eventually merged with another group of alumni, The Academy Alumni, to form the HOA Association in 1956. The collection includes correspondence from Jewish World War I soldiers as well as other correspondence, Society member lists, photographs, a Souvenir Journal, and minutes.
Collection is currently awaiting full arrangement; container list represents inventory of collection contents.
- Collection Box List, 1912-1922
- Oversized Materials, 1919, 1922
Hyman Bogen donated the Seligman Solomon Society Records to the American Jewish Historical Society in 1998.
- Guide to the Records of the Seligman Solomon Society (1887-1956), 1912-1922 I-6
- Processed by AJHS Staff
- © 2003
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Edition statement
- This version was derived from SolomonSociety.xml
- May 2005.: Finding aid was updated and reconverted in order to match other online finding aids by Dianne Ritchey Oummia.
- January 2006.: Entities removed from EAD finding aid.
- May 2020: EHyman: post-ASpace migration cleanup.