National Refugee Service (U.S.)
Found in 9 Collections and/or Records:
German-Jewish Children's Aid Records
The German-Jewish Children's Aid, later known as the European-Jewish Children's Aid, was involved in bringing Jewish children to the United States from Europe before, during, and after World War II. The records in this collection are comprised of correspondence, reports and case files, which may contain biographical information as well as questionnaries and correspondence concerning the case.
Papers of Cecilia Razovsky
The papers consist of correspondence and reports of Cecelia Razovsky (married name: Davidson), noted social worker specializing in immigration and resettlement of refugees. The collection includes information about her work with the National Council of Jewish Women in the 1920s, and with the National Refugee Service (and predecessor organizations) in the 1930s. Information is included about her work as a Resettlement Supervisor in the post-World War II Displaced Persons camps in Europe, and as a field worker in the southwestern U.S. for the United Service for New Americans in 1950. The collection contains reports and correspondence from her trips to South America, primarily Brazil, to explore possibilities of refugee settlement in 1937 and 1946; as a representative for United HIAS Service to aid in settling Egyptian and Hungarian refugees in 1957-1958; and as a pleasure trip and evaluation of the changes in the Jewish community of the country in 1963. Also included in the collection are many of Razovsky's articles, plays, and pamphlets.
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) Records
The records of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, now known as HIAS, comprise much of the history of HIAS through the second half of the 20th century, primarily through the files created by leadership based in the New York headquarters. Since the 1880s HIAS has worked with immigrants and refugees to help them emigrate legally from their home countries to safe resettlement in the United States and elsewhere, and they continue this work today. The records focus on files of the Executive Directors, including James P. Rice, Gaynor I. Jacobson and Karl D. Zukerman, and other material created by executive staff and by the Board of Directors. Also of importance is the work of the HIAS United States Operations Department in the New York office, handling the everyday details of immigration documentation, migration issues and resettlement activities in connection with communities throughout the United States, and in coordination with HIAS staff in overseas offices and the other departments in New York and Washington, D.C. In addition, more than 1100 files of legacy photographs have been digitized as part of this project and made accessible online.
Joseph Perkins Chamberlain Papers
This collection contains the papers of Joseph Perkins Chamberlain, a professor of law who worked with many refugee aid organizations during the 1930s and 1940s. The papers reflect the work of Chamberlain and the organizations in rescuing and assisting refugees from Europe during this time. Although the bulk of the documents consists of correspondence, the collection also includes minutes of meetings, reports, statistical information, clippings, booklets and transcripts of speeches.
National Refugee Service Records
This collection contains the records of the National Refugee Service (NRS), a refugee aid organization founded in New York City in 1939 to assist refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. A successor agency to the National Coordinating Committee for Aid to Refugees and Emigrants Coming from Germany, which had operated as an umbrella organization of refugee aid agencies since 1934, the NRS remained in existence until 1946, when it was merged into the new organization United Service for New Americans. The NRS program encompassed a migration service that assisted with affidavits, visas and other legal aspects of the immigration process; temporary relief and casework services; job placement, retraining, and small business loans; help in resettling to localities throughout the country; and social and cultural adjustment to American life. The records include minutes, correspondence, memoranda, and reports related to the board of directors; the executive director; lay advisory committees; the various departments within the NRS; special committees assisting professional groups, including physicians, musicians, rabbis, social workers, and scholars; and cooperating refugee-assistance committees and organizations across the United States.
National Jewish Welfare Board Bureau of War Records
Collection includes approximately 85,000 individual service files and 320,000 surrogate index cards collected by the BWR and the Greater New York War Records Committee on behalf of Jewish soldiers and sailors who served in World War II. The BWR also conducted surveys of Jewish doctors, dentists, farmers and refugees who served in the United States Armed Forces and compiled population studies for cities containing Jewish populations greater than 25,000, among them Trenton, N.J. and New York City. The individual service files typically provide a soldier's name, age, rank, serial number, service branch, home address, civilian occupation, next of kin, awards and casualties. These files contain supporting documentation culled from newspapers, telephone conversations, and correspondence exchanged among BWR staff and volunteers, service personnel and their families, and representatives of the United States Armed Forces.
The alphabetical master cards series serves as an abbreviated, annotated index for the more substantial individual service files of Jewish service personnel who won awards or suffered casualties during the war. The Bureau maintained correspondence files for permanent staff members including Salo Baron, Edward Burnstein, Louis Dublin, Elisha Friedman, Dr. Maurice Hexter, Rabbi Edward Israel, Samuel Kohs, Louis Kraft, Samuel Leff, Harry Lurie, Herbert Marks, Benjamin Rabinowitz, Philip Schiff, Selma Schnaper, Jerome Seidman, David Turtletaub, Frank Weil, Milton Weill, Arthur Weyne, and Joseph Zubin.
The Bureau also preserved correspondence with representatives of local war records committees, religious, and community service organizations including the United Service Organization, Jewish Community Centers, Hebrew Associations, and the National Refugee Service, as well as publishers, alumni associations, and military personnel from the offices of United States Army, Navy, and Quartermaster General's office.
It retained copies of published and printed materials including studies, lists, guides, forms, and cards. Among the vital records are charts depicting the BWR administrative hierarchy; personnel and staff records; lists of volunteers and field representatives employed throughout the United States; minutes of meetings; annual, quarterly, and special reports; budget materials; and policies and procedures implemented during the war records program.
Papers of Sebastian Steiner
This collection contains materials that document Sebastian Steiner’s time in Shanghai during WWII. Materials include professional correspondence related to the jobs Steiner held in Shanghai, and correspondence with officials regarding his residency as well as his eventual departure.
Records of the National Refugee Service
This collection contains records of the National Refugee Service (NRS), including committee files, correspondence, publications, and project files organized by partner organization and location. A few case files and a small amount of materials on predecessor organizations, notably the National Coordinating Committee, are also included. The records cover the major functions of the NRS related to migration, resettlement, retraining, employment, and social adjustment of refugees. Other subjects of note include affidavits, deportations, internees and enemy aliens in the United States, the refugee ship SS St. Louis, and the Fort Ontario refugee shelter in Oswego, New York. A few pieces of correspondence with Secretary of State Dean Acheson and Attorney General Francis Biddle are included.
Records of the United Service for New Americans
This collection contains correspondence, records, and publications of the United Service for New Americans (USNA), the major immigration and resettlement organization in the United States for Jewish displaced persons immigrating in the late 1940s and early 1950s. These records document USNA’s interaction and coordination with the United States government’s Displaced Persons Commission, associated Jewish agencies, particularly the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and representatives of Jewish settlement groups in cities and towns across the country. The organization helped obtain housing and job assurances for Jewish refugees without family in the United States and provided assurances that they would not become public charges. The correspondence and records in this collection document the entire process of immigration and resettlement, including obtaining the necessary assurances required for displaced persons to immigrate to the United States, relief services provided immediately upon the refugees’ arrival, their designation to and arrival in communities across the country, and the services provided to the new immigrants by their local Jewish communities thereafter.