Skip to main content

Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds records

 Collection
Identifier: I-69

Scope and Content Note

The American Jewish Historical Society houses an additional 1000+ boxes of unprocessed material in offsite storage regarding the records of the Bureau of Jewish Social Research, the National Appeals Information Service, and the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. Until further notice, this material is closed to the public; please note that the material described in this collection box list is the only portion of the collection currently accessible to the public.

This collection contains the archives of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, a national coordinating agency that assists national and regional Jewish agencies in the U.S. and Canada in fund raising, community organization, health and welfare planning, public relations, and similar endeavors. The collection includes the material of its predecessor agency, the Bureau of Jewish Social Research, as well as correspondence; research; budget reports; audits; and reports on the activities of approximately 600 national, local, and overseas agencies Jewish agencies.

In addition, the collection also contains subject files relating to the aged, blind, burial, family service, health and hospitals, immigration legislation, mikvot, refugees, residence laws, nudgetary materials, services provided to transient and imprisoned Jews, materials prepared for a special conference on the Mental Impairment of the Aged in 1959, and community studies of major US cities.

Dates

  • undated, 1906-1998

Creator

Access Restrictions

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

NOTE: An additional 1000+ unprocessed boxes are in off-site storage. Until further notice, this material is closed to the public.

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

Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds was established in 1932 by the Jewish Federations in 15 US cities; this new organization absorbed the work and functions of two predecessor organizations: the Bureau of Jewish Social Research (founded in 1919, as a merger of the Bureau of Jewish Philanthropic Research, the Field Bureau of the National Conference of Jewish Social Service, and the Bureau of Information and Statistics of the American Jewish Committee; it conducted studies of stats regarding various Jewish communities), and the National Appeals Information Service (founded 1927, by 41 Jewish Federations).

With the organization of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, the functions previously performed by the predecessor organizations were extended to include community planning for local Jewish services, and mutual aid to Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds in conducting local fund-raising campaigns.

The Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds published annual reports regarding developments in specific fields, budget digests dealing with individual national and overseas agencies, and reports dealing with budgeting, campaigning, public welfare, public relations, and business management services.

At the time of the Council's founding, in 1932, there were fewer than 70 active Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds; by 1995, Jewish Federations affiliated with the Council operated in 190 headquarter-cities, serving thousands of communities, and raised about $800 million in annual campaigns, with about 95% of the Jewish population of the U.S. resided in federated communities.

In 1967, the Israel Emergency Fund--organized the week preceding the Six-Day War--raised hundreds of millions of dollars through associated Jewish Federations. The idea of a second line to the annual campaign was used again in the Yom Kippur War, and with the resettlement of Soviet, Ethiopians, and Argentinian Jews.

Federations are the principal sources of financial support for the UJA, HIAS, the NJWB, and community relations agencies outside New York City. They also provide substantial financial support to about 50 other national and international agencies. In addition, each local Federation supports local welfare services (family, child care, aged care, refugee care), Jewish hospitals, community centers, camps, youth services, Jewish education, and local community relations.

Federations allocated less than 30% of their funds for national and overseas agencies in 1932; by 1995, overseas agencies were receiving 38.7% of Federation funds; national agencies were receiving 1%; and local agencies and Federation administration were receiving 55%. The remaining 5% is due to shrinkage.

In response to compaints from local Federations regarding: greater financial accountability and transparency, and redundant services and bureaucracies, the Council was merged with the United Jewish Appeal and United Israel Appeal in 1999, to form the United Jewish Communities.

Extent

545 Manuscript Boxes

273.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This collection contains the archives of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, a national coordinating agency which assists national and regional Jewish agencies in the U.S. and Canada in fund raising, community organization, health and welfare planning, public relations, and similar missions.

Collection includes materials of the predecessor agency (Bureau of Jewish Social Research), correspondence, research, budget reports, audits, and reports on the activities of approximately 600 national, local, and overseas Jewish agencies.
Title
Guide to the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds records, undated, 1906-1998 I-69
Status
Completed
Author
Box List created by Jane Foss Lowenkron
Date
© 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • September 2018.: Box list created from folder titles by Jane Foss Lowenkron. Box list added by Tanya Elder. Other minor revisions by Tanya Elder.
  • February 2021: EHyman: 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