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Manuel F. Lisan papers

Identifier: P-138

Scope and Content Note

The Papers of Manuel Lisan reflect American Zionist activities in the first-half of the twentieth century.

This collection includes drafts and chapters from Lisan's memoirs, which document his experiences in Czarist Russia, his life as a Zionist in Philadelphia, and the struggle for the establishment of a Jewish State. Also includes Zionist documents and publications from the 1910s and 1920s, and some correspondence.

The collection is valuable to researchers studying: American Zionism, the Age of Migration, and pogroms carried out against Russian Jewry.

The collection is primarily in English, with minimal Hebrew publications and correspondence.


  • Creation: undated, 1902-1911, 1920-1927, 1936, 1946-1958, 1968-1969


Language of Materials

The collection is predominantly in English, with some Hebrew.

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

For reference questions, please email:

Biographical Note

Manuel Lisan (1882-1968)

Manuel Lisan was born on December 3, 1882 to Feivel and Chase (Russacoff) Lisan near Odessa, Russia. There, he attended yeshiva before his migration to the United States in 1900. In Russia, Lisan had begun to associate himself with the Zionist movement, and, in Odessa, he was a member of the Zionist Youth Organization.

In the United States, Lisan settled in Philadelphia. There, he worked as a garment manufacturer and retailer. He joined the city's Committee on Propaganda & Organization for the Federation of American Zionists in 1907; organized many Zionist societies across Pennsylvania; and he joined the Zionist Organization of America, and the Federation of Jewish Charities.

Lisan He died in 1968.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box)


Collection contains a typescript of memoirs (some sections in several drafts) covering the period until 1907, describing Lisan's youth in Russia, his journey to America, his early years in Philadelphia, and his travels throughout Pennsylvania. The memoirs also relate in some detail Lisan's Zionist activities in Russia and America, and his reaction to world Jewish events.

Materials include: correspondence covering the years 1902-1969 dealing with Lisan's Zionist activities, announcements (1909-1910) of the Maccabean Zionist Society in Philadelphia, receipts and a Land Certificate from the American Zion Commonwealth, and a share certificate from the Jewish Colonial Trust.


The collection consists of a single series arranged by topic.


Manuel Lisan donated his papers to the American Jewish Historical Society in 1972 and 1973.

Guide to the Papers of Manuel F. Lisan (1882-1968), undated, 1902-1911, 1920-1927, 1936, 1946-1958, 1968-1969   *P-138
Processed by Jason Schechter (January 3, 2002)
© 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • April, July 2020: EHyman: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States