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Institute of Jewish Affairs Collection

Identifier: I-371

Scope and Content Note

The Institute of Jewish Affairs Collection consists of organizational literature – brochures, plans, records of activities and correspondence. It also includes reports on a range of topics related to Jewry in Nazi-occupied Europe and postwar world, especially covering Western Europe and Soviet Union and its satellite states. It contains publications on Jewry in Middle East, North America and China after World War II as well as a list of publications between 1941 and 1953.


  • 1941-1971

Language of Materials

The collection is in English, Yiddish, and German.

Access Restrictions

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.

Use Restrictions

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


Historical Note

The Institute of Jewish Affairs (IJA) was created in February 1941 under the auspices of World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Congress to serve as a scientific and research enterprise. IJA’s purpose was to analyze the political, legal and economic aspects of Jewish life since World War I and subsequently to create a postwar policy to secure Jewish rights and freedom internationally. The concept behind the creation of the Institute was that Jewish leaders, struggling for the interests of the Jewry after World War I, “were hampered by the lack of up-to-date information on the situation of the Jews and no less by the lack of research into relevant legal and political options.”1 The research areas included Jewish life, anti-Semitism, human rights related to minorities and migration, as well as the Holocaust and its aftermath. The founder, Dr Jacob Robinson served as the Institute’s first director (1941-1947). He was followed by Nehemiah Robinson (1947-1964) and Oscar Karbach (1964-1973)2. IJA’s publications studied the situation of the Jews as well as proposed policies. In late 1940s, the organization participated in the preparation of reports submitted to the United Nations. In 1965 IJA moved to London and in 1994 it was reestablished as the Institute for Jewish Policy Research.3


  1. 1Boaz, Cohen (2010 a). "Dr. Jacob Robinson, the Institute of Jewish Affairs and the Elusive Jewish voice in Nuremberg," David Bankier and Dan Michman (eds.), Holocaust and Justice: representation and Historiography of the Holocaust in Post-War Trials, Yad Vashem and Berghahn Books, Jerusalem, p.85.
  2. 2American Jewish Archives (2002) A Collection Overview to the World Jewish Congress Records. 1918-1982 (bulk 1940-1980). Manuscript Collection No. 361. Accessed on-line at:
  3. 3Troen, Selwyn Illan (1999) “Jewish Centers and Peripheries: Europe Between America and Israel Fifty Years After World War II,” Transaction Publishers, p.275.


1 Linear Feet (2 Boxes)


The Institute of Jewish Affairs was a scientific and research organization attached to the World Jewish Congress. The collection consists of brochures, reports, surveys and other research publications. The materials address the plans, goals and activities of the organization as well as containing studies of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe, Jewish life in the postwar era in various countries and political events influencing Jewry and anti-Semitism. The collection also includes analyses of international legislation on questions which were influencing the Jewish situation within the spheres of human rights, minorities and migration at the time.


The Collection has been arranged chronologically by topic.

Acquisition Information

There records were mainly created by the IJA and the manner in which they came into AJHS is unknown.

Related Material

AJHS archives holds the records of the American Jewish Congress, I-77 which includes publications of IJA. The American Jewish Archives in the World Jewish Congress Records (1918-1982) also holds materials of the Institute of Jewish Affairs, and the Yeshiva University Library maintains a report collection of IJA (1941-1947).

Processing Information

The collection was processed in 2014 by Aleksandra Kubica. Processing made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation and the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe.

Guide to the Institute of Jewish Affairs Collection undated, 1941-1971 I-371
Processed by Aleksandra Kubica
© 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processing made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation and the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States