Skip to main content

Jewish Student Organizations Collection

 Collection
Identifier: I-61

Scope and Content Note

The Jewish Student Organizations collection consists of publications from Jewish student and youth groups spanning the 20th century. The bulk of the collection consists of publications produced between the 1960s, through the 1980s. Most were produced by Jewish groups on individual campuses, although some inter-campus and non-college, community youth publications are included.

Topics covered in the collection include: current events, Zionism and Israel, politics, Jewish identity, religious observances, holidays, social events, counter-culture, humor, Jewish ethics, Judaism in secular culture, community service, and social conscience.

Dates

  • undated, 1907-2006
  • Majority of material found within 1965 - 1985

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English with some Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, and Yiddish.

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 mmeyers@ajhs.org.

For reference questions, please email: inquiries@cjh.org

Historical Note

Jewish communal organizations are a major part of American Jewish life. Often, however, general organizations do not reflect the needs, desires, and interests of Jewish young adults. In both the past and present, Jewish youth have formed their own student organizations to help meet their particular needs as young people. These organizations have provided students not only with opportunities to practice Judaism on campus, but with opportunities to explore their Jewish identity in the wider world.

Many of these organizations produced publications for both their membership, and to publicize their activities to the wider campus (both Jewish and gentile). In these publications, students explored what being a Jew meant to them; discussed politics and current events, often from a Jewish ethical perspective; organized events; and raised funds.

In the 1960s, student organizations grew significantly in number and scope as students found themselves highly dissatisfied with existing Jewish organizational life. Jewish student publications took on a strong counter-cultural stance in these years, and often espoused liberal and radical viewpoints, mirroring the shifts in larger student culture.

Many of the student organizations were associated with university Hillel chapters (The B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation). Hillel was founded in 1923 to connect Jewish college youth to Jewish tradition, develop future Jewish leaders, and help students deal with anti-Semitism. Hillel publications helped the chapters reach out to Jewish students not involved in the organization to encourage them to re-discover their Jewish heritage through Hillel activities.

B’nai B’rith is a Jewish service organization that managed and funded the national Hillel organization until a reorganization in 1994. Most student publications funded by B’nai B’rith were produced by Hillel chapters.

Extent

48.5 Linear Feet (42 manuscript boxes, 15 OS1 oversized boxes, 1 OS2 oversized box)

Abstract

The collection contains the periodicals of, and relating to, many Jewish student organizations.

Arrangement

Collection is arranged by type of publication into four series, with a fifth series of oversized materials. Oversized Materials are identified in their appropriate type of publication series in this finding aid with "see" references, but not in the collection folders. Some titles and materials are split between series; these are identified by "separated materials" and "see also" references.

The collection is divided into five series, as described below:
  1. Series I: Periodicals - United States, undated, 1909, 1911-1914, 1918-1995, 2003-2006
  2. Series II: Periodicals - International, undated, 1933, 1941, 1953, 1962-1988
  3. Series III: Non-Periodical Materials - United States, undated, 1907-1908, 1911, 1913, 1916-1917, 1921-1942, 1944-1948, 1950-1952, 1954-1987, 1991
  4. Series IV: Non-Periodical Materials - International, undated, 1926-1927, 1948, 1966, 1968-1977
  5. Series V: Separated Oversized Materials, undated, 1929, 1932, 1936-1946, 1948-1989, 1992, 2003-2004

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

This collection was artificially created from materials collected directly by AJHS. Much of the material was collected directly by AJHS and organized by archival staff into a unified collection. A number of individuals contributed their personal collections of publications and ephemera to the collection. Other materials were collected via AJHS library subscription to the periodicals. Non-serial publications, mailings, and ephemera were collected from organizational members and donors.
Title
Guide to the Jewish Student Organizations Collection, undated, 1907-2006   I-61
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by AJHS Staff
Date
© 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • November 2012: In 2012 the collection was significantly re-organized. The original organization was not preserved, as the collection was artificially created and organized. Duplicate publications were removed. Empty folders were removed from the collection. Some published materials were transferred to I-338, to unify split runs of periodicals. All boxes and folders were re-numbered. If tracking pre-reorganization citations, search the finding aid for appropriate titles, and if not present, examine I-338.
  • January 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