Skip to main content

Milton Weill Papers

Identifier: P-34

Scope and Content Note

This collection of Milton Weill's Papers contains several distinct groups of material: personal correspondence and keepsakes from Weill’s years as World War I soldier; business correspondence and speeches in his capacity as Vice President of the National Jewish Welfare Board; correspondence with, and items relating to, Weill’s friend Rabbi Milton Steinberg of Park Avenue Synagogue; a number of unsigned, undated dramatic sketches; and a scrapbook containing World War I memorabilia.

Subjects in the collection includes Jewish soldiers in France in World War I, Camp Upton in Long Island, Irving Berlin, Eddie Cantor, Harpo Marx, theatre performed by soldiers, dramatic sketches, the National Jewish Welfare Board between 1941-1946, Rabbi Milton Steinberg of the Park Avenue Synagogue, conditions for Jews living in Latin American countries in 1946, anti-Semitism in the 1940s, interfaith relations in the 1940s, army chaplains in World War II, and scrapbooks.

A related item held by the archive of the 92nd Street Y’s Buttenweiser Library is a scrapbook covering Weill’s life through the start of his World War I experience. Although this scrapbook seems to flow directly into the later one in our collection, it seems comfortably suited to its 92nd Street Y location because of Weill’s close association with that institution. A description of the scrapbook is available in an addendum.


  • undated, 1917-1954

Language of Materials

The collection is in English, French, one item in Yiddish, and one item in 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

Milton Weill (1891-1975)

Milton Weill was born in New York City on October 21, 1891. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School and then Columbia University, graduating in 1913.

He was drafted into the US Army in 1917. Following training at Camp Upton (Yaphank, NY), he was promoted to Sergeant and finally to Second Lieutenant in the 129th Infantry during World War I. He fought at Argonne-Meuse (France) and was temporarily blinded after inhaling mustard gas on October 8, 1918. After a brief hospital stay in France, he returned to America on February 25, 1919. He was discharged from the service on March 18, 1919 and was awarded the Purple Heart.

On March 25, 1922, he married Teresa Jackson. The couple lived on the Upper East Side of New York City and were involved in congregational activities at Park Avenue Synagogue, where Milton Weill became a trustee.

From 1915 to 1920, Weill was a partner in the Weil, Biow, Weill, a New York advertising agency. He then became Vice President and later Chairman of the Board at Arrow Manufacturing Company (West New York, NJ), a producer of music boxes, where he remained from 1920 to 1960.

Weill was best known for his work in Jewish organizations. From 1951 to 1954, he was President of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. During his tenure, he managed a $50 million building program that yielded Long Island Jewish Hospital, the Henry Ittleson Center for Child Research, and the Henry Kaufman Campgrounds in Pearl River, NY. He became Vice President of the National Jewish Welfare Board, a board member of the United Jewish Appeal, a Governor of the American Jewish Committee, Vice President of the Greater New York Fund, a Director of United Services Organizations, Overseer of Brandeis University Graduate School of Social Welfare, Honorary Vice President and board member of New York’s 92nd Street Y (then the 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association), and Honorary Chairman of the Board of Associated Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Associations of New York. The Emanuel Midtown Y on East 14th Street named its building the Milton Weill Building when it was first constructed, and the 92nd Street Y created the Milton J. Weill Art Gallery adjacent to its Kaufman Concert Hall.

Milton Weill died in on October 2, 1975 at the age of 84. At that point he resided in Sarasota, FL.


2.5 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized box and 3 MAP folders.)


Milton Weill was known for his work in philanthropic Jewish organizations. Among the many presidential, vice-presidential, and board member positions he held, he was President of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies (1951-1954), Vice-President of the National Jewish Welfare Board, and a board member of the United Jewish Appeal and the American Jewish Committee. He was also the Director of the United Services Organizations, Overseer of Brandeis University's Graduate School of Social Welfare and Honorary Vice President and board member of the 92nd Street Y in New York. Prior to the 92nd Street Y, he was a board member of the 92nd Street Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association and was Honorary Chairman of the Board of Associated Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Assocations of New York. The Milton J. Weill Art Gallery is located at the 92nd Street Y. Mr. Weill graduated from Columbia University and served in France during World War I. The papers include correspondence, telegrams, postcards, maps, artifacts, posters, photographs, lectures, sketch typescripts, and scrapbooks from World War I, his tenure at the Jewish Welfare Board, and personal correspondence.


The collection is arranged into five series.

For a description of a Scrapbook concerning Weill's younger years, located at the Buttenweiser Library, 92nd Street Y archives please see the addendum.

Custodial History

Donated by Milton Weill prior and up to 1969.

Related Material

I-52: National Jewish Welfare Board. Bureau of War Records. Papers, 1940–1969 (includes some official correspondence of Milton Weill).

P-369: Steinberg, Milton, 1903–1950. Papers, 1920–1981 (includes some correspondence with Milton Weill).

I-337: National Jewish Welfare Board. Records, undated, 1889-1995 (includes folder titles in Subgroup I: Governance, Series A: Governing Body, Subseries 4: Office of the President, Frank L. Weil Files).

Scrapbook; 92nd Street Y Bulletin. Archive, Buttenweiser Library, 92nd Street Y. For access, contact the Library Director. For an addendum of scrapbook contents, click here.

Guide to the Papers of Milton Weill (1891-1975) undated, 1917–1954 P-34
Processed by Paulette Schneider
© 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from MiltonWeill02.xml

Revision Statements

  • March, June 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