Ronya Schwaab Papers
Scope and Content Note
The collection contains material related to her activities advocating for Soviet Jews, lecturing on various topics, her trips abroad, and writing reviews for numerous books. It also includes correspondence with family, friends, and various officials in both the public and non-profit spheres of politics and business. The collection contains numerous photographs and certificates that further document her activities and accomplishments.
- Creation: undated, 1877-2001
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1958-2001
- Schwaab, Ronya, 1909-2001 (Person)
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Ronya Schwaab, nee Chernin, was born in Loyev, Ukraine in 1909. In 1912, her father left his wife and their four children, for America to seek better employment. The family was to follow but war and revolution prevented them. Having survived the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, Ronya and her family joined her father in New York City, at the age of 14. She attended Theodore Roosevelt High School. At the age of twenty she began studying dance initially under Anna Sokolov before studying under Martha Graham, eventually performing with Anna Sokolov’s Dance Unit from 1929 to 1938. Her collegiate education included the City University of New York and Boston University.
In 1939, she married Eugene Schwaab and together they started a book distribution company catering to universities and libraries. They would have three boys, Eugene, Keene, and Dean. In addition to her work Ronya, was an advocate for a number of issues of social and economic justice in the United States. Beginning in 1965 her focus was the plight of Soviet Jews, after visiting the USSR several times. Her efforts to aid Soviet Jews continued for those coming to the Boston area. Ronya taught them English and helped them find employment. She served as the Chairwoman of the Task Force of Soviet Jewry at Temple Israel. She also served as the President of the New England Women’s Division of the American Jewish Congress and the President of the Women’s Division of the Boston Chapter of the American Technion Society. In addition to her advocacy efforts, she wrote numerous book reviews.
Her life’s story is told in her autobiography My Reminiscences. Ronya died on May 21, 2001 at the age of 92.
6.2 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
This collection documents the life and activities of dancer and activist Ronya Schwaab. The collection contains material related to her activities advocating for Soviet Jews, lecturing on various topics, her trips abroad, and writing reviews for numerous books. It also includes correspondence with family, friends, and various officials in both the public and non-profit spheres of politics and business. The collection contains numerous photographs and certificates that further document her activities and accomplishments.
This collection has been arranged according to form of information being conveyed. Series I: Papers, contains a variety of print material. Series II: Photographs, documents Schwaab's life in visual form. Finally, Series III: Audiocassettes provides information about Schwaab in an audio form.
Genre / Form
- Black-and-white photographs
- clippings (information artifacts)
- Color photographs
- manuscripts for publication
- personal correspondence
- Travel documents
- Guide to The Ronya Schwaab Papers, undated, 1877-2001 P-909
- Finding Aid by Michael D. Montalbano
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Funding made possible by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
- Edition statement
- [This version was derived from RSchwaab.xml]
- November 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.