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Meta Joy Jacoby Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-992

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains memos and correspondence of the Soviet Jewry Committee of the Main Line Reform Temple, Beth Elohim in Wynnewood, PA. The collection includes materials pertaining to traveling to the USSR in order to meet with and help Soviet Jews, including a trip report by Meta Joy Jacoby and her husband; materials reflecting the Committee and other Soviet Jewry movement organizations, communications with U.S.-elected officials; news clippings pertaining to the Soviet Jewry movement from local and national newspapers; brochures detailing events and projects of various Soviet Jewry movement organizations and a selection of newsletters from Soviet Jewry movement organizations based in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The collection consists of two manuscript boxes.

Dates

  • 1983-1990

Creator

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

The Papers of Meta Joy Jacoby represent one collection housed within the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM). These papers reflect the effort, beginning in the 1960s through the late 1980s, of thousands of American Jews of all denominations and political orientations to stop the persecution and discrimination of Jews in the Soviet Union. The American Soviet Jewry Movement (ASJM) is considered to be the most influential movement of the American Jewish community in the 20th century. The beginnings of the organized American Soviet Jewry Movement became a model for efforts to aid Soviet Jews in other countries, among them Great Britain, Canada, and France. The movement can be traced to the early 1960s, when the first organizations were created to address the specific problem of the persecution and isolation of Soviet Jews by the government of the Soviet Union.

Meta Joy Jacoby was an activist of the American Soviet Jewry movement. She chaired the Soviet Jewry Committee of Main Line Reform Temple, Beth Elohim in Wynnewood, PA. The Committee provided moral and material support to dozens of Soviet Jewish families by organizing continuous mass mailings of letters and telegrams, placing telephone calls, informing and supplying members of the congregation who traveled to the Soviet Union with religious and cultural Jewish materials for distribution among the Refuseniks. The Committee maintained contact with U.S. elected officials to help keep the plight of Soviet Jewry on the agenda in the United States foreign policy making. The Committee adopted the successful tactics of and cooperated with the national, and larger local agencies, primarily the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, but also the Union of Councils on Soviet Jewry, and Chicago Action for Soviet Jews. Among the programs and projects the Committee worked on were Adopt-a-Family (keeping track of and helping Soviet Jewish families in need), Bar and Bat Mitzvah Twinning (pairing the adolescents of the congregation with their Soviet Jewish peers to symbolically share the Jewish coming of age rituals), Jewish Wedding Day Project (providing a religious wedding ceremony for the immigrant Soviet Jewish couples who were unable to wed according to Jewish laws and traditions while living in the USSR). The Committee participated in the mobilization of the Greater Philadelphia community for the historic national march and political rally held on December 6, 1987 in Washington, D.C. The committee also briefed and debriefed the members of the local community who were willing to travel to the Soviet Union to deliver aid to Soviet Jews. 1Meta Joy Jacoby and her husband personally repeatedly traveled to the USSR and met a number of Refuseniks.2

References

  1. Mainline Reform Temple Soviet Jewry Committee, 1986-1988, Meta Joy Jacoby Papers, P-992, Box 1, Folder 3, Collection of the American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA, and New York, NY.
  2. Travel to the USSR—Briefing Materials, Reports, 1988, Meta Joy Jacoby Papers, P-992, Box 2, Folder 5, Collection of the American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA, and New York, NY.

Extent

2 Manuscript Boxes (1 linear foot)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Personal collection of Soviet Jewry Movement activist Meta Joy Jacoby who chaired the Soviet Jewry Committee of the Main Line Reform Temple, Beth Elohim in Wynnewood, PA. The Committee provided moral support to Soviet Jewish families through the mailing of letters and telegrams, placing phone calls, and sending Jewish cultural materials to the Soviet Union. Meta Joy Jacoby repeatedly traveled to the Soviet Union to meet with and deliver aid to the Refuseniks. The collection includes memos, correspondence, newsletters, brochures, and clippings.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into a single series.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

Donated by Meta Joy Jacoby in 2014.

Related Material

The Papers of Meta Joy Jacoby is one individual collection within the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM) located at the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS). Other Soviet Jewry Movement collections at AJHS include the records of Action for Soviet Jewry (I-487), the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (I-181 and I-181A), the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (I-410, I-410A), the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews and Bay Area Council for Jewish Rescue and Renewal (I-505 and I-505A), Houston Action for Soviet Jewry (I-500), Seattle Action for Soviet Jewry (I-507), The Jewish Chronicle Soviet Jewry Collection (I-523), B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum Soviet Jewry Movement Collection (I-529), Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry (I-530), Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism (I-538), United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (I-543), Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans (I-547), Jewish Defense League (I-374) the papers of Joel Ackerman (P-787), Julia Mates Cheney (P-806), Jerry Goodman (P-863), Laurel and Alan J. Gould (P-866), Carolyn W. Sanger (P-870), Leah Lieberman (P-869), Si Frumkin (P-871), Elaine Pittell (P-873), Sanford A. Gradinger (P-880), Shaul Osadchey (P-882), Leonard S. Cahan (P-883), Doris H. Goldstein (P-887), David H. Hill (P-888), Margery Sanford (P-889), Pinchas Mordechai Teitz (P-891), David Waksberg (P-895), Pamela B. Cohen (P-897), Moshe Decter (P-899), William Korey (P-903), Morey Schapira (P-906), Charlotte Gerper Turner (P-907), Myrtle Sitowitz (P-908), Kathleen M. Hyman (P-911), Babette Wampold (P-912), Rabbi David Goldstein and Shannie Goldstein (P-918), Leslie Schaffer (P-923), Arthur Bernstein (P-925), Dolores Wilkenfeld (P-927), Sylvia Weinberg (P-928) , Irwin H. Krasna (P-934) , Constance S. Kreshtool (P-935), Betty Golomb (P-938), Grace Perlbinder (P-942), Mort Yadin (P-943), Ann Polunsky (P-886), Lillian Foreman (P-945), Marilyn Labendz(P-946), Abraham Silverstein(P-947), Bert Silver (P-949), Billie Kozolchyk (P-950), John Steinbruck (P-951), Lawrence I. Lerner (P-952), Ruth Geller Gold (P-953), Efry Spectre (P-954), Alan M. Kohn (P-956), Frank Brodsky (P-957), Victor Borden (P-959), Estelle Newman (P-960), Carol S. Kekst (P-961), Linda Rutta (P-965), Rachel Braun (P-967), Jack Forgash (P-968), Michael Greene (P-969), Judith A. Manelis (P-970), Fred Greene (P-971), Harry Lerner (P-972), Alan L. Cohen (P-973), Murray Levine (P-974) and Jack Minker (P-975).

American Soviet Jewry Movement Oral Histories Collection (I-548) contains audio and video interviews with activists of the American Soviet Jewry Movement, former Refuseniks and Prisoners of Conscience.

American Soviet Jewry Movement Photographs (I-495) contains digitized photographs from The Archives of the American Soviet Jewry Movement.

American Soviet Jewry Movement Posters and Ephemera Collection (I-566) contains digitized posters and ephemera from The Archives of the American Soviet Jewry Movement.

Additional materials from other collections include records dealing with the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) located within the North American Jewish Students Appeal (NAJSA, I-338) and the records of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC, I-172). Related records are also located at the AJHS in Newton Centre, MA including memorabilia and ephemera of the New England Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (I-237) and the Records of the Student Coalition for Soviet Jewry—Brandeis University (I-493).
Title
Guide to the Meta Joy Jacoby Papers, 1983-1990
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Andrey Filimonov
Date
© 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
Processed as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation

Revision Statements

  • November 2020: RJohnstone: 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