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Jewish Counter Culture Collection

 Collection
Identifier: I-504

Scope and Content Note

The Jewish Counter Culture Collection consists of materials which acted as an outlet for creativity and freedom of expression. They also are a tangible representation of history and anthropology. Among the wide range of topics covered in this collection are the following: religion, spirituality, racial inequality, feminism, the Vietnam War, politics, bureaucracy, poetry, music, artwork, and the desire to actively pursue freedom and justice. The publications also provided an opportunity for organizations to announce rallies, demonstrations, concerts, lectures, and even group travel plans. Often working with very small budgets and limited resources, these dedicated individuals created and distributed powerful tools with which to explore and expound upon issues that are just as relevant and controversial today as they were 40 years ago.

Along with many publications (including newspapers, pamphlets, and flyers), this collection also contains organizational notes, correspondence, articles, newspaper and magazine clippings, and other similar items related to social commentary, international law, and personal faith.

Dates

  • 1954-2010

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

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

email: reference@ajhs.org

Historical Note <extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Cover of Schmear the Queer, 2001 (Box 3, Folder 9)" href="http://digital.cjh.org/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid=4710168" show="embed" title="Cover of Schmear the Queer, 2001 (Box 3, Folder 9)"/>

The Jewish Counter Culture movement consisted of the struggles of Jewish individuals, the majority of whom were young people, not only to interpret and understand their past, but to evaluate and foster an appreciation for their future. During a tumultuous period in American history (1965-1975), student groups and community organizations banned together, found their voice, and produced publications that spoke volumes with regard to their beliefs, concerns, and commitment to paving the way for positive change. As these movements were inherently local in origin, the collection materials were created by many small contributing organizations. A number of the Collection's publications received articles from the Jewish Student Press Service, founded in 1970 in New York to provide articles to American Jewish campus periodicals. Many materials were created by Jewish students who brought their Jewish identity to the prevailing movement of campus protests and unrest. Independent organizations, generally devoted to local or liberal causes, also contributed much material.

Extent

3.6 Linear Feet (4 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized box)

Overview

This collection includes materials documenting the activities and publications of independent and activist American Jewish organizations. Sample news publications from a variety of independent presses are included, as are a variety of home-published newsletters and flyers. The collection addresses anti-war protests and U.S. draft avoidance; American Jewish activism on Israel; feminist involvement in Judaism; socialism and radicalism; and international affairs. Materials include newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, news clippings, articles, limited correspondence, speech notes, reports, and flyers.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into three series as follows:

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

Materials in this collection were donated by a number of different donors from the early 2000s to 2016. Donors were identified on the folder-level based on existing description and accession records. Not all donors were able to be identified. Donors include Lori Lefkovitz, Robert Saks, Frances Goldman, Jane Rothstein, Shelly Tenenbaum, Riv-Ellen Prell, Deborah G. Roher, Suzi Wizowaty, Sharon Girard, Zalmo Bloombecker, Laurence Edwards, Isa Aron, David G. Roskies, Steve Shaw, and Toby Sonneman.

Processing Information

In 2011 the collection was processed by Christine McEvilly and Tammy Kiter. Prior to 2017, the collection was broken into five series:
  1. Series I: General Publications
  2. Series II: Collection of Feminist Haggadot and Ritual Material on Women's Issues
  3. Series III: Jewish Student Organizations
  4. Series IV: Jewish Schools
  5. Series V: Miscellaneous Materials
In 2017, donors, when possible, were identified on the folder-level and the collection was intellectually rearranged. The original Series IV was incorporated into Series III: Organizations. Materials in the original Series V was incorporated into all three new series.
Title
Guide to the Jewish Counter Culture Collection, 1954-2010 (bulk 1967-1972)   I-504
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by Christine McEvilly and Tammy Kiter
Date
© 2017
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • February 2017: Additional description added and reprocessing by Nicole Greenhouse

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States