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Label A. Katz Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-92

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the collection documents Label A. Katz’s activities on behalf of B’nai B’rith from the 1950s through the 1960s, especially during his presidency (1959-1965). Facets of B’nai B’rith best represented are the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundations, B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, Anti-Defamation League and the International Council. Frequent B’nai B’rith correspondents include Maurice Bisgyer, Philip Klutznick and Saul Joftes. In addition to correspondence, materials include speeches, clippings, minutes, reports, and photographs.

Major subjects represented in the collection include: Soviet Jewry, Jewish education, and U.S. and international anti-Semitic incidents. There is some material related to Katz’s efforts on behalf of displaced persons, B’nai B’rith’s post-WWII claims against Germany, civil rights and desegregation in the American South, B’nai B’rith’s relations with the Vatican, and local New Orleans issues.

The collection contains little related to Katz’s business ventures and legal work. His personal and family life is best represented in photographs in Series III, as well as in his brief account of his background (Box 1, Folder 1) and the scrapbook contents (Box 4, Folder 3) in Series I.

Dates

  • 1910s-1969
  • Majority of material found within 1953 - 1965

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is primiarily in English, with a small number of items in Hebrew, Yiddish, French, Hungarian, German, Spanish, and Dutch.

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

Biographical Note

Label A. Katz was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on September 22, 1918 to Ralph Katz, who had emigrated from Odessa in 1903, and Matilda Counterman Katz, a New Orleans native. After receiving a BA (1938), and LLB (1941) degree from Tulane University, Label Katz practiced law, and invested in housing rehabilitation and real estate.

Highly active in Jewish organizational life, Katz was especially involved with B’nai B’rith. He began his involvement in 1932 as a 15-year-old member of its youth organization, Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA). He went on to become president of B’nai B’rith Lodge No. 182 of New Orleans, 1946-1947; president of B’nai B’rith District Grand Lodge No. 7, 1953-1954; chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League Committee in New Orleans, 1955-1958; and president of B’nai B’rith International, 1959-1965.

During his B’nai B’rith International presidency, Katz focused on issues of Jewish education and international affairs, particularly in respect to Soviet Jewry. He also served as district chairman of the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation and the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization and chairman of the Anti-Defamation League Mid-South Regional Board.

On the national level, Katz was chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, 1960-1961, and president of the National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. Locally, Katz served as president of the Communal Hebrew School of New Orleans, 1943-1948, which he himself had attended; president of the New Orleans Jewish Welfare Fund, 1955-1958; and vice president of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans. Katz was a member of both Orthodox and Reform Jewish congregations.

In 1940, Katz married Alice Mayer, eventual president of the Ida Weis Friend chapter of B’nai B’rith Women. They had two sons, William and Robert, and a daughter, Walda. Katz died on April 3, 1975.

References

"Necrology: United States." American Jewish Year Book, 1977, p. 596.

“Autobiographical Materials;” Label A. Katz Papers; P-92; Box 1, Folder 1.

Extent

7.5 Linear Feet (15 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized folder [OS1F])

Abstract

Collection contains materials generated while Label Katz served in leadership positions with B’nai B’rith from the 1950s through the 1960s; best represented is his tenure as president of B’nai B’rith International between 1959 and 1965, during which Katz concentrated on challenges faced by Soviet Jews, and on the improvement of Jewish education. Materials consist of correspondence, speeches, clippings, photographs, minutes and reports.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to AJHS in 1970 (accession # 1970.017).

Related Material

AJHS Archives

Philip Lax Papers (P-915)

Lewis H. Weinstein Papers (P-641)

Other Archives

B’nai B’rith International Records. American Jewish Archives. Cincinnati, Ohio.

Processing Information

A previous archivist processed the collection and created a box list. In 2012, Rachel Miller enhanced the collection description, wrote a full finding aid, rehoused the collection, and, outside of folder shifts made in order to maintain alphabetical order, largely kept to the physical and intellectual arrangement given to the collection by the previous archivist, including folder titles.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Label A. Katz Papers, 1910s-1969 (bulk 1953-1965) P-92
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Rachel Miller
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.
Sponsor
as part of the CJH Holocaust Resource Initiative, made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.

Revision Statements

  • April, June 2020: 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