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Sarah Kussy Papers

Identifier: P-4

Scope and Content Note

The Sarah Kussy collection contains material written by and pertaining to the life of Sarah Kussy, a Newark, NJ woman who was a prolific writer and editor, and an influential early member of the Women's League for Conservative Judaism. She was also involved in several other Jewish women's organizations. The collection includes several of her writings, including minutes of organizations of which she was secretary, a history of her synagogue's sisterhood, and a genealogy of her family.

This collection is valuable to researchers studying Conservative Judaism, synagogues, the Spanish and American War, New Jersey Jewry, and the Kussy family.

Of special interest is the Kussy's personal diary kept during the Spanish and American War. In this diary she records the war news of the day, her emotions, the mood of the city, the involvement of Jews in the war effort, and her involvement in the Ladies' Patriotic Relief Society, an organization established to aid families left destitute by the departure and/or death of their male members in the war.

The collection contains a manuscript diary, a manuscript notebook of minutes, some ephemera, and two typescript essays.

The documents are in English.

The collection contains 6 items.


  • 1898, 1945


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

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

Sarah Kussy was born in Newark, New Jersey on June 27, 1869 to Gustav and Bella (Bloch) Kussy. She graduated from the Teachers Training School of the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1906, and continued to be involved in both teaching and the Conservative movement for the rest of her life. A passionate Zionist, Kussy was a member of the National Executive Committee of the Zionist Organization of America, a delegate to the 1913 and 1929 World Zionist Congresses, and an active member of Hadassah (of which she was also a founder and an honorary vice president).

Kussy was a founder of the Ladies' Patriotic Relief Society of Newark in 1898 (for relief of families left poor by the departure of their male members for the Spanish-American war) and of the Newark section of the National Council of Jewish Women. She was heavily involved in the Miriam Auxiliary of Oheb Shalom (of which her mother and aunt were early members) and helped to establish their religious school, originally intended to combat the activities of Christian missionaries.

Kussy served as the honorary vice president of the Women's League of the United Synagogue of America (later renamed the Women's League for Conservative Judaism), and was the associate editor of its official organ, The Outlook. She authored several booklets, including A Handbook and Guide for Jewish Women's Organizations (1944) and A Family Chronicle: The Story of Gustav and Bella Kussy of Newark, NJ. She received the Chayil Citation for outstanding achievement in Jewish cultural pursuits in 1952, and a forest in Israel was named for her in 1950.

Kussy died in Newark on October 2, 1956. .

Sources: Who's Who in American Jewry (1938-1939), American Jewish Year Book (1958), The Concise Dictionary of American Jewish Biography.


.25 Linear Feet (Collection in Consolidated Box P1.)


Contains the minute book (May-December 1898) and other material of the Ladies' Patriotic Relief Society of Newark, N.J., organized to assist needy families during the Spanish-American War; a diary of the War Period, and mimeographed copies of the Kussy family genealogy and the history of Miriam Auxiliary of Oheb Shalom Congregation in Newark from 1880-1945.


The collection is organized into a single series in a Consolidated Box.

Physical Location

Collection is located in Consolidated Box P1.

Acquisition Note


Digitization Note

Folder 2 was digitized in 2017 through the Digitization-on-Demand program and is available in its entirety.

Guide to the Papers of Sarah Kussy (1869-1956), 1898, 1945 *P-4
Processed by Felicia Herman
© 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • September 2017: dao link to DOD folder added by Leanora Lange.
  • March, June 2020: EHyman--post-ASpace migration cleanup (markup, format, copy editing, collection location)

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States