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Jewish National Fund Records in the Hadassah Archives

Identifier: I-578/RG 9

Scope and Content Note

This record group reflects the association of Hadassah with the Jewish National Fund. It contains correspondence, memoranda, project files, and publications from the 1930s to the 2000s.

Series I contains various administrative records such as member lists, constitutions, by-laws, as well as items relating to institutional accounting and fundraising. Although the record group contains correspondence throughout, the contents of Series II were originally organized to contain solely correspondence. Series III outlines several prominent collaborative projects between Hadassah and the Jewish National Fund. Series IV consists of various magazines and newsletters published by the Jewish National Fund, including the JNF Handbook and Land and Life.


  • 1923-2004
  • Majority of material found within 1960 - 2000


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


Historical Note<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Jewish National Fund/Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael logo" href="" show="embed" title="Jewish National Fund/Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael logo"/>

The Jewish National Fund (also known as Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael) (JNF-KKL) is a fundraising organization founded in 1901 by Theodor Herzl to secure ownership of land in Palestine for the Jewish people from the Ottoman Empire. The Jewish National Fund’s original goal with this reclaimed land was to create collective worker’s communities that could sustain themselves through agricultural means, even in the most desolate and inhospitable parts of the country. As the Jewish National Fund’s funding grew, so did their involvement in other facets of cultural improvement, such as creating major city structures, financing the expenses of Jewish scientists, and founding institutions of higher education. By partnering with Hadassah in the 1920s, both groups were able to provide additional services.

Over the years [1930s-2000s], the collaborative efforts between the Jewish National Fund and Hadassah evolved accordingly. Initiatives were created to assist displaced persons of war, to provide respite for children affected by war in the form of summer camps, to improve water conservation efforts through the creation of dams and artificial bodies of water, and to continue to create forests.


Jewish National Fund: Our History and Leadership


3 Linear Feet (6 manuscript boxes)


The Jewish National Fund records reflect the non-profit organization’s afforestation efforts in Israel in funding partnership with Hadassah. Included in this collection are personnel records, membership lists, and convention summaries, as well as correspondence, project documentation, and publications such as press releases, and magazines.


The records of the Jewish National Fund are arranged in four series by category. Due to the small size of this collection, the use of subseries has been waived in favor of detailed folder-level descriptions.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Previous Finding Aids and Concordance

There was no previous finding aid for this collection. Original boxes 3 and 4 contained rough inventories. All original folder titles and corresponding box numbers are listed in a concordance, which is available here:

Acquisition Information

The Hadassah Archives, of which the Jewish National Fund Records (RG 9) are a part, are on long-term deposit at the American Jewish Historical Society.

Related Material

The Guide to the Hadassah Archives on Long-term Deposit at the American Jewish Historical Society, which describes the entire collection, can found here:

Separated Material

Several photographs have been removed from this collection and into RG18. Several folders of documents have been removed from this collection and reorganized into other collections. Pamphlets have been transferred to RG 17 in 1997; several essays have been transferred to the Subject Folder and the Library. Locations of these photographs and documents are listed in their corresponding series notes.

Processing Information

Since the 1920s, Hadassah has funded five distinct projects in Palestine/Israel. This record group, originally named RG 9—Other Projects, now contains only the records of the project of Hadassah’s involvement with the Jewish National Fund, and was accordingly renamed in 2016.

There was no previous finding aid created for these records, but description from two container lists was reused and incorporated into the 2016 finding aid. Some series description along with collection-level notes pertaining to acquisition, processing, access and use, and related material were added as well. Overall, the boxes were consolidated to save space and reduce damage to the material. Some boxes were replaced and nonarchival folders were also replaced.

Although the original box labels reflect a simple, streamlined organization for this record group, the folders within were not as clear, and in places did not accurately reflect their contents at all. In the case of the original folder titled Material regarding Hadassah's financial support, the documents represented two very different administrative components. They were separated for usability and now reside in the folders Administrative Materials—Personnel—Ussushkin, Menachem, 1938-1940 and Projects—Emergency land restrictions, 1939-1940.

Many of the folders also contain abbreviations such as AC (Accounting), AD (Administration), and PO (Programs). These abbreviations are consistent across other Hadassah collections and were used as the backbone for this collection’s current organization to better illustrate the breadth of materials within. Any original label abbreviations are included in the concordance.

Folders have been renamed only when original titles were minimal or did not accurately represent the contents within. Pertinent original folder notation has been included in folder-level scope notes.

As of March 2016, additional files were added from the papers of D. Kaplan. A list of the relevant folders are listed in the concordance.

Guide to the Jewish National Fund Records in the Hadassah Archives, 1923-2004 I-578/RG 9
The finding aid was prepared by Janine Veazue
© 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States