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Collection of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

 Collection
Identifier: I-32

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the establishment, accomplishments, activities, and political beliefs of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America from 1930 to 2003. Although not all of the series present records in their entirety, a quality representation of materials is on hand. An extensive variety of research may be explored inside this compilation and may comprise sources for American Jewish History, Anti-Nazi activities pre-World War II, The National Shrine for the Jewish War Dead, immigration laws from the 1950's, radical Right-Wing movements in the 1960's including the John Birch Society, political stances for the Jewish War Veterans, studies concerning veterans service programs, American press coverage of Jewish events, and political movements concerning the well-being of Israel. Individuals represented in this collection include President Harry Truman, President George H.W. Bush, Vice President Dan Quayle, President Bill Clinton, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, National Commanders Reubin Kaminsky, Archie Greenberg, Murray L. Rosen, Alfred Schwartz, and Ira Novoselsky.

The collection consists primarily of correspondence, publications, programs, reports, and newspaper clippings (including a scrapbook). Other types of material include speech transcripts, press releases, photographs, stamps, and a photo booklet. There is a small amount of news clippings written in Yiddish.

Dates

  • undated, 1923-1993, 2003

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

Founded in 1896, the Jewish Civil War veterans were an organization with a goal to help Jews obtain complete equality and benefits for themselves and their fellow veterans. During the early 20th Century, Jewish Veterans who fought in the Spanish-American War created the Hebrew Veterans of the War with Spain. In 1912, both the Jewish Civil War Veterans and the Hebrew Veterans combined and obtained corporate status. More importantly, the newly merged group earned the right for Jews to serve in the National Guard, regardless of their religious beliefs. A decade later, the association would have their first national convention where they would elect their first group of national officers. Shortly after in 1927, the organization secured passage of legislation requiring the American Battlefield Monument Commission to place Star of David markers on the graves of Jewish soldiers buried in France. Two years after, the group would change their name to the present name, the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) of the United States of America. During the 1930's, the JWV would push for many Anti-Nazi activities, including boycotting German goods and the 1936 Olympics. Many Jews would serve in the Second World War, and the organization would respond by advocating for the passage of the "G.I. Bill of Rights" legislation.

After World War II, the organization would push for European Jews to be allowed into Palestine, and in 1948, they would stage the Largest Parade in Jewish history with over 250,000 veterans marching for the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine, where Israel would be created shortly after. In 1954, the organization would move its National Headquarters to Washington, D.C. and ten years after would help break a Senate filibuster which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. During the 1970's, the organization would be the first veterans organization to support withdrawal from Vietnam, and would show its opposition to the Soviet Union's treatment of Jews by opposing U.S. participation during the 1980 Olympic Games. In 1996, the organization held its centennial anniversary. Today, the organization continues to fight for equal treatment of Jewish war veterans, as well as veterans of other faiths, women, and people of color.

Extent

2.5 Linear Feet (5 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Yiddish

Abstract

This collection contains the correspondence of the Anti-Nazi Boycott Committee of the Jewish War Veterans appealing for support against Nazi activities in the United States, 1933, and to assist Nazi sufferers in Europe, as well as other correspondence and printed material describing the purpose, history, and activities of the national organization and local chapters. Included is a scrapbook (1924-1930) containing newspaper clippings in English and Yiddish relating to protests against the massacres of the Jews in Romania and the riots in Palestine in 1929, as well as appeals for financial and political support on behalf of Palestine Jewry. A large portion of this collection consists of photographs depicting the work of the organization.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

Unknown acquisition.

Related Material

National Jewish Welfare Board, I-337

National Museum of American Jewish Military History, Washington, D.C.
Title
Guide to the Collection of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, undated, 1923-1993, 2003
Status
Completed
Author
Reprocessed by Jonathan Lukasik
Date
© 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • December 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