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Jewish Peace Fellowship Records

 Collection
Identifier: I-189

Scope and Content Note

The collection includes materials documenting the work of the Jewish Peace Fellowship in supporting Jewish resistance to conscription and draft, opposition to the arms race, Israeli politics on the disputed territories, and to American armed interventions.

The collection consists of by-laws, correspondence, financial statements, individual files of Jewish conscientious objectors, lists, membership information, manuscripts and other materials intended for publication in JPF’s publications, minutes, questionnaires, printed materials, such as mailings, leaflets, and magazines, and reports. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence with organizations and individuals pertaining to conscientious objectors, issues of the draft, membership,and administrative activities of the organization, publications, and the Vietnam War.

A large portion of the collection consists of materials pertaining to conscientious objectors, Selective Service, and the draft. These include a Conscientious Objectors Index, questionnaires, correspondence, and printed materials. A smaller segment of the collection contains materials pertaining to the administrative work of the organization and includes internal correspondence, by-laws, minutes of meetings, and a small amount of financial documents. Other materials include publications, manuscripts, photographs, and lists.

Dates

  • 1942-2017

Creator

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 privacy concerns.

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 of JPF Tidings, Fall 1956 (Box 25, Folder 9)" href="http://digital.cjh.org/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid=4649652" show="embed" title="Cover of of JPF Tidings, Fall 1956 (Box 25, Folder 9)"/>

The Jewish Peace Fellowship was founded in 1941 when three groups of Jewish anti-war activists decided to create a joint organization in order to provide support to Jewish conscientious objectors who tried to avoid military service during WWII through citing their religious and humanistic beliefs. During the first joint meeting, Arthur Lelyveld was named President and Isidor Hoffman Vice-President. Additionally, Abraham Citron, Abraham Cronbach, Jane Evans, and Sam Grand participated in the first meeting of the Executive Board.

Since its inception, JPF has voiced its opposition to the arms race, Israeli politics on the disputed territories, and American military involvement while also advocating for peaceful solutions for the Vietnam War and other conflicts and providing support to Jewish conscientious objectors, while advocating for peaceful solutions to the Vietnam War and other conflicts. Its membership peaked during the Vietnam War. By 1970, JPF had 1250 paying members as well as about two thousand friends and supporters.

Rabbi Michael Robinson, upon becoming a president of JPF, insisted on close cooperation and affiliation with the Fellowship of Reconciliation. This cooperation continued under presidents Naomi Goodman, Jerome Malino, Arthur Gilbert, Asher Block, Jacob Sloan, Don Peretz, Hershel Matt, Max Ticktin and Irving Ruderman.

In the 1970s, JPF shifted its focus from Southeast Asia to the Middle East and attempted to provide nonviolent solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict. In 1984, JPF launched the Abraham Heschel Peace Award for Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers. One of the new aspects of JPF today is to provide counseling and other support to Israeli conscientious objectors.

Extent

13 Linear Feet (26 manuscript boxes)

Abstract

The collection includes materials documenting the work of the Jewish Peace Fellowship (JPF) in supporting Jewish resistance to conscription and draft, as well as opposition to the arms race, Israeli politics on the disputed territories, and American armed interventions. The collection consists of by-laws, correspondence, financial statements, individual files of Jewish conscientious objectors, lists, membership information, manuscripts and other materials intended to appear in JPF publications, minutes, questionnaires, printed material, such as mailings, leaflets, and magazines, and reports.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Note

The collection was donated by various members of the Jewish Peace Fellowship movement, including Murray Polner, Rabbi Isidor Hoffman, Irving Messik, and Naomi Goodman. Materials in Box 23, Folder 7 through Box 26 were donated by Murray Polner in 2015 and 2017 under the accession numbers 2015.006, 2015.030, and 2017.010.

Processing Information

This collection was initially processed in 2014. In 2017, the 2015 and 2017 accessions were re-housed and incorporated into the collection in appropriate series.
Title
Guide to the Jewish Peace Fellowship Records, 1942-2017 I-189
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by Yakov Illich Sklar. Additional processing by Nicole Greenhouse
Date
© 2017
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation

Revision Statements

  • April 2017: Additional 1.5 linear feet arranged and described by Nicole Greenhouse.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

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