Skip to main content

Records of the Forward Association

Identifier: RG 685

Scope and Content Note

This collection pertains mostly to the work of the Office of the General Manager of the Forward Association. The materials include financial records, minutes of meetings, circulation reports, departmental reports, correspondence from regional Forward offices in Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, materials concerning various anniversary celebrations and special publications, and correspondence relating to the Liberal Party of New York, 1944-1951. The records in this collection represent only a fraction of the Forward Association archives while the rest is retained by the Office of the General Manager of the Forward Association. The collection covers the period from 1913-1972 as well as two items in an addendum from 1986-1987.


  • Creation: 1913-1972, 1986-1987

Language of Materials

The collection is in English and Yiddish, with some German, Hebrew and Russian.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public. Permission to publish part or parts of the collection must be obtained in writing from the YIVO Archives.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish part or parts of the collection must be obtained from the YIVO Archives. For more information, contact:

YIVO Archives, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Historical Note

The Forverts (Jewish Daily Forward) was founded in New York on April 22, 1897 as a Yiddish-language newspaper supportive of the ideologies and activities of the Jewish, American and international Socialist and trade union movements. Abraham Cahan was one of the original founders of the Forward and served as its editor-in-chief from 1903 until his death in 1951. During the period represented in this collection, the position of General Manager was held by Adolph Held, Baruch Charney Vladeck, Benjamin Schlesinger, Alexander Kahn, Daniel Ifshin, Paul Rubinstein, and several others.

At its peak, from the early 1900s through the 1930s, the Forward was the largest and most influential Yiddish newspaper in the world and the largest non-English newspaper in the United States. By the early 1930s the Forward had become one of America's premier metropolitan dailies, with a nationwide circulation topping 275,000. The newspaper's editorial staff included, at one time or another, nearly every major luminary in the then-thriving world of Yiddish literature, including Zalman Shneur, I.J. Singer, I.B. Singer, Sholem Asch, David Bergelson, Avrom Reisen, and Morris Rosenfeld, among many others.

The Forward Association, which was incorporated in 1901 in New York, is the owner and publisher of the Forward and also published the monthly Zukunft (Future) from 1912-1940. Its members elect a board of directors and serve on financial, editorial and membership committees. The Forward Association remains responsible for the policies, assets and budget of the Forward, as it has done for over 100 years.



12 Linear Feet


The Records of the Forward Association collection consists of the administrative records of the Office of the General Manager of the Forward Association, publisher of the Jewish Daily Forward. The collection contains correspondence, financial materials, minutes, reports, and information related to various anniversary celebrations. These materials serve to illustrate the professional activities of the Forward Association and its General Manager and show the Forward’s importance.


The materials in this collection are arranged either by format, subject or organization and then usually chronologically. The collection is organized in eleven series.

  1. Series I: Bookkeeping, 1913-1957
  2. Series II: Budget and Donations, 1938-1949
  3. Series III: Circulation and Advertising, 1921-1967
  4. Series IV: Local Offices, 1929-1969
  5. Series V: Local Offices - addenda, 1926, 1939-1940, 1968-1969
  6. Series VI: Anniversaries, 1927-1972
  7. Series VII: Anniversaries - addenda, 1946-1947
  8. Series VIII: Liberal Party, 1944-1951
  9. Series IX: Miscellaneous, 1924-1969
  10. Series X: Addenda – Circulation, 1917-1969
  11. Series XI: Addendum, 1968-1972, 1986-1987

Acquisition Information

The records of the Forward Association were given to the YIVO Archives by the Forward General Manager Paul Rubinstein in May 1974. Addendum materials were given in the late 1980s.

Related Material

The YIVO Archives has several collection relating to the Forward, including the Papers of Morris Seskind, RG 269; Papers of Mendel Osherowitch, RG 725; Papers of Leon Arkin, RG 230; Papers of Abe Cahan, RG 1139; and Papers of Ephim H. Jeshurin, RG 451; as well as the Records of the Zukunft, RG 362.

Processing information

The collection was originally processed by YIVO staff. Additional processing was completed in 2012.

Guide to the Records of the Forward Association 1913-1972, 1986-1987 RG 685
Processed by YIVO staff. Additional processing by Rachel S. Harrison as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States