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The collection consists primarily of correspondence reflecting Calmenson’s involvement in numerous national and local Jewish organizations. The largest quantity of materials is in relation to his work with the United Palestine Appeal (1926-1945, primarily 1926-1929), and the Zionist Organization of America (1919-1952). Among the local St. Paul Jewish organizations, the largest quantity of materials relates to the Emergency Committee for Palestine (1942-1951), and the Zionist Organization of America, St. Paul Chapter (1918-1950). Among his correspondents are Harry S. Truman, H.V. Kaltenborn, and Emanuel Neumann. Among the topics dealt with are the 1929 riots in Palestine, the protest against the Passfield paper, and the establishment of a Jewish army after World War I. The collection also contains materials relating to Calmenson’s private activities, and miscellaneous writings and papers belonging to the Calmenson family.
The material in this record group was culled from Hadassah's Central Files in Israel in the early 1980s to document Hadassah's role in Zionist history. Originally formed from a Zionist women's study group, the first Hadassah chapter in New York had a strong relationship with the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA; then known as the Federation of American Zionists). The material in this record group documents Hadassah's relationship to the ZOA and to other Zionist organizations in the United States, Europe, and Palestine/Israel, particularly in the years leading up to Israeli statehood in 1948. Other subjects addressed in this record group include the founding of Hadassah; World War II, particularly relating to Jewish emigration and refugees; the founding of the United Nations and the debate over recognition of a Jewish state; the partition of Palestine; and Arab-Jewish relations. Included are articles, clippings, convention resolutions, correspondence, diary extracts, memorandums, minutes, press releases, printed ephemera, publications, reports, and speeches.