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The Papers of Graenum Berger (1908-1999) document Berger's involvement with Ethiopian Jewry and his efforts to bring about their rescue from Ethiopia through his organization, the American Association for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ). The Papers also contain materials regarding Berger's other interests-his writings, his travels throughout the world, his community affiliations, his career as a Jewish social work executive, his commitment to Jewish causes, and his commitment to Israel. Also included are personal and biographical materials from his many long-term friendships and associations; correspondence, minutes, reports, clippings, manuscripts, research materials, journal articles, photographs, and publications.
Founded in 1969, the American Association for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ) was instrumental in the international effort to promote recognition of the Beta Israel (known among non-Jewish Ethiopians as "Falashas") by Israeli authorities, and to assist Jewish emigration from Ethiopia to Israel. The extensive files of the AAEJ include case work files, research materials and Jewish artifacts collected in Ethiopia by AAEJ workers. In the wake of the successful evacuation of Ethiopian Jewry to Israel in 1993, the AAEJ decided to disband and voted to deposit its records at the American Jewish Historical Society. Included are correspondence, office files, photographs, slides, videotapes, audiocassettes and other materials which pertain to AAEJ's efforts to raise the consciousness of the American Jewish community about this unique Jewish subculture. The organization's papers supplement those of its founder, Graenum Berger, which are also held at the American Jewish Historical Society.