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Finding Aid for the Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo, Local Community Records, 1844-1976 (bulk 1920-1960)

MS 150.3

State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States
Phone: 716-645-2916
Fax: 716-645-3714

Finding aid prepared by staff of the State University of New York College at Buffalo (Buffalo State) Archives.
Finding aid encoded in EAD by Mark McGuire, February 2007.
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid prepared using local best practices.

Please use the following URL when citing this document:

© 2010. State University of New York at Buffalo. All rights reserved.

Collection Overview

Title: Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo, Local Jewish Community Records, 1844-1976 (bulk 1920-1960)
Creator: Adler, Selig, 1909-1984
Extent: 4.92 linear feet (4 cartons, 1 flat box)
Language of Material: Collection material in English and Yiddish.
Repository: State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives
Abstract: Records of the Local Jewish Community in the Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo include cemetery records, local temple and shul records, and Jewish organizations. Also included are material pertaining to deported persons and refugee matters, and the papers of Max M. Yellen and Dr. Gerhard J. Falk and Dr. Ursula A. Falk.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Description and dates], Box/folder number, MS 150.3, Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo, Local Jewish Community Records, 1844-1976 (bulk 1920-1960), University Archives, The State University of New York at Buffalo.

See the Archives' preferred citations instructions for additional information.

Acquisition Information

The collection was transferred from the State University of New York College at Buffalo (Buffalo State) Archives in 2006 by the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo.

Terms of Access

Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo, Local Jewish Community Records, 1844-1976 (bulk 1920-1960) are open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Processing Information

Collection originally processed by the staff of the State University of New York College at Buffalo (Buffalo State) Archives.

Collection rehoused by Mark McGuire, February 2007.

Finding aid updated by Karen Morse, October-November 2006.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Historical Note

The Jewish Community of Buffalo, New York holds a rich, extensive history, evident in the records of the Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo. Selig Adler and Thomas Connolly, co-authors of From Ararat to Suburbia: A History of the Jewish Community of Buffalo (1960) point out that "Early in 1814, the City of Buffalo was mentioned for the first time in Jewish history." (Ch. 1, p. 3). The research for Adler and Connolly's work was assisted in large part by the original source material of the Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo.

Scope and Content Note

Records of the Local Jewish Community, Series I, includes cemetery records of Erie County Lodge 300, consisting of two ledger books, and one CD-ROM. Erie County Lodge Cemetery Records are also available through the website, Jewish Buffalo on the Web .

II, Community Religious Matters consists of meeting minutes of the Buffalo Board of Rabbis and records of the Buffalo Council of Jewish Congregations. Series II also includes citizenship papers dating back to 1844 of Emanuel Newman, an early leader of the Buffalo Jewish community and active in the affairs of Temple Beth Zion. Other local congregations including Temple Beth El, Temple Beth Am, Temple Shaarey Zedek, and B'rith Israel are also documented here.

III, The Jewish Community, Buffalo: Matters of General Interest includes three subseries. Records in this series mainly document various local organizations, agencies, and activities of the Buffalo Jewish community. Subseries A consists of photocopies of Xeroxes made by Dr. Adler. Included are a photograph circa 1940 of the Buffalo Jewish Choral Society and a recording with singer Sidor Belarsky. Surveys, correspondence, memorandum, membership lists, and committee reports are found in this series.

Other Jewish Associations, Series IV, primarily documents the Jewish Hospital Association, 1920-1928, which includes a minute book and constitution, reports of annual meetings and special meetings. This series also houses an index of past members of the United Jewish Federation as well as a scrapbook for the 1927 Jewish Federation Campaign.

Container List

Box-folder Contents
1.1 CD-ROM containing images of scanned ledger pages
1.2 Record
1.3 Record of Cemetery, ledger
1.4 Ledger
Box-folder Contents
2.1-2.2 Minutes of the Buffalo Board of Rabbis
2.3 Information on Yeshivot supported by AJDC; Yeshivot and Displaced Persons (DP) problems
2.4 The problem of Meshulochim
2.5 Are the Federation and the Center too secular in their approach?
2.6 Matters pertaining to circumcision
2.7 Community Kashrut problems
2.8 Jewish chaplains in World War II
2.9 Conference of rabbis and Jewish communal workers - Minutes, 1958-1961
2.10 Material on various types of Judaism
2.11 Buffalo Ritularium (Mikvah)
2.12 Who is a Jew according to Jewish law?
2.13 Public schools in the area and the Sabbath and Jewish Holydays
2.14 A list of Buffalo synagogues, 1942
2.15 Rabbis and the Vietnamese War
2.16 Buffalo Council of Jewish Congregations (established 1917)
2.17 Congregation Achim Lubavitz
2.18 Congregation Ahavas Sholem (Jefferson Avenue Shul)
2.19 Temple Beth Am
2.20 Congregation B'rith Israel (Hickory Street Shul)
2.21 Congregation Beth Jacob (Clinton Street Shul)
2.22 Congregation B'rith Sholem (Pine Street Shul)
2.23 Temple Beth El
[note: contains fragile materials]
2.24 Temple Beth Zion
[note: contains fragile materials]
2.25 Temple Shaarey Zedek (before 1968 merger Temples Ner Israel)
2.26 Young Israel of Buffalo (105 Maple Road)
III.     The Jewish Community, Buffalo: Matters of General Interest.

The Matters of General Interest series is divided into three subseries--American Palestinian Relations, Deported Persons and Refugee Matters, and Israeli Matters--with general files listed before the subseries.

Box-folder Contents
2.27-2.28 Buffalo Jewish population studies
2.29 Growth of Buffalo suburbs
2.30 Jewish organizations in Buffalo, 1966
2.31 Jewish War Veterans of the U.S. - Buffalo Frontier Post #25
2.32 Buffalo Jewish veterans before World War II
2.33 General information about Buffalo Jewry in the Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society
2.34 Russian Chevra Kadisha Cemetery Association; B'nai Israel Cemetery Association
2.35 Buffalo Hebrew Benevolent Association
2.36 Jewish-Catholic relations
2.37 (American) National Conference of Christians and Jews; Jewish-Protestant relations
2.38 Participation in Federation work by children of former Federation leaders
2.39 Buffalo Opportunity Shop (est. 1941)
2.40 The Haven - a club of refugees from Germany (1930s)
2.41 American Jewish Committee (local chapter)
2.42 Missionary activities
2.43 (Buffalo) Jewish Mother's Club
2.44 Federation policy on civic protective agencies
2.45-2.46 Montefiore Lodge B'nai B'rith; ADL in Buffalo
2.47 Black-Jewish relations
2.48 Religion: Bible reading and Christmas in the public schools
2.49 Anti-Semitism (local and national); answers
2.50 Community information (1948) club and synagogue memberships
2.51 List of new Buffalo Jewish families, 1960s
2.52 The Federation and speech of Sir Oswald Mosely to students at the State University of New York at Buffalo, September 1962
2.53 Federation correspondence with The Labor Temple (New York City) 1951; 1953
2.54 Jewish anti-Zionist movements
2.55 Charitable Foundation in Buffalo (1960)
2.56 Federation descriptions of the Buffalo Jewish Community
2.57 Cemetery matters
2.58 History of the Buffalo Jewish Choral Society
[note: includes photograph circa 1940s]
1.4 History of the Buffalo Jewish Choral Society, 78 rpm recording, Yigdal; Polyakoff- Arr. Samuel Luskin; Sidor Belarsky and the Buffalo Jewish Choral Society, Cond: Bernard Mandelkern
3.1 Sokoliefki Jews in Buffalo
3.2 1951 MacIver Report on Jewish Community Relations Committees
3.3 Surveys of the Buffalo Jewish Community- 1923; 1929
III.A.     American Palestinian Relations
Scope and content: Files in subseries A are photocopies of xeroxes collected by Dr. Adler from the Abba Hillel Silver Papers, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio and the Council's Papers of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin Archives.
Box-folder Contents
The American Council for Judaism
England and Zionist affairs during World War II era
Xerox of an article by Professor R. H. Gerrell, "U. S. Policy in the Middle East"
Peter Bergson (Hillel Kook)
Zionist leaders and the U. S. Department of State
American Jewish Conferences, 1942-1946
Christian front groups for the Zionists, World War II
Wartime Zionist affairs, correspondence (national)
General wartime Zionist affairs; miscellaneous undated material, undated
Correspondence of Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, Cleveland, O.
Correspondence between Dr. Silver and Dr. Emanuel Neumann, New York City
III.B.     Deported Persons and Refugee Matters
Box-folder Contents
Federation wartime help for refugees through United Jewish Appeal (UJA)
United Service for New Americans (later HIAS)
Supplies for Overseas Survivors run through Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
Deported persons settled in Buffalo by Jewish Family Services in immediate post-war years
Federation correspondence with JDC (NYC), 1940-1947, 1953-1969
Post-war for refugees: Federation correspondence with UJA, 1946-1955
Attempts to settle some relatives of A. Rosichan
Federation efforts in behalf of Soviet Jews
Miscellaneous refugee matters
Papers of Max M. Yellen
Papers of Dr. Gerhard J Falk (Falck) and Dr. Ursula A. Falk
III.C.     Israeli Matters
Box-folder Contents
American-Israel Cultural Foundation
National Committee for Labor Palestine (Histadrut)
Federation correspondence with the Embassy of Israel (Washington)
Supplies for Israel through Scrip for Israel, Inc.
Israel's tenth anniversary celebration 1958
Institute on Overseas Studies
Hebrew Institute of Technology (Amerucan Technion Society)
Federation input (with Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo) of exhibition of Seven Painters of Israel
Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra concert, 1951
Histadruth Ivrith of America (Hebrew Language and Cultural Association)
Federation correspondence with and information pertaining to the Weizmann Institute of Science
Federation and the Zionist Organization of America Expansion Fund, 1948-1951
Material on Israeli-Arab tensions; Arab refugees
Federation coordination of local celebrations of Israeli Independence Day, circa 1946
Hadassah; Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School
Israeli correspondence, 1952-1958, includes material on relatives of Jacob Morison
Federation correspondence with Jewish Agency for Palestine, 1951-1969
Conservative Judaism in Israel
(Buffalo) Israeli EXPO 1976
American Christian Palestine Committee
Federation and Buffalo Zionist Emergency Council during the Israeli War of Independence, 1948
Yom Kippur War, 1973
Reports on Israeli conditions at various times
Federation and religious institutions in Israel
Material on unification of campaigns for Israel and Europe
The Jewish National Fund
The Federation and State of Israel Bonds
Material on Zionism before 1948
Box-folder Contents
4.35-5.1 Jewish Welfare Society material 1911-1947
[3 folders]
5.2 Jewish Federation Campaign 1927, Scrapbook of clippings, Maurice Tabor, Chairman

[note: contains fragile materials]

5.3-5.4 Subvention committee: Minutes 1932-1938
5.5-5.11 Jewish Hospital Association, Special Meetings, 1926-1929
5.12 Minute book of Jewish Hospital Association, Constitution, incorporation, 1920-1926
5.13-5.16 Jewish Hospital Association: Reports of annual meetings, 1921-1928
5.17 United Jewish Federation: card index of past members

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Library's online catalog.


Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo
State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives

Subject Terms

Israel and the diaspora
Jewish archives--New York (State)
Jews--New York State--Buffalo
Judaism--History--Modern Period, 1750-
Silver, Abba Hillel, 1893-1963
Temples--New York (State)--Buffalo
United States--Foreign Relations--20th Century

Genre Terms

Citizenship papers

Associated Material

Related Resources

Related Resources in the University Archives

MS 206 , American Jewish Committee Buffalo/Niagara Chapter, 1977-2008 (bulk 1985-2007)
MS 203 , Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo, 1933-2009
MS 9 , David Diamond Papers, 1925-1998
MS 150.1 , Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo, Records of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo, 1902-1979
MS 150.2 , Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo, Selig Adler Papers, 1932-1988
MS 150.4 , Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo, Papers of Prominent Local Jews, 1912-1988
MS 150.5 , Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo, Synagogue Records, 1884-1986
MS 204 , Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo and Summer Camps Records, 1915-2009
MS 225 , Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo, circa 1970-2009
MS 202 , Jewish Federation of Niagara Falls, circa 1930-2001 (bulk 1935-1994)
MS 106 , Joseph Manch Papers, 1922-1988
MS 209 , Kadimah School of Buffalo, 1958-2009
MS 149 , Rabbi Isaac Klein Papers, 1925-1979
22/6F/204 , Selig Adler Papers, Part I, 1909-1984
22/6F/358 , Selig Adler Papers, Part II, 1928-1985
MS 201 , Westwood Country Club Records, 1945-1995
Adler, Selig and Thomas E. Connelly. From Ararat to Suburbia: The History of the Jewish Community of Buffalo. Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society of America, 1960. Available in Lockwood Library and the University Archives (non-circulating), F129 B8 A38
Archives 9/7/00-3, Jewish Life (Buffalo, N.Y.), University Archives Periodical Collection

Related Online Resources

Jewish Buffalo Image Collection , New York Heritage Digital Collections

Related Resources in Other Repositories

David Diamond Collection, P-59 , American Jewish Historical Society Archives