A Finding Aid to the
Oscar Cohen Papers
Collection No. 294
ACCESS AND PROVENANCE
The OSCAR COHEN PAPERS were donated to the American Jewish Archives in February, 1986 by Mrs. Marjorie M. Cohen of New York, N.Y., who assigned the property rights to the American Jewish Archives. All literary rights to materials authored by Oscar Cohen are held by the Cohen heirs. Literary rights to materials authored by others are held by the individual author or his/her heirs. Questions concerning copyright should be addressed to the Director of the American Jewish Archives.
The OSCAR COHEN PAPERS are open to all users. The original manuscript collection is available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH top
Oscar Cohen was born in Dundas, Canada on June 1, 1908 to Harry and Ida (Ziskind) Cohen. He received a B.A. degree from the University of Toronto in 1929 and attended Columbia University from 1929 to 1930.
In 1932 Cohen was named editor of the Jewish Standard in Toronto, where he remained until 1934. From 1935 to 1941 he served as director of the Canadian Jewish Congress, also located in Toronto. In 1941 he entered the Canadian Army, serving as a lieutenant colonel until 1946.
In 1946 Cohen moved to the United States where he remained for the rest of his life. His first job in this country was as director of the Jewish Community Center in Detroit, Michigan, working there until 1949. At that time Cohen began his long career with the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL). From 1949-1954 Cohen worked in the Community Services Division of the ADL; in 1954 he was named National Program Director of the organization, a position he held until 1975. From 1976 until his death Cohen continued to serve the ADL as a consultant.
Cohen was a member of the American Sociological Association, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the Inter-American Society of Psychology, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, B'nai B'rith, the American Veterans Committee, the National Association of Intergroup Relations Officers, the Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Religious Research Association.
Cohen was also a prolific author, contributing many articles to social science and general journals. He researched and wrote in the fields of anti-Semitism, Jewish-Christian relations, Black-Jewish relations and contemporary social issues.
On February 8, 1947 Cohen married Marjorie Merlin. They had three children: Myra, Deborah and Judith.
Oscar Cohen died on June 8, 1985 at the age of 77.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE top
The OSCAR COHEN PAPERS (1955-1985) contain materials pertaining to Cohen's activities as National Program Director of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith and his research into the area of Jewish-Christian relations. The collection consists of correspondence, speeches, reports, polls, bibliographies, proposals, newsclippings and miscellaneous items. The span dates for the collection are 1955-1985, with the bulk of the materials covering the years 1975-1985. The Papers are divided into five series:The CORRESPONDENCE series (1955-1985) consists of two and one-half Hollinger boxes of correspondence, newsclippings and miscellaneous items. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or organization.
A. CORRESPONDENCE B. ANTI-SEMITISM C. JEWISH-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS D. CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL ISSUES E. BIBLIOGRAPHIES, POLLS, PROPOSALS AND MISCELLANEOUS.
The ANTI-SEMITISM series (1960-1985) is divided into three sub-series. Sub-series 1. General, consists of fifteen Hollinger boxes of research notes, articles, reports, newsclippings and some correspondence collected by Cohen during his study of anti-Semitism in the United States. The materials are arranged alphabetically by title or subject. This sub-series contains materials on anti-Semitic movements, organizations, persons and incidents.
Sub-series 2. Regional, State and Local Anti-Semitism, consists of two and one-half Hollinger boxes of materials concerning anti-Semitism in various regions, states and cities throughout the United States. The materials are arranged alphabetically first by region, then by city and state.
Sub-series 3. Interviews on anti-Semitism, consists of one-half Hollinger box of transcripts of interviews conducted by Cohen with a number of persons concerning their involvement either in experiencing or combating anti-Semitism. The interviews are arranged alphabetically by the name of the interviewee.
SERIES C. JEWISH-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS consists of six Hollinger boxes of articles, reviews, correspondence and other materials. This series is divided into two sub-series: Sub-series 1. General and Sub-Series 2. Black-Jewish Relations. The materials in this series are arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or subject.
SERIES D. CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL ISSUES consists of two and one-half Hollinger boxes of materials pertaining to persons and events who have, in the recent past, had an impact on the Jewish community in the United States. Again, these materials are arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or subject.
The BIBLIOGRAPHIES, POLLS, PROPOSALS AND MISCELLANEOUS series is divided into four sub-series. Sub-series 1. Bibliographies, consists of one-half Hollinger box of bibliographies on anti-Semitism, book reviews, history, Jewish culture, oral history and miscellaneous topics. Sub-Series 2. Polls and Surveys, consists of three boxes of public opinion polls collected by Cohen concerning various persons and topics. The polls are arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or subject. Sub-Series 3. Proposals, consists of one Hollinger box of proposals submitted to the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith for programs or procedures. These are arranged alphabetically by subject. Sub-Series 4. Miscellaneous, consists of one- half Hollinger box of writings and speeches of Cohen, along with notes and outlines from his research projects.
BOX AND FOLDER LISTING topBox Folder Contents SERIES A. CORRESPONDENCE 1 1 A, General 2 B, General 3 C, General 4 D, General 5 E, General 6 F, General 7 G, General 8 H, General 2 1 I-J, General 2 K, General 3 L, General 4 M, General 5 N, General 6 O-Q, General 7 R, General 8 S, General 3 1 S, General 2 T-V, General 3 W-Z, General 4 Unidentified Correspondence SERIES B. ANTI-SEMITISM Sub-Series 1. General 5 Adolescent Prejudice 6 Affirmative Action 7 Anti-Semitic Humor 8 Anti-Semitism (Causes) 9 Anti-Semitism (Definitions) 10 Anti-Semitism and Israel (Reports) 1978-1979 4 1 "Anti-Semitism and Israel: A Report on American Public Opinion" (Report) 1978 2 "Anti-Semitism in America, 1654-1930" (Report) 1969 3 "Anti-Semitism in the U.S." (Report) 1981 4-6 Anti-Semitism in the U.S. (Miscellaneous Articles) 7 Anti-Semitism in the U.S. (Polls) 8 Anti-Zionism 9 Apathetic Majority (Reviews) 1966-1967 5 1 Arab Boycott 2 Arab Influence in the U.S. 3 Arab-Israeli War 1967 4 Armed Forces, Race Relations In 5 Catholic anti-Semitism 6 Civil War Era anti-Semitism 7-8 College anti-Semitism 9 Colonial Period anti-Semitism 10 Combating anti-Semitism 6 1 "Community Clinics: Combating anti-Semitism" (Handbook) n.d. 2 Corporate anti-Semitism 3 Couglin, Charles E. 4 Covington, Harold 5 Crime and anti-Semitism 6 Drama, Jews in 7 Dreyfus Case 8 Education, Public 9 Employment Discrimination 10-12 Extremism 7 1-2 Extremism 3-4 Ford, Henry 5-8 Frank, Leo M.-Case 9 German-American Bund 10 Gilded Age anti-Semitism, 1870-1890 8 1 Grant, Ulysses S. (General Order #11) 2-3 History of American anti-Semitism (Miscellaneous Articles) 4-7 Holocaust (Miscellaneous Articles) 9 1 Holocaust (Miscellaneous Articles) 2 Housing 3-5 Images of Jews 6-8 Immigration Restriction (Miscellaneous Articles) 10 1 Immigration Restriction (Miscellaneous Articles) 2-7 Incidents of anti-Semitism (Miscellaneous) 8-9 Intergroup Relations 1975 10 "Jesus Christ Superstar" 11 Jewish Humor 11 1 Jewish Self-Image 2 Jews and the Left 3 Jews as Viewed in Popular Culture 4-5 Jews in American History (Miscellaneous Articles) 6-8 Ku Klux Klan 12 1 Ku Klux Klan 2 Larchmont, New York Creche 3 Lindbergh, Charles A. 4-7 Literature and Jews 13 1 "Merchant of Venice" 2 Metzger, Tom 3-5 Motion Picture Industry (Miscellaneous Articles) 6 Nazi Party, U.S.A. 7 New anti-Semitism (American Context) 8 New anti-Semitism (World Context) 9 Nineteenth Century Newspaper Articles 14 1 Notes on Anti-Jewish Acts, 1654-1930 2 Parochial Schools 3 Philadelphia, Pa. Nazi Rally 1979 4 Pluralism in America 5 Politics of Unreason (Excerpts and Reviews) 6 Post-Progressive Era anti-Semitism 7 Post-World II anti-Semitism 8 Presidential Campaign Bigotry 1960 9 Progressive Era anti-Semitism, 1880-1914 10 Protestant anti-Semitism 15 1 Red Scare Era 2-3 Refugees, 1930-1940 4 Religious Images of Jews 5 Revolutionary and Federalist Periods, 1776-1800 6 Roosevelt, Theodore 7 Rosenberg, Julius and Ethel 8 Rotary International 9 Seligman, Joseph 10 Social Discrimination 16 1-2 Social Discrimination 3 Soviet Jewry 4-8 Status of Jews in America 17 1 Suburban anti-Semitism 2 Swastika Epidemic 3 Television anti-Semitism 4-5 Television anti-Semitism ("All in the Family") 6 Theater anti-Semitism 7 United Nations Resolution (re: Zionism) 1975-1976 18 1 World War II anti-Semitism 2 Yale University 3 Youth anti-Semitism Sub-Series 2. Regional, State and Local Anti-Semitism 4 Midwest 5 New England 6-8 South 9 Southwest 10 West 19 1 Alabama 2 Berkeley, California 3 Los Angeles, California 4 Oakland, California 5 San Francisco, California 6 California 7 Colorado 8 Georgia 9-10 Chicago, Illinois 11 Skokie, Illinois 12 Indiana 13 Detroit, Michigan 14 Minneapolis, Minnesota 15 Mississippi 16 St. Louis, Missouri 20 1 St. Louis, Missouri 2 Wayne, New Jersey 3 New York 4 New York 5 North Dakota 6 Oregon 7 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 8 Pennsylvania 9 Charleston, South Carolina 10 Memphis, Tennessee 11 Richmond, Virginia 12 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Sub-Series 3. Interviews on Anti-Semitism 13 Interviews, B-H 21 1 Interviews, J-R 2 Interviews, S-W SERIES C. JEWISH-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS 3-5 Christian Beliefs and Anti-Semitism (Articles and Reviews) 22 1 Christian Beliefs and Anti-Semitism (Articles and Reviews) 2-6 Christian-Jewish Relations (Miscellaneous Articles) 23 1-3 Christian-Jewish Relations (Miscellaneous Articles) 4 Church/State Separation 5-6 Evangelism 24 1 "Key 73" Messianic Jews/Jews for Jesus (Evangelistic Crusade) 2-3 National Conference of Christians and Jews 4 National Council of Churches 5 Vatican II Sub-Series 2. Black-Jewish Relations 6 Baraka, Imamu Amiri (LeRoi Jones) 7-9 Black anti-Semitism 25 1 Black Attitudes re: Israel 2-11 Black-Jewish Relations (Miscellaneous Articles) 26 1-2 Black-Jewish Relations (Miscellaneous Articles) 3 Civil Rights 4 Crisis of the Negro Intellectual (Reviews) 5 Giovanni, Nikki 6 Jackson, Jesse 7 Lester, Julius 8 Protest and Prejudice (Reviews) 9 South Africa 27 1-3 Young, Andrew SERIES D. CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL ISSUES 4 Agnew, Spiro T. 5 Brown, General George S. 6 Butz, Arthur R. 7 Carter, Jimmy 8 Demography 9 Education and Social Change 10 Election 1984 11 Ethnicity 12 Intermarriage 28 1-6 Israel (Miscellaneous Articles) 7 Jewish Accomplishments 8 Jewish Community 29 1 Jewish Education 2 Jewish Hospitals 3 Jews, Commentaries on 4 John Birch Society 5 Lebanon 6 Moynihan, Daniel P. 7 National Jewish Relations Advisory Council 8 Nixon, Richard M. 9 Philo-Semitism 10 Populism 11 "Profile of a Year of Jewish-Non-Jewish Relations," 1975 12 Quotas 13 Saudi Arabia (AWACS Sale) 14 Social Science 15 Stoner, J.B. SERIES E. BIBLIOGRAPHIES, POLLS, PROPOSALS AND MISCELLEANOUS Sub-Series 1. Bibliographies 30 1 Anti-Semitism 2 Book Reviews 3 History 4 Jewish Culture and Film Culture 5 Oral History 6-7 Miscellaneous Sub-Series 2. Polls and Surveys 8 American Jewish Committee 1955-1957 9 Arab-Israeli Conflict 31 1 Attitudes Toward Jews 2 Audits and Survey, Inc. Polls 3 Black Attitudes Toward Jews 4 Catholic Digest Polls 1966 5 College Students 6 Congress of Industrial Organizations Polls 1956 7 Corporate Discrimination 8 Denver, Colorado Jewish Population Study 9 Harris Poll 1974 32 1 High School Student Survey 2 Intermarriage 3 Platkin Study on Anti-Semitism 4 Protestant Rating 5 Reagan, Ronald - Poll 6 Religion in America 1976 7 University of California Polls 8 Vatican II and the Jews 9 Voting Polls 10-12 Yankelovich, Skelly and White Polls 33 1 Youth Survey 2-7 Miscellaneous Polls Sub-Series 3. Proposals 8 Audio-Visual Training Center 9 Detroit Nazi Group 10 Evangelicals and Democracy 11 Graduate Summer Institute on Judaism 12 Minorities and Women in Textbooks 13 National Interreligious Center 14-15 Simulation Training 34 1 Teaching About Israel 2-5 Miscellaneous Proposals Sub-Series 4. Miscellaneous 6 American Jewish Historiography (Mss.) 7 "Christian-American Jew Baiting" (Notes) 8 "The Presence of Jews: An Historic Overview of Anti-Semitism in America: (Outline) 9 "Progress, Yes!" (Article by Cohen) 10-11 Speech File (Addresses by Cohen)