TABLE OF CONTENTS


Introduction

Institutional Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement

Conditions of Access and Use

Related Material

Administrative Information

Search Terms

Box and Folder Listing

Series A. General Files. 1920-1965.

A Finding Aid to the Jewish Conciliation Board of America Records. 1920-1972.

Manuscript Collection No. 501


Introduction

Repository: The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
Creator: Jewish Conciliation Board of America
Title: Jewish Conciliation Board of America Records
Dates: 1920-1972
Quantity: 18.4 linear feet (46 Hollinger boxes)
Abstract: The Jewish Conciliation Board of America records detail the early years of the board, established in 1931 by Rabbi Israel Goldstein, replacing New York's Jewish Court of Arbitration. The Board, supported through contributions, served as a Jewish "domestic relations court." It conducted court sessions with various judges presiding on a voluntary basis. The collection consists of correspondence (1934-1959), case files (1949-1965), financial records (1950-1961), speeches and addresses (1939-1953), and reports and newsclippings (1920-1936). The pre-1930 material reflects the activities of the Jewish Court of Arbitration.
Collection Number: MS-501
Language: Collection material in English.

Institutional Sketch

Founded in 1931 as a board of lay-persons and rabbis, the Jewish Conciliation Board sought to fill a void in American society of a Jewish issues court. The Board is a descendent of the Beth Din (a Jewish court of law) and as such is a free court allowing immigrants to avoid potentially costly litigation. Early leaders of the organization were Louis Richman and Dr. Israel Goldstein (founder of Brandeis University).

Publicity in the New York Yiddish press led to a steady increase in the number of cases by the 1960s. In 1964, the City Family Courts division was legally enabled to transfer "specifically Jewish cases" to the Board. Fundraising for additional staff was a continual concern for the organization. During its early years the Jewish Educational Alliance provided space for case hearings.

The Jewish Conciliation Board brought about a settlement of disputes using justice, compassion and benevolence. In its first 50 years of existence, the Board solved over 27,000 cases. Originally most cases related to rabbis, fraternal orders and burial societies. More recently the caseload has shifted to more family oriented cases. Disputants file a case before the board, and a full report is drawn up by the judges. Where applicable, referrals are made to governmental agencies or private organizations such as the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. If not, the Board acts as a mediator. Each panel includes a businessman, lawyer, and rabbi with consultation of psychiatrists. Panelists are volunteers, and mediation is not rigidly structured. Decisions are binding in accordance with the arbitration laws of New York State.

The Jewish Conciliation Board of America currently evaluates and mediates disputes within the Jewish community, including those involving interpersonal and family matters, marital problems, business conflicts, and disagreements among organizations. The program also provides legal information and referral to Russian-speaking émigrés with a focus on their special needs and concerns. The majority of disputants in cases come from New York State but the Board does not limit itself to New York residents.


Scope and Content Note

The Jewish Conciliation Board of America records detail the early years of the board, established in 1931 by Rabbi Israel Goldstein, replacing New York's Jewish Court of Arbitration. The Board, supported through contributions, served as a Jewish "domestic relations court." It conducted court sessions with various judges presiding on a voluntary basis.

The vast majority of this collection consists of the case files of the Board. A typical case file includes a statement of grievance, reports compiled in the investigation of the complaint and a copy of the decision of the Court. Not all cases were actually sent in person to the Conciliation Board.

The annual reports give statistics about the cases processed and a sampling of a typical case. There is also correspondence from the Executive Director (1934-1959), financial records (1950-1961), speeches and addresses (1939-1953), reports and newsclippings, (1920-1936). The pre-1930 material reflects the activities of the Jewish Court of Arbitration.


Arrangement

The papers are organized in a single series.


Conditions of Access and Use

Terms of Access

The collection is open for use; no restrictions apply.

Terms of Reproduction and Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce, with exceptions for fair use, may be obtained through the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio. Please address queries to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives. For more information, see the American Jewish Archives copyright information webpage.


Related Material

  • Jewish Conciliation Board of Amerirca Letter to Mrs. Rebekah Kohut, informing her of her re-election as a vice-president. New York, New York. January 1949. Small Collections.
  • Jewish Conciliation Board of Amerirca Nearprint Special Topics File.
  • Jewish Conciliation Board of Amerirca Picture Collection.
  • Jewish Conciliation Board of Amerirca. X-163.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Jewish Conciliation Board of America Records and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:

[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-501. Jewish Conciliation Board of America Records. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Provenance

The Jewish Conciliation Board of America Records were received from Jewish Conciliation Board, New York, New York.

Processing Information

Processed by American Jewish Archives staff.


Box and Folder Listing

Series A. General Files. 1920-1965.
The records consist primarily of case files, divided up alphabetically within broader categories such as "marked-off cases." Following the case records are reports, clippings and correspondence. Boxes 26-45 contain the most recent grouping of case files (from the 1960s) followed by annual meeting materials
The papers are arranged into a single series divided by subject.
Box
1 Finished cases. 1949-1953.
Box
2 Finished cases. 1954-1955.
Box
3 Finished cases. 1956-1957.
Box
4 Finished cases. 1958-1959.
Box
5 Finished cases. 1960.
Box
6 Finished cases. 1961.
Box
7 Marked-off cases. A-Blustein. 1954-1965.
Box
8 Marked-off cases. Bobrow-D. 1954-1965.
Box
9 Marked-off cases. E-F. 1954-1965.
Box
10 Marked-off cases. Gab-Gran.
Box
11 Marked-off cases. Green-L.
Box
12 Marked-off cases. J-Kloner. 1954-1965.
Box
13 Marked-off cases. Knob-L. 1954-1965.
Box
14 Marked-off cases. M-N. 1954-1965.
Box
15 Marked-off cases. O-R. 1954-1965.
Box
16 Marked-off cases. Sa-Sm. 1954-1965.
Box
17 Marked-off cases. Sobel - V. 1954-1965.
Box
18 Marked-off cases. 1954-1965.
Box
19 Social service cases. A-F.
Box
20 Social service cases. G-L.
Box
21 Social service cases. M-R.
Box
22 Social service cases. S-Z.
Box
23 Addresses and speeches. Harvard student report.
Box
24 Clippings from newspaper; inquiry letters.
Box
25 Financial records; law journal notices.
Box
26 John Hopkins University study; Premiss, Silvia R., correspondence. 194-1954.
Box
27 Correspondence. 1955-1957.
Box
28 Correspondence. 1958-1959.
Box
29 Cases. A-Blank.
Box
30 Cases. Blatt- C.
Box
31 Cases. D-Feldman.
Box
32 Cases. Feldrais-Goidol.
Box
33 Cases. Gold-Gurman.
Box
34 Cases. Gut-J.
Box
35 Cases. K.
Box
36 Cases. L-Margolis.
Box
37 Cases. Marin-N.
Box
38 Cases. O-Romanoff.
Box
39 Cases. Romantz-Seidman.
Box
40 Cases Seidler-Steindler.
Box
41 Cases. Steiner-V.
Box
42 Cases. W-Z.
Box
43 Annual meeting. Reports. 1952-1958.
Box
44 Annual meeting. Reports. 1959-1966.
Box
45 Annual meetings. Reports. 1966-1972.
Box
46 Miscellaneous.

Search Terms

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

Institutions

Jewish Court of Arbitration

Subjects

Courts, Jewish

Genres and Forms

Case files