MS 215 The Eli Frank Collection of American Jewish Relief Committee Papers

Posted on March 21, 2013 by

Sometimes differentiating between a personal collection and  institutional records can be a bit tricky.  In the case of this collection we have papers collected and compiled by an individual – Eli Frank – but the collection deals exclusively with one organization – the American Jewish Relief Committee.  So how did we handle it?  In this case it made sense to focus on the institutional nature of the collection, but indicate clearly the person who brought everything together.  And if this finding aid peaks your interest in either the person or the institution, we have more materials in our collection related to both.

The Eli Frank Collection of

American Jewish Relief Committee Papers

1919-1922

 MS 215

Jewish Museum of Maryland

ACCESS AND PROVENANCE

The Eli Frank Collection of American Jewish Relief Committee Papers was donated to the Jewish Museum of Maryland in 1983 as accessions 1983.74 by Shane D. Stiller. The collection was processed by Jennifer Vess in February 2013.

Access to the collection is unrestricted and is available to researchers at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.  Researchers must obtain the written permission of the Jewish Museum of Maryland before publishing quotations from materials in the collection.  Papers may be copied in accordance with the library’s usual procedures. 

Black and white photograph of a group of orphans standing outside a barn, 1914-1919.  This photograph was used by the American Jewish Relief Committee to raise funds during World War I.  Courtesy of D.C. Liberles.  1980.29.5

Black and white photograph of a group of orphans standing outside a barn, 1914-1919. This photograph was used by the American Jewish Relief Committee to raise funds during World War I. Courtesy of D.C. Liberles. 1980.29.5

HISTORICAL NOTE

The American Jewish Relief Committee was organized on October 25, 1914 in order to raise funds to help Jews particularly in Russia, Palestine and Eastern Europe who were suffering because of World War I.  The leaders of the national organization were mostly of German origin and well-to-do.  Only a month later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee was formed to ensure that funds from the American Jewish Relief Committee, the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War, and the People’s Relief Committee to ensure that funds were distributed effectively.   Local branches of the American Jewish Relief Committee were formed throughout the United States and Canada including Baltimore.  Chairman for the Baltimore Branch included Dr. Harry Friedenwald (1916), Julius Levy (1919) and Eli Frank (1922).  Many Baltimoreans took part in the activities of the committee as members of the board or the various subcommittees or as donors.  The American Jewish Relief Committee received endorsements from nation political leaders including presidents, local political leaders and local religious leaders both Christian and Jewish.

Eli Frank, Sr. (left) and Eli Frank, Jr. (right).  Courtesy of Allina, Marcia Frank & Victoria Frank Albert.  1995.25.16.

Eli Frank, Sr. (left) and Eli Frank, Jr. (right). Courtesy of Allina, Marcia Frank & Victoria Frank Albert. 1995.25.16.

SCOPE NOTE

The Eli Frank Collection of American Jewish Relief Committee Papers contains newsletters, correspondence, invitations, reports and miscellaneous documents related to both the Baltimore branch and the national organization.  The correspondence, from September 1921 through August 1922, makes up the bulk of the collection.  The correspondence are organized chronologically and placed at the beginning of the collection.

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