This collection while one of our earlier manuscript collections, was not fully processed until recently. Past archivists had placed the papers into the requisite pH neutral folders and boxes and removed the staples and paperclips. Someone had also handwritten an inventory of the folders, but no one had written up a finding aid, which provides the basic historical and content information that helps researches find the materials they need. This collection also came with several objects pictured below.
League Chapter of Labor Zionist Organization of America (LZOA) Records, 1945-1991
The Jewish Museum of Maryland
ACCESS AND PROVENANCE
The League Chapter of Labor Zionist Organization of American Records was found in the collection (FIC) of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. The Manuscript Collection was given the accession number 2007.048 in 2007. The collection was processed by Jen Pollack in August 2007.
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.
The Labor Zionist Organization of America-Poale Zion (LZOA) was founded in 1905 and held its first convention in Baltimore. The national mission of the organization was to support the establishment of Israel. Once Israel became a county in 1948, the LZOA became active in continuing to support the growth of Israel. One of the main campaigns that came out of Labor Zionism in America was the Histadrut campaign, which sent money to border settlements in Israel, assisted new immigrants, and financed the development of Israel. As well as helping to support Israel, this Zionist movement supported the labor movement from the belief in economic and social equality in Israel, America and the world. It was active in funding and establishing of kibbutzim.
In the early 1970s the Labor Zionist Organization of America-Poale Zion merged with two other labor Zionist organizations – Farband, a labor Zionist fraternal order, and the American Habonim Association, a labor Zionist youth organization. These three groups became known as the Labor Zionist Alliance. The newly formed Alliance continued to work for progress in Israel and in 2004 changed its name to Ameinu.
The League Chapter (the Baltimore chapter) of the Labor Zionist Organization of America began in 1945. When formed, the group called itself the Zionist Guild, but by the end of 1946 its name was changed to League Chapter of the LZOA. While the chapter itself did not begin until 1946, labor Zionist activities had begun much earlier. The founder of the national organization, Dr. Herman Seidel, a Baltimorean, worked to spread the Labor Zionist viewpoint in Baltimore and throughout the United States. In 1934 Jacob Janofsky allowed labor Zionists to use his land as a training farm so that young people could learn agricultural skills to take with them to Israel. Camp Gordonia, which was also a labor Zionist camp, was formed in 1935 but soon merged with Habonim in 1938. All of these activities predated the League Chapter’s official founding date of 1945.
In the mid 1950s, the League Chapter changed its name to League for Israel. The Labor Zionist Alliance, and now Ameinu, maintains an office in the city of Baltimore.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The League Chapter of Labor Zionist Organization of America (LZOA) Collection contains materials relating to their organizational structure. The collection contains meeting minutes, the constitution and by laws for the organization, event programs and promotional materials, and campaign materials. These records span between the Organization’s founding in 1945 and end in 1991.