Posted on August 3rd, 2016 by Rachel
After a few hours of flipping through old magazines, flyers, and ticket stubs, I’m convinced that this category of artifacts contains more information about modern history than anything else. I went into the basement collections to find objects for a Rosh Hashanah exhibit this past week, and became distracted by all of the modern history contained in each box. At first, I stayed focused. I knew which objects and manuscripts to locate and followed the directions to the correct box and dividing folder. My second time down there, however, I lugged the needed box onto the table, opened it, and promptly forgot about staying on-task. In looking for a specific greeting card, I stumbled upon boxes filled with my favorite parts of history.
I struggle to appreciate historical vases, instruments, or other objects; I look at them for a few moments and don’t learn that much about the time period. Written artifacts, however, such as magazines, newspapers, brochures, and flyers give me so much to think about. Looking through a magazine from the 1930s, you see the style of advertising, what they advertised (so many cigarette ads), the style of how people wrote, the words they used, the businesses open, not to mention what people wrote about during that time.
Where the goodies live
These specific artifacts speak about historical and approaching modern-day Baltimore, an especially interesting subject in terms of race relations, urbanization, and Jewish communities. One brochure for an art program from the 1930s included a large picture of Black and White children working together at the same table, even though Jim Crow laws still operated in Baltimore during that period. Another magazine included an opinion editorial written by a White woman about her (negative) opinion on Black churches and how they’ll affect the economy; an article disturbing in how similar to sounded to articles still published today, with slightly different wording. I held Baltimore first “colored” magazine and Yiddish bulletins for services.
15 cents per copy!
I had to pause to consider all the knowledge buried in these artifacts. When and how did different words begin to be used? How quickly did cigarette ads begin to decline in publications? When did each individual publication begin to include pictures of Black and White people together? How did two different publications tell the same story? In a Playbill, what did the actors look like? What did they include in their bios? What kind of paper did people use for flyers in different neighborhoods? Diaries, letters, and household objects, especially when combined, certainly speak to many people and contain useful information when deconstructing the past and present. For me, however, publications that include words, pictures, ads, and messages directed at the public, the things people absorbed every day, contain more information than anything. Therefore, the chance to see, touch, and flip through such a variety of these sources, from such an interesting and vibrant city, really excites me.
For the record, contemplating research questions and flipping through magazines wasn’t a complete waste of time; I stumbled upon a calendar to use in the Rosh Hashanah exhibit during my wanderings!
Blog post by Education & Programs Intern Anna Balfanz. To read more posts by and about interns click HERE.
Posted on December 14th, 2015 by Rachel
Dr. Joseph Joshua Schwartz, 1899-1975
Dr. Joseph Schwartz, March 23, 1941.
ACCESS AND PROVENANCE
The Dr. Joseph Joshua Schwartz papers were donated to the Jewish Museum of Maryland by Dr. Schwartz’s niece, Mrs. Samuel Krivitsky, and by his nephew, Rabbi Manuel Poliakoff, as accessions 1982.12 and 1982.16 in 1982, when the Museum was still called the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland. The collection was processed in December 1982 by Rose Cohen and Hattie Lott.
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.
Photo from album presented to Joseph Schwartz “As a token of it’s gratitude the Girl’s Orphanage of the Jewish Women’s Association, Budapest to Dr. J. Schwarz [sic] Chairman of the European Section of the A.J.D.C.”, n.d.
Dr. Joseph Joshua Schwartz (1899-1975) was born in Russia in 1899 and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1907. His father was an orthodox rabbi and young Joseph followed in his father’s footsteps. He was graduated from the Rabbi Isaace Elchanan Seminary in New York City (now Yeshiva University) and served as rabbi at Congregation Pincus Elijah in New York.
After receiving his doctorate in Semitics and the Sterling Research Fellowship in Mathematics from Yale University in 1927, he left the rabbinate and turned to teaching Semitic Languages and Literature at the American University in Cairo. He returned to America in 1929 and for the next seven years taught at Long Island University. He simultaneously served as Director of Public Information for the Federation of Jewish Charities before becoming the director-general of the American Joint Distribution Committee. He supervised urgent relief and welfare programs during World War II in 30 countries involving more than 1,000,000 people.
Mapam’s leaders greeting to his Excellency Minister Shitrit and Dr. Schwartz, 1956. From left to right: Dr. Marcos Satanowsky, his Excellency Minister Shitrit, Mr. Jaime Finkelstein (Leader of the Mapam Party in Argentina), Dr. Joseph Schwartz and Mrs. Schwartz.
Dr. Schwartz, as overseas chief of the J.D.C., was instrumental in having more than 100,000 Jewish Displaced Persons emigrate to the United States, Canada and Latin America. He also directed the movement to Israel of more then 500,000 persons from distressed areas in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Dr. Schwartz was cited by many institutions and organizations for his scholarship and humanitarianism. He held honorary degrees from Yeshiva University and Brandeis, as well as from Dropsie College. For his work on behalf of refugees he was awarded Legion of Honor of France and was decorated by Poland and Hungary.
Dr. Schwartz died in 1975 at the age of 75. He was married to the former Dora Rashback and was survived by his son, Nathan.
Dr. Joseph Schwartz speaking at a commemoration in Kaposvar, July 6, 1947. On this site a monument was erected to immortalize the memory of 7000 Jewish martyrs of Kaposvar and Somogy County who were deported and killed.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
Dr. Schwartz’s papers consist primarily of clippings, printed material and his scholarly research notes. There are some clippings about his work with the Joint Distribution Committee in the 1940s but most relate to his tours of Mexico and Argentina in 1956 and of Montevideo in 1961. There are official photograph albums of these two tours among the photographs of the collection. The printed material is largely programs and invitations to functions honoring Schwartz for his work. There are also some publications about Israel and the Paul Baerwald School of Social work, which offered a program named in Schwartz’s honor.
Dr. Joseph Schwartz, back right, and other men in academic regalia, n.d.
Dr. Schwartz’s academic career is represented by his research notes in Hebrew and Arabic and by copies of two published articles. There is a file of material on his personal library, which was given to Kent State University.
The collection includes a small file on Joseph Schwartz’s father, Abraham Nachman Schwartz, who was rabbi of the Congregation Shomrei Mishmeres in Baltimore. The material incudes his obituary and some biographical data supplied for use by the Encyclopedia Talmudit.
Nathan Schwartz was Joseph Schwartz’s son. He is a musician and the records in this collection relate largely to his musical training and early career in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Dr. Joseph Schwartz and his wife Dora.
Posted on November 5th, 2015 by Rachel
Louis J. Fox (1911-1995) Papers, n.d., 1929-1981
ACCESS AND PROVENANCE
The Louis J. Fox Papers were found in the collection of the Jewish Museum of Maryland in July 2004 without an accession number; having been referred to since its arrival as MS 5. Unable to reconcile the collection with an existing accession, it has been assigned accession number 2004.55. Anne Turkos, Vella Beckman and Elva Schneider processed the collection in October 1982. Erin Titter updated and revised the finding aid and box list in July 2004.
Access to the collection is unrestricted and is available to researchers at the Jewish Museum of Maryland – contact Joanna Church, collections manager, firstname.lastname@example.org to make a research appointment.
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.
Louis J. Fox was born in Baltimore on June 8, 1911. He graduated from Baltimore City College High School in 1929 and for a short time thereafter worked in the insurance industry and the scrap metal industry. In 1931, Louis and his brother Robert opened Fox Chevrolet in Baltimore. On September 11, 1933, he married Dorothy Newman and they had two daughters, Jill Fox and Shirley (Fox) Scholder. Jill died in the 1950s and her parents founded the Jill Fox Memorial Fund in her honor.
”Technician Fourth Grade Louis Fox, of 3041 Spaulding Ave., Baltimore, MD was photographed recently by his dugout, called the ”Sad Sack’s Hole,” on an advance island base in the South Pacific war theater. Sgt. Fox is one of the few Baltimore men who fought with the 43rd Infantry Division throughout the entire New Georgia campaign, a battle which paved the way for the invasion of Bougainville.” Bureau of Public Relations, War Department, Washington
In 1944, Louis Fox entered the Army as a Radio Repairman, Aircraft Equipment and achieved the rank of sergeant. He was discharged in 1946 and he returned to Baltimore to work at his car dealership. In 1958 he bought out his brother Robert and subsequently expanded the business to several area locations and began selling other brands. He served as company president and was named chairman in 1972, a post that he occupied until his death.
Louis Fox was active in several local and national organizations. He was president of the Jewish Welfare Fund in the 1950s, the Associated Jewish Charities in 1965 and 1966, and the Council of Jewish Federations in 1966, 1967, and 1968. He was president at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation and was the first president of its Parents’ Association. He was also on the executive board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and was director of the University of Baltimore, Sinai Hospital, and South Baltimore General Hospital, now the Harbor Hospital Center. He was the first president of the Jewish Community Center, a regional chairman for the national Conference of Christians and Jews, and was a founder of the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland, now the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
He died on February 25, 1995 at Sinai Hospital of heart failure.
Lou Pincus (or Lon Pincus), Treasurer, Jewish Agency with Louis Fox (left) in Jerusalem, Israel, August 1967. JMM 2004.55.2
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The Louis J. Fox Papers contain both personal papers and those related to the many organizations with which he was involved. Personal papers include military records, awards, newspaper clippings, and correspondence he received for his accomplishments. Organizational papers consist primarily of official correspondence from the Jill Fox Memorial Fund, the Council of Jewish Federations, the Anti-Defamation League, the Legacy and Endowment Fund, State of Israel Bonds, and the Jewish Deaf Society, and from his involvement with Soviet Jewry. These papers are organized alphabetically by the name of the group or organization.
Folder List: 2004.055 Volume: .5 linear feet
1 1 Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, 1960-1967
2 Associated Jewish Charities and Welfare Fund, 1949-1977
3 Awards and Tributes, n.d., 1964-1981
4 Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, reports, national, 1968-1976
5 Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, reports, international,
6 Jewish Deaf Society, 1971-1974
7 Jewish Telegraphic Agency, newsletters, 1962-1968
8 Jill Fox Memorial Fund, 1960-1974
9 Legacies & Endowment and Pooled Income Funds, n.d., 1965-1974
10 Military Records, 1944-1946
11 Personal Papers, 1946-1966
12 Personal Papers, 1967-1979
13 Soviet Jewry, 1971-1972
14 State of Israel Bonds, 1957-1977