Manuscript Collection 5: Louis J. Fox Papers

Posted on November 5th, 2015 by

Louis J. Fox (1911-1995) Papers, n.d., 1929-1981

MS 5                                                                             

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, jchurch@jewishmuseummd.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.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

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

”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

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

Box     Folder                         

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,

1967-1970

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

 

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Once Upon a Time…09.12.2014

Posted on May 19th, 2015 by

The Baltimore Jewish Times publishes unidentified photographs from the collection of Jewish Museum of Maryland each week. If you can identify anyone in these photos and more information about them, contact Joanna Church at 410.732.6400 x236 or email jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org

 

2002107100Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  September 12, 2014

PastPerfect Accession #:  2002.107.100

Status:  Partially Identified! Leisure Lounge volunteer facilitating a discussion n.d. The gentleman in front, with his hands folded in his lap, is Nathan Caplan (d. 1975). It is thought that this picture shows an English class for Russian immigrants at the Jewish Community Center.

Special Thanks To: Selma Sherman

 

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9th Annual Herbert H. and Irma B. Risch Memorial Program on Immigration: Stateless

Posted on April 30th, 2015 by

Stateless

Stateless

On Sunday, April 26, the JMM in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore, the Gordon Center for Performing Arts and the Baltimore Jewish Film Festival held the 9th annual Herbert H. and Irma B. Risch Memorial Program on Immigration. Each year, thanks the generosity of Helen and Frank Risch, the JMM holds a program exploring immigration. Past programs have featured scholars, activists, storytellers and performers. This year we presented a film screening, Stateless, that documents a little known story that impacted tens of thousands of Soviet Jewish immigrants who sought safe haven in the US in the late 1980s.

Michael and Victoria Drob with Frank Risch

Michael and Victoria Drob with Frank Risch

Stateless’s director, Michael Drob, was inspired by his own personal experiences as a child when his parents made the difficult decision to emigrate from Latvia to the US in 1988. The document features interviews with several families – including his parents – who describe how difficult life was under the Soviets, the challenges they faced leaving and the chaos they encountered as they passed through customs and boarded trains on their way to Vienna and then Italy. Sadly for many immigrants, the situation did not improve in Italy as their applications for visas to the US were denied because they were forced to prove that they had been persecuted in the Soviet Union. Thousands of immigrants found themselves stranded in Italy for many months until the US policy changed following the passage of legislation and they were allowed to proceed to the US.

Panelists fielding questions from the audience.

Panelists fielding questions from the audience

Audience member asking question

Audience member asking question

We were privileged to have three distinguished guests in attendance with ties to the film– director, Michael Drob; author, Lev Golinkin; and HIAS director, Mark Hetfield – who participated in a panel discussion following the film. The three panelists shared additional insight about the events depicted in the film and fielded questions from curious audience members. Attendees also had the opportunity to purchase copies of Mr. Golinkin’s book, A Backpack, A Bear and Eight Crates of Vodka which details his experiences as a child refugee from the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

Author Lev Golinkin

Author Lev Golinkin

The Gordon Center proved to be a beautiful setting for the program and we were delighted to see more than 400 people in attendance including representation from Baltimore’s Russian community. I was moved to hear so many people speak of their own personal experiences as immigrants during this time period. Many more talked about how surprised they were to learn about the events depicted in the film.

Frank and Helen Risch

Frank and Helen Risch

Frank and Helen Risch established the Herbert H. and Irma B. Risch Memorial Program in order to honor Frank’s parents who were refugees from Germany who escaped to Baltimore in the 1930s. Each year’s program shines a light on the importance of immigration to contemporary Jewish life and inspires conversation and dialog on this topic. We are grateful to the Risches for giving us this opportunity.

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