Manuscript Collection 1: Dr. Stephen Laufer Papers

Posted on August 6th, 2015 by

Dr. Stephen (Schulim) Laufer (1894-1983) Papers

1908-1978

MS 1

 

ACCESS AND PROVENANCE

The Dr. Stephen Laufer Papers were donated by Dr. Stephen Laufer and Mrs. Wilma Laufer Gabbay, a longtime resident of Baltimore, as 1983.5.  The collection was processed by Dr. Laufer, Mrs. Gabbay and Anne Turkos in 1982. Further information was added in 2003 by Robin Waldman with the assistance of Wilma Gabbay.

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. 

 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Dr. Stephen Laufer was born in Bolechow in East Galicia on January 6, 1894, the first son and second child of Israel and Golda (Diengott) Laufer. He attended school in Bolechow until the age of twelve and then left for the neighboring town of Stryj to continue his education, as at that time Bolechow did not have a gymnasium. When World War I broke out in 1914, the Laufer family moved to Budapest, and Stephen obtained work in a leather factory. As he had only completed the seventh grade of gymnasium, he petitioned to take the examinations for the eighth grade and the matura. He successfully did this in 1915, returning to Stryj for the tests.

Stephen (Schulim) Laufer, far right, with friends David Kreppel and Abraham Hruszowski.  The three boys were in the same fourth year high school class in Stryj, Pland, 1910-1911. JMM 1983.5.6

Stephen (Schulim) Laufer, far right, with friends David Kreppel and Abraham Hruszowski. The three boys were in the same fourth year high school class in Stryj, Poland, 1910-1911. JMM 1983.5.6

In 1915 Laufer registered with the Austro-Hungarian authorities and was found fit for army service; he was exempted, however, on the basis of necessary work. In 1918 all exemptions were cancelled and he was drafted into the army but peace was declared before he saw combat.

After the war, Stephen’s family returned to Bolechow and he decided to continue his education in Vienna in 1918. He earned a degree in agricultural engineering and also a doctorate in agricultural chemistry at the Hochschule fur Bodenkultur in 1922. For one year he served as the director of an orphanage farm in Stanislawow, then as a teacher of science in a Jewish gymnasium in Kalisch, Poland, from 1923-1925.

Black and white copy print of the Streifer family from left to right:  Henry Streifer, Joseph Streifer, Miriam Streifer, Aron Streifer, Wolf Streifer, and Ann Streifer, 1902-1905.

Streifer family from left to right: Henry Streifer, Joseph Streifer, Miriam Streifer, Aron Streifer, Wolf Streifer, and Ann Streifer, 1902-1905.

In 1920 Laufer married Anna (Chana) Streifer, daughter of Wolf and Miriam (Pomerantz) Streifer, also of Bolechow. They had three children: Ruth, born in 1923, who married Jerome Morton; Irma, born in 1935, who married Jack Katz; and Irma’s twin, Wilma, who married Albert Gabbay.

Dr. Laufer had been active in the Zionist movement as a teenager. In fact his studies were designed to prepare him for work in Palestine. In September 1925, he left for Haifa with his wife, daughter and mother-in-law. While in Palestine they had no luck finding permanent employment. When their money ran out, the family decided to move to America as relatives of the Streifers were already living there. In February 1929 they sailed on the Alesia, a French ship, from Haifa to Providence, Rhode Island. They lived briefly in Jersey City and Brooklyn and the Bronx for several years, and then bought a home in Forest Hills, Queens, New York, in the summer of 1942, where they lived until 1982.

Dr. Laufer’s first position in the United States was as a chemist for Schwarz Laboratories, a consultant for the brewing industry. He stayed with the company for 46 years, retiring in 1975. He advanced to director of research, director of laboratories, and vice-president. He was in charge of the United States Brewers Academy, which was run by Schwarz Laboratories. Dr. Laufer published closed to 100 articles in the fields of food and fermentation. In 1936 he was honored with the Cincinnati Achievement Award of the Master Brewers Association of America. He is listed in American Men and Women of Science. Dr. Laufer died on October 4, 1983, in New York.

 

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The Laufer Papers consist primarily of reminiscences, miscellaneous documents from his years spent in East Galicia, World War I money, receipts and correspondence. Also included are publications pertaining to the brewing industry.

The reminiscences written by Dr. Laufer cover his early years in Bolechow and Stryj until the outbreak of World War I. A cousin of Mrs. Laufer’s, Frymka Brawer-Pordes, wrote a recollection in German about a school excursion also prior to 1914. This is an amplified version of a chapter in Memorial Book for the Martyrs of Bolechow.

Dr. Laufer’s strong interest in Zionism is represented by receipts for contributions made to various organizations and correspondence. The letters (written in German and Hebrew) are regarding possible employment in Palestine during the years 1922-1928.

Reminisces  of Stephen Laufer, written 1977-78.

Reminisces of Stephen Laufer, written 1977-78.

The papers are divided into three series.

Series I. East Galicia, consists of Dr. Laufer’s and Mrs. Brawer-Pordes’ reminiscences as well as the Bolechow memorial book. Also included are report cards from high school in Stryj; miscellaneous documents pertaining to school, army and citizenship in Polish and German; and Ukranian and Austrian money. Each category is arranged chronologically.

Series II. Palestine, contains receipts for contributions to Zionist organizations, letters from facilities in Palestine regarding employment, handbills concerning the opening of Dr. Laufer’s school in Haifa, and the plan of the ship Alesia. The arrangement in each category is chronological. 

Series III. United States, consists of some of Dr. Laufer’s publications, a bound monograph and several articles.

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

Posted on March 21st, 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

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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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MS 207 Hebrew Young Men’s Sick Relief Association

Posted on January 3rd, 2013 by

Here is one of our most recent Mansuscript Collections processed in the Spring of 2012.

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Hebrew Young Men?s Sick Relief Association Papers

1888-1978

?MS 207

?The Jewish Museum of Maryland

?

ACCESS AND PROVENANCE

The Hebrew Young Men?s Sick Relief Association Papers were found in the collection of the Jewish Museum of Maryland and given the accession number 2006.48.001 and 1996.164.028.? The collection was processed in May of 2012.

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.

50th Anniversary committee Hebrew Young Men's Sick Relief Association, 1938. Courtesy of Paul Frankle. 2009.53.1

HISTORICAL NOTE

The Hebrew Young Men?s Sick Relief Association was founded in September 1888 by three recent immigrants; Aaron Grollman, Feivel Kirshner and Samuel Levi.? Its main purpose was to assist immigrant Jews from Russia and Lithuania settling in Baltimore.? They adopted the slogan:? ?Love, Brotherhood and Friendship?.? Services included:? assisting members in time of sickness, aiding widows and orphans, and in times of disaster offering aid to all regardless of faith.

The Association established a Chevra Kadisha to properly attend to deceased members.? In 1893 they purchased land and dedicated it for a cemetery. In 1936 a new cemetery was bought on Windsor Mill Road.? The organization next established an endowment fund where, upon the death of a member, $200.00 was paid to the widows and orphans to assist them and prevent them from becoming public charges.

In public disasters the Association did its share and offered aid to the suffering regardless of faith;? in February 1904 when Baltimore had its Big Fire, during World Wars I and II, and after the Balfour Declaration contributed toward the establishment and development of Israel.

The Hebrew Young Men?s Sick and Relief Association celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1938 when it had nearly a thousand members.? The Association was still in existence as late as 1978.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The Hebrew Young Men?s Sick Relief Association collection consists of administrative documents records and programs.? Records include constitution and by-laws in English and Yiddish, financial reports, agreements with cemeteries and minutes of meetings.

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Minutes include financial statements and rosters with the earliest in Yiddish.? There is information regarding programs and events from 1938 to 1978.

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