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Guide to the Jewish Labor Committee Records, Part III WAG.025.003

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Craig Savino and Joanna Blokker, 2004-2007; Rachel Menyuk, 2009-2010; Gail Malmgreen, 2011-2012; and Rachel Schimke, 2013-2014 (with assistance from Stephen Sutton and Giana Ricci)

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 16, 2018
Finding aid is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Content Note

The Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) Records throughly document the entire history of the organization, from its founding in 1934 up to the 2000s. The records trace the evolution of the JLC from a rescue-and-relief organization during the World War II era to its role as a liaison between the Jewish and labor communities in the latter half of the twentieth century. Though earlier material is present, the majority of the records in Part III of the collection date from the 1960s to the 1990s. Researchers interested in earlier material should also consult Part I (WAG 025.001) and Part II (WAG 025.002) of the collection, located at this repository. The first five series in Part III document the activities of the JLC in the United States, while the last series documents the JLC's Canadian branch.

Approximately one-third of the collection is comprised of the general subject and programming files maintained by various members of the JLC staff, starting in the post-war era as the JLC broadened its agenda. These files reflect the range of the JLC's interests and activities and contain material produced by the JLC and by the many organizations it worked with or researched. Though mostly focused on domestic activities, the materials reflect the overlap between issues at home and abroad. For instance, the JLC was dedicated to combatting discrimination of all forms, actively involved in the civil rights movement in the United States while at the same time working to raise awareness about the oppression of Soviet Jews. The materials reflect the JLC's close relationships with other national labor and Jewish organizations.

The records of the JLC's Anti-Discrimination Department also make up a significant portion of the collection. Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, these records detail the JLC's efforts to end discrimination through lobbying and collaboration with various labor, Jewish, and/or civil rights groups. Other divisions represented in the collection illuminate some of the JLC's other areas of prioritization from the 1950s onward, while personal papers of prominent leaders within the JLC reflect the areas of interest for each individual.

To a lesser extent, files related to the administration of the JLC at the national level, including the records of its national conferences, governing bodies, and fundraising efforts, signify what the JLC deemed its greatest accomplishments and what its most pressing needs were moving forward. The records of the JLC's field offices and regional chapters provide insight into how the JLC exerted influence at the local level and reveal the issues of concern to the labor and Jewish communities in specific regions. A small amount of material also documents the now defunct Canadian JLC, a group that often mirrored the U.S. JLC in its goals and activities, particularly regarding anti-discrimination campaigns.


The collection is arranged into ten series:

Series I: National Administration

Series II: Operations and Subject Files

Series III: Officers and Staff Members
Subseries A: Lasar Epstein
Subseries B: Samuel Estrin
Subseries C: Martin Lapan
Subseries D: Vladka Meed
Subseries E: Benjamin Tabachinsky
Subseries F: Michael Perry
Subseries G: Other Officers and Staff Members

Series IV: Regional Offices and Local Chapters

Series V: Departments, Chapters, and Divisions
Subseries A: Anti-Discrimination Department
Subseries B: National Trade Union Council (NTUC)
Subseries C: Women's Division
Subseries D: Yiddish Department
Subseries E: Educators' Chapter

Series VI: Jewish Labour Committee, Canada

Series VII: Microfilm

Series VIII: Tamiment Library Collection of Jewish Labor Committee Records

Series IX: Archived Website

Series X: Media and Graphics

Part III of the Jewish Labor Committee (U.S.) collection is organized into 8 series, with a number of sub-series, as follows:

Missing Title

  1. I. Minutes, 1957-1989.
  2. II. General Files, 1955-1993.
  3. III. Field Office Files, 1944-1978.
  4. IV. Jewish Labor Committee of Canada, 1957-1978.
  5. V. Scrapbooks and Clippings, 1952-1964.
  6. VI. Officers' and Staff Files, 1952-1984.
  7. VII. JLC Relations with Welfare Funds and Local Federations, 1939-1983.
  8. VIII. Departments and Divisions of the JLC, 1945-1969.

All series are arranged alphabetically, except for Series V and Series VIII:A which are arranged chronologically by year and then alphabetically within years.