Record Group 4: University of Judaism, Los Angeles

  • Dates: 1947-1960
  • Size: 4 linear ft.
  • Number of Boxes and Packages: 3 boxes; 1 package (scrapbook)
  • Languages:
    • English
    • Hebrew
  • Location: Special Collections Reading Room, Jewish Theological Seminary Library.
  • Restrictions: Jewish Theological Seminary records are available for research, with permission, through 1972; records dating from 1973 and afterward are currently closed. For permission to see records of The Jewish Theological Seminary write to: Archivist, Ratner Center for the Study of Conservative Judaism, Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. Reproduction of fragile items is not permitted; consult the archivist about literary rights.

BF, 6/14/90; rev. JM, 11/25/91

Table of Contents:

A Note on Folder Headings

Individual folders are identified in the following way: record group# -- box# -- folder#, as in R.G.1-10-32. Please use this format in citations and when referring to files for any other reason.

Historical Note

The University of Judaism, the Seminary's west coast campus, was founded in 1947. It began as a teacher training program; undergraduate, continuing education, and rabbinical preparatory programs were gradually added. The University of Judaism was proposed by Mordecai Kaplan in 1945, and was headed from 1948 to 1968 by Simon Greenberg.

For more on the history of the University of Judaism see: Deborah Dash Moore, "Another Glowing Chapter: The University of Judaism," in Tradition Renewed: A History of The Jewish Theological Seminary of America ed. Jack Wertheimer (New York: JTS, 1997).

Collection Description

These records of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles consist mainly of administrative correspondence, 1947-1960. Also included are materials from commencement excercises, 1951 and 1953-1955; six reel to reel tapes, 1947-1948; and a scrapbook, ca. 1940s.

The correspondence, which is mainly Simon Greenberg's, documents the early years of the University of Judaism plus later administrative matters, particularly fundraising. Correspondents include professors, staff, board members, and others, such as University of California faculty Lawrence Powell and Robert G. Sproul. Of interest is correspondence with Hollywood film industry figures such as Louis B. Mayer, Harry Warner, and Dore Schary (who was on the University's board) among whom Greenberg attempted to stimulate interest. Also of note is correspondence with Chaim Potok, then the director of the Camp Ramah on the west coast, and correspondence relating to Martin Buber's visit to the University.

The commencement materials include drafts of programs and invitations, guest lists, and correspondence and memoranda documenting arrangements for the University of Judaism's first commencement in 1951, and subsequent ones from 1953 to 1955. Honorary degrees were awarded to California Governor Earl Warren, biochemist Dr. Wendell Stanley, composers Ernest Bloch and Darius Milhaud, and Los Angeles industrialist Paul Hoffman. Correspondence with some of them can be found in these files.

Five reel-to-reel tapes record a banquet for the University of Judaism at the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel on December 28, 1948. Speakers include Stephen Kayser, Dore Schary, E.[ddie?] Cantor, Simon Rifkind (?), and others. The sixth tape records a 1947 University of Judaism ceremony, speakers include [Louis] Rabinowitz, and [Moshe] Davis. The tapes have been removed from this collection and added to the Ratner Center Sound Collection as numbers S133-138.

The scrapbook - which may be a mock-up for a promotional brochure - consists mainly of photographs with captions. Some additional text is included.

Box List

Box Folder(s) Description 
  I. Correspondence Files, 1947-1960
11Maxwell Abbell, William Albright
 2Mildred Allenberg, Sol Andrews
 3David Aronson
 4Byron Backlar, Joseph Backlar, Elias Bickerman, Ben Blumenthal
 5B'nai Brith Messenger, Hyman Brand, Sam Brand
 6Henry Brandler
 7Charles Brown
 8Emil Brown
 9Elliot Burstein
 10-13Samuel Dinin
 14Ely Elias, Samuel Engel
 15"Eternal Light" radio program
 16Isadore Familian, Julius Fligelman
 17-21Founders Day dinners, 1949-1952; 1955
 22Samuel Fryer
 23-24Victor Garvey
 25Joel Geffen
 26G.I. Bill
 27-30Simon Greenberg
 31Felix Guggenheim, Judah Hahn, Max Helfman
 32Herman Hertz, Walter Hilborn
 33Elia Horowitz
 34Joseph Judson
 35Peter M. Kahn
 36Mordecai Kaplan, Stephen Kayser
 37-38Jacob Kohn
 39Charles Krown, Louis Lamed
 40Leaders Training Fellowship
 41Herbert Lehman, Samuel A. Lerner
 42Monroe Levens, Sidney Levine
 43Philip Lipis, Joseph Loeb
 44Benedict Magnes, Edgar Magnin
 45-47Harry Maizlish
 48Yoland Markson, David May
 49Louis B. Mayer
 50Abraham Menes, George Meyer
 51-56Miscellaneous, 1948-1949; 1951-1954; 1955-1960, A-M
21-3Miscellaneous, 1955-1960, N-Z
 4-7Newsletters, 1948-1949
 8Schlomo Noble
 9Miriam Peizer
 10Lewis Pennish
 11-13Benjamin Platt
 14Jacob Pressman
 15Louis Rabinowitz
 16Ayola Reiss
 17-22Edward Rosen
 23A.S.W. Rosenbach, Philip Rosenbach, Lester Roth
 24Saul Rubin
 25Nathan Saltzman
 26-28Dore Schary
 29Philip Seman
 30Ann Shalmony, Louis Shub
 31Mendel Silberberg, Leo Simon
 32Special Memoranda
 33Milton Sperling
 34Shalom Spiegel
 35Robert G. Sproul
 36Irwin Stalmaster, Wendell Stanberg
 37Jesse Steinhart
 38Leo Strauss, Theodore Strimling
 39Alan M. Stroock
 40Student lists
 41Ruth Swerdlow
 42-43Benjamin Swig
31-2Benjamin Swig
 3Edna Bazol Sydney
 4Tannenbaum Memorial Library Fund, 1948-1958
 5Marion Travis
 6-11Justin Turner
 12Rose Turner
 13-15University literature
 16Veteran's Administration
 17Arthur Whizin, Abraham Winokur
 18Aaron Wise
 19Women's Institute
 20Max Zimmer
  II. Commencement Records, 1951; 1953-1955
PackageIII. Scrapbook (Brochure mock-up), ca. 1940s