Finding Aid — Schechter, Solomon 1847–1915
The materials collected after Solomon Schechter's untimely death in 1915 became the core of the Solomon Schechter Collection. Family members, particularly his wife, Mathilde Schechter, and son, Frank I. Schechter, appealed to friends and compatriots to donate correspondence and other personal documents. Mathilde Schechter also placed advertisements in the Jewish and local papers requesting the loan of correspondence.
In 1924, Richard Gottheil donated letters that Schechter had written to him.
In 1940, Mrs. Alice Schechter, Frank I. Schechter's widow, donated Schechter's notebooks, Schechter's correspondence with his son and all remaining Schechter correspondence which had been used by Norman Bentwich for Schechter's biography, which was published in 1938. Mathilde Schechter's correspondence, as well as a scrapbook of condolence letters collected by Mrs. Schechter, was also donated at the same time.
In 1991, Raphael Levy, grandson of Shulim Schechter and great-nephew of Solomon Schechter, deposited papers in the Schechter archives. These materials, now known as the Levy addition, include photos of Levy's mother (Charlotte) and aunt, who were Solomon Schechter's nieces, and letters, postcards, photos and information on Schechter's immediate and extended family in the United States, Israel and Latin America.
Two more recent additions to the Schechter collection were donated by Sefton D. Temkin and Bernard Mandelbaum. Rabbi Temkin was hired by Rabbi Bernard Mandelbaum in the mid-1980s to collaborate on a book of collected letters of Solomon Schechter and donated the unpublished materials in 1997.
The Schechter collection is continuing to grow. In 2003, Schechter's grandson, Daniel S. Schechter, and his grandson's wife, Sally J. Schechter, donated 5 CD-ROM disks containing copies of photographs, personal documents and correspondence of Solomon Schechter and other Schechter family members.
There is also a significant cache of material incorporated into the Solomon Schechter collection which was donated in 1943 by the daughters of Adolphus S. Solomons. They presented the Seminary with a collection of clippings and a number of official letters referring to the early years of the reorganization of JTS.
The Solomon Schechter Collection has been organized into the following series:
B. Organizational - JTS
C. Organizational - General
A. Manuscripts and Typescripts
B. Research Notes
|10-23, OZ 5
|III.||Personal Materials||1876-1916||24-25, UZ 1-6, OZ 4|
B. Writings and Personal Materials
|V.||Frank I. Schechter Correspondence||1889-1941||29|
A. Condolence Letters
B. Newspaper Clippings
|33, OZ 3
|VIII.||Photographs||1898-1976||34, UZ 7|
A. Levy Papers
B. Temkin Papers
C. Temkin/Mandelbaum Papers
D. Daniel S. and Sally J. Schechter Papers
Solomon Schechter (1847-1915), scholar and President of JTS from 1902-1915, was born on December 7, 1847, in Focsani, Romania, and died unexpectedly in New York City on November 20, 1915. His Hebrew name was Schneur Zalman, after the founder of the Habad (Lubavitch) Hasidic sect. One of seven siblings, his twin brother, Isaac (Israel) Schechter, was one of the original founders of Zichron Ya'akov in Israel.
He began his studies at a local yeshiva, then moved first to Lemberg to study with R. Joseph Saul Nathanson, and then to Vienna to study under Aaron Jellinek at the Vienna Bet Ha Midrash. While Schechter was in Vienna, he also took courses at the University, taught Hebrew and obtained rabbinical ordination. He also studied with I.H. Weiss, Robert Zimmerman and Meir Friedmann (Ish Shalom). In 1879, Schechter moved to Berlin to study the Palestinian Talmud under Dr. I. Levy at the Hochschule fur die Wissenschaft des Judenthums.
While in Berlin, Schechter tutored both Claude Montefiore and Richard Gottheil. With Montefiore's financial support and personal encouragement, Schechter immigrated to England in 1882. He worked as Montefiore's tutor and at Jews' College in London. In London, he became the center of a group of Jewish intellectuals who called themselves "Wanderers." These individuals — Lucien Wolf, Israel Zangwill, Asher Myers and Herbert Bentwich, among others — became his life-long friends and correspondents. While in London, Schechter met and married Mathilde Roth in 1887. They had three children: Ruth, Frank I. and Amy Schechter. Schechter applied for and accepted the position of Lecturer in Talmudics at Cambridge University in 1890, where his references included testimonials from his former teachers and colleagues, the most famous Hebraic scholars of 19th century Europe.
His career in Cambridge spanned the years 1890-1902. In 1896, Margaret Gibson, a friend and scholar, alerted Schechter to a manuscript fragment which she and her sister, Agnes Lewis, had purchased in Egypt. He identified the document as the missing Hebrew text of the Ben Sira, a portion of the Book of Ecclesiasticus. The moment of discovery changed his future and the future of Judaic and biblical studies. With funds provided by his colleague Charles Taylor and Cambridge University, Schechter visited Cairo in 1896 and was given permission to remove 140,000 fragments from the Cairo Genizah. These documents became the core of the Taylor-Schechter Collection, which constitutes the bulk of Genizah material in Cambridge. During his remaining five years at Cambridge, he devoted himself to the study and analysis of the fragments he brought back from his journey.
Solomon Schechter arrived in New York in April 1902 to assume the presidency of, and help to revitalize, the Jewish Theological Seminary. During Schechter's tenure, JTS became famous for the quality of the scholars he recruited to serve on the Seminary's faculty: Louis Ginzberg, Israel Friedlaender, Alexander Marx, and others, as well as the many students he mentored at JTS: Henrietta Szold and Joseph Hertz, later decorated as Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, among others.
Other highlights of Schechter's career in America include participation in the committee which was responsible for translating the Hebrew Bible into English and his active support of the Zionist movement. A major achievement was the founding of the United Synagogue of America in 1913; which contributed to the growth of Conservative Judaism and the expansion of religious training and educational opportunities for the movement and its constituents.
Mathilde Schechter (1857-1924)
His wife, Mathilde Roth Schechter was born in Guttentag, a small town in Silesia, in 1857. While she was still a child, she and her family moved to Breslau. Then, in 1885, Mathilde came to London. In London, she met Solomon Schechter and the two were married on June 22, 1887. After she and Solomon relocated to New York City in 1902, Mathilde remained there until her death in 1924.
While Schechter was traveling for work or research, Mathilde also kept busy with scholarly and intellectual activities. She worked on an English translation of Heine's writings, wrote part of a novel, and edited the work of Erik Magnusson on Icelandic folklore. None of these works were ever published. Most of Mathilde's literary work focused on editing and critiquing Solomon's writings.
In 1905 she created the "Society for Ancient Hebrew Melodies," to increase knowledge of Jewish music and Jewish observance. In 1910 she published (with attorney/composer Lewis Isaacs) Kol Rinah: Hebrew Hymnal for School and Home.
Mathilde also left her mark on JTS. She organized the first Seminary Sukkah, and recruited students to build and decorate it. After Solomon's death, Mathilde continued to play a role in the Seminary community. One major success was securing a $1 million gift from Louis Brush for a dormitory facility. Mathilde also worked for the creation of a students' house, open to all Jewish students in New York. It was located near Columbia University and JTS. She also conceived the idea of editing Solomon Schechter's unpublished writings, which were collected for publication in 1924 as Studies in Judaism, Third Series.
Mathilde's most lasting achievement was the founding of Women's League (later called Women's League for Conservative Judaism) in 1918. This organization was originally framed as the women's auxiliary of the United Synagogue, founded by her husband.
Mathilde Schechter also was friendly with Henrietta Szold and assisted with the founding of Hadassah and served on its first board.
Frank Isaac Schechter (1890-1937)
Frank I. Schechter was born in London in 1890 and died in New York City in 1937 at age 47.
He graduated from Columbia University in 1912 and received a master's degree from that institution in 1914.
He received the first Doctor of Jurisprudence degree given by Columbia University Law School as a result of the publication of his first work, "Historical Foundation of Laws."
During WWI, Frank Schechter served in the U.S. Infantry in France and later worked with the US Army of Occupation in Germany. He authored a New York Timeslead magazine article concerning World War I, published on August 31, 1919.
For most of his adult life, Frank I. Schechter was a practicing attorney and an authority on trademark law.
In conjunction with Alexander Marx, he edited Solomon Schechter's Studies in Judaism, Third Series. He also served as a Trustee of The Library of JTS.
Scope and Content Note
The Solomon Schechter Collection (1856-1990) consists of correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, research notes, personal documents, memorials, printed material and photographs collected by Solomon Schechter's family and colleagues after his death. The Collection also contains the correspondence, writings and personal materials of his wife, Mathilde Schechter, and the correspondence of his son, Frank I. Schechter.
In addition, the Solomon Schechter Collection contains papers donated decades after the original collection was established. Correspondence, photographs and reminiscences were donated by Schechter descendents and relatives: his great-nephew, Raphael Levy, his grandson, Daniel S. Schechter, and his grandson's wife, Sally J. Schechter. Documents were also received from Sefton Temkin and Bernard Mandelbaum, collaborators on a proposed book about Solomon Schechter which was never published.
Correspondence addressed to Solomon Schechter (Series I) and to his immediate family (Series IV, Series V and Series VI) comprises the bulk of the original collection. More than 400 individual authors are represented in the collection. Included is correspondence with the scholars he recruited to serve on the Seminary's faculty and the many students he mentored at JTS. Solomon Schechter was famous for his charm and his list of personal correspondents is a virtual international "Who's Who" of Jewish intellectuals, bibliophiles and philanthropists including illustrious individuals such as Richard Gottheil, Ahad Ha'am, Claude Montefiore, Jacob Schiff, Adolphus S. Solomons, and Israel Zangwill.
The correspondence in Series I is predominately addressed to Solomon Schechter, while his response is not included. The letters in Series IV, on the other hand, consist of voluminous correspondence from Solomon Schechter to his wife. However, her correspondence to him has either been lost or destroyed. Numerous letters of condolence (Series VI), sent to the Schechter family following the death of Solomon Schechter in 1915, are also a major part of the collection.
Writings (Series II) comprise the second most extensive part of the Solomon Schechter Collection. The eleven boxes containing Schechter's notebooks and extensive research notes include many miscellaneous, frequently unlabelled and unsorted writings and fragments. Additional scholarship is required to definitively resolve questions on the original organization and content of these documents.
The Raphael Levy Papers (Series IX) contain many important documents on the Schechter family's origins in Romania; Solomon Schechter's children, Frank, Ruth and Amy; and other members of the American branch of the Schechter family. Raphael Levy's mother, Charlotte Schechter Levy, contributed detailed memories of life in Focsani, Romania where Solomon Schechter and his siblings were born. These documents provide a rich resource for scholars interested in life in nineteenth century Romania, as well as for future Schechter researchers.
The three boxes of Mathilde Schechter correspondence, writings and personal documents (Series IV) are significant not only for the perspective they offer on her husband and their personal relationship, but also for researchers who wish to study her contribution to Schechter's scholarship. Finally, the series contains information on Mathilde Schechter's personal life and her professional contribution to the Conservative movement and JTS.
Series I. Correspondence, 1856-1924
Nine boxes (4 linear feet [l.f.])
Schechter's correspondence is divided into two sub-series: personal correspondence and organizational correspondence, which includes both JTS-related correspondence and correspondence to Schechter from various organizations.
The personal correspondence files contain letters which are arranged in alphabetical order according to the last names of individual correspondents. Most of the letters in the personal correspondence files were received by Schechter, although a few drafts or carbons of his replies are included.
An interesting discovery in Schechter's correspondence was three folders of correspondence belonging to Adolphus S. Solomons, who served as acting president of the JTS Association in 1902.
Sub-series A. Personal, 1856-1924
The personal correspondents are varied: rabbinical and academic colleagues; Jewish communal leaders (American and international); publishers and journal editors. There is a significant amount of correspondence with scholars, such as Marcus Jastrow and Herbert and Norman Bentwich, with heads of European rabbinical seminaries, and also twenty-five years of correspondence with Cyrus Adler.
Schechter also corresponded with leaders in the nascent cultural Zionist movement, such as composer Naphtali Herz Imber and writer Ahad Ha'am (Asher Uri Ginsberg). Schechter's correspondence includes letters of recommendation for Joseph Hertz, who was later elected Chief Rabbi of the British Empire. He corresponded with the Grand Rabbi of Cairo, Raphael Aaron Ben Simon, while he was conducting his research in the Cairo Genizah. Other important figures with whom Schechter corresponded include Israel Zangwill, Henrietta Szold, David Yellin and Mayer Sulzberger. There is a significant amount of correspondence between Schechter and Richard Gottheil, members of the Solis-Cohen family, Alexander Marx, and Claude Montefiore.
There is also some correspondence from Schechter's immediate and extended family. The collection includes correspondence from Israel, Solomon's twin brother, who moved to Palestine in 1882, and two of Israel's children, Haim and Mina. The family correspondence is mainly written in Yiddish. Solomon's brother Shalom (Shulim), who lived in Focsani, Romania, wrote to Schechter in Hebrew and Yiddish. Schechter's other siblings, brothers Moshe and Aaron, and sister Amelia, almost always added notes to Shulim's letters. Shulim Schehcter, Schechter's youngest brother, later moved to the United States and his grandson, Raphael Levy, contributed significant additional family correspondence and personal documents which can be found in the Levy addition (see Series IX.)
Box 1 A
Box 2 B-E
Box 3 F-G
Box 4 H-K
Box 5 L-O
Box 6 P-Stratton
Box 7 Strauss-Z, Misc.
Sub-series B. Organizational - JTS, 1902-1915
The JTS organizational correspondence includes administrative material such
as: class rosters, schedules of studies, faculty and student requirements, correspondence
about the Library, minutes from meetings, and annual reports. The sub-series
also contains Schechter's speeches for commencements and opening days of the
academic year, and correspondence from JTS faculty and staff, including Israel
Sub-series C. Organizational – General, 1899-1916
The general organizational correspondence consists of one box of correspondence with letters to and from Schechter from a wide variety of American, international and Zionist organizations. They are organized in alphabetical order by name of organization. There are two folders of extensive correspondence on the Jewish Institute of Technology in Haifa, regarding a controversy about what the language of instruction would be – Hebrew or German. Other folders of correspondence refer to this issue as well.
Series II. Writings, 1881-1915
Fifteen boxes (9 l.f.)
The writings in this series date from Schechter's time in Cambridge to the end of his life. Most of these writings were eventually published (see Series VII, Printed Materials). Some of the highlights in the collection include book reviews of Schechter's books and eulogies for some of his teachers and other famous rabbis and scholars.
There are also eleven boxes containing Schechter's notebooks and extensive research notes. Hopefully future scholars will be able to resolve many unanswered questions about the original organization and content of many of the research documents.
Some documents in this series were given simple conservation measures and then placed in oversized boxes because of their size and fragile condition.
Sub-series A. Manuscripts and Typescripts, 1885-1915
The sub-series consists of four boxes of various speeches, articles, reviews and eulogies, mostly typed with some handwritten drafts and frequent corrections. These boxes of Schechter's writings are arranged into two sections. The first box contains handwritten material or typescripts with handwritten notes. They are organized alphabetically by title. An unusual item in this series is an oversize series of documents mounted on board titled "Progress of a Manuscript." It shows the development of Schechter's article on Abraham Lincoln from notes to final project and was most likely organized for an exhibit by Joseph Abrahams.
The remaining boxes contain typescripts with generally minor corrections for revised editions of his published writings. The latter boxes also contain miscellaneous materials whose authorship has not yet been identified conclusively.
Box 10 Manuscripts
Box 11 Typescripts
Box 12 Typescripts
OZ 5 Progress of a Manuscript
Sub-series B. Research Notes, 1881-1914
These eleven boxes consist of miscellaneous, frequently unlabelled and unsorted writings, including fragments of manuscripts, research lists and holographic copies of documents found by Schechter during his research trips to various libraries around the world. The notes are identified by subject whenever possible. There are many pages of transcriptions of Genizah fragments and related documents. The manuscript material is written in many different hands including those of Solomon Schechter; his wife, Mathilde Schechter; Joseph Abrahams; and others.
The series also contains many notebooks with Schechter's thoughts on research topics and references to individuals and sources he consulted. Some of the notebooks contain complete essays and drafts of letters. The series includes early drafts of his writings on Leopold Zunz and Abraham Geiger, most probably posthumously compiled by Mathilde Schechter for the 1924 book Studies in Judaism, Third Series.
It is important to note that the bulk of documents in this sub-series are in poor condition, with many partial documents and missing sections. The notebooks and the pages themselves are very dirty, often torn, and appear to have survived the JTS library fire in 1966. Simple preservation and conservation work was performed on numerous documents. A few of the oversized documents were housed in oversize (OZ) boxes 1 and 2. See the individual listings for these items.
Box 13 Avot – Buchler
Box 14 Children – Lincoln
Box 15 Manuscript Transcriptions and Notes
Box 16 Manuscript Transcriptions and Notes – Midrash
Box 17 Midrash
Box 18 Midrash – Scientific Study of Judaism
Box 19 Talmud Bavli – Talmud Yerushalmi
Box 20 Talmud – Zunz
Box 21 Notebooks
Box 22 Notebooks
Box 23 Notes; Manuscripts
Series III. Personal Materials, 1876-1916
Nine boxes (5 l.f.)
The personal materials consist of nine boxes of documents including such varied items as Solomon and Mathilde Schechter's ketubah, a document in Romanian which states that Schechter served in the Romanian military, and holiday greetings from Agnes Lewis and Margaret Gibson. Other unique items include an affidavit which confirms Schechter's divorce from a previous marriage, and Schechter's Certificate of Naturalization (British), signed by Herbert Henry Asquith.
Other personal materials include professional certification documents, such as ordination certificates, letters of recommendation for Schechter's admittance to rabbinical seminaries, and documents allowing Schechter's use of libraries in Italy.
Another unique item is a set of testimonials, many of which were written by rabbinic luminaries of the time, supporting Schechter's application for a lectureship in Rabbinics at Cambridge University. An unusual item includes hundreds of calling cards, collected by Schechter, from various periods in his life. Some of the calling cards contain handwritten notes.
The series also contains personal address books and calendars. A number of documents have been rehoused individually due to size and condition. See the individual listings for oversize (OZ) and undersize (UZ) items. Many of these materials are fragile. Please consult with the archivist before using.
OZ 4 Leather Portfolio
UZ 1 Address book
UZ 2 Calendar
UZ 3 Address Book
UZ 4 Romanian Address Book
UZ 5 Leather Bound Notebook
UZ 6 Calling Cards
Series IV. Mathilde Schechter, 1886-1924
Three boxes (1.2 l.f)
Mathilde Schechter's papers were reorganized into two sub-series: Correspondence, and Writings and Personal Materials. A highlight of the correspondence is a substantial number of letters from Solomon Schechter to Mathilde Schechter beginning with their courtship and continuing through their marriage. The writings contain some published and mostly unpublished lectures, memoirs of her life with Solomon Schechter, and fiction written by Mathilde Schechter.
Sub-series A. Correspondence, 1887-1924
Mathilde Schechter's correspondence is in alphabetical order by the last name of correspondent. The series contains correspondence sent to Mathilde Roth Schechter and to Mathilde and Solomon Schechter during their marriage, and includes letters from Margaret Gibson and Agnes Lewis. Box 26 contains Solomon Schechter's letters to Mathilde during their courtship and beyond. They are organized chronologically. Unfortunately, Mathilde Schechter's responses are not included.
Box 26 Solomon
Schechter's Letters to Mathilde
Box 27 Abrahams – Zangwill; Condolence Letters
Sub-series B. Writings and Personal Materials, 1886-1924
Mathilde Schechter's writings include chapters of memoirs which Mathilde had begun to write but were never completed. Topics include: friends and communities in which the Schechters' lived, Schechter's work on the Cairo Genizah, and memories of Mathilde's life in Vienna and Cambridge.
Also included are speeches, poems, and unpublished fiction written by Mathilde Schechter. A unique item is a section of Mathilde's German translation of Zangwill's Children of the Ghetto.
Personal memorabilia, including a certificate marking Mathilde's completion of an English course, are also included in the series.
Series V. Frank I. Schechter Correspondence, 1889-1941
One box (.4 l.f.)
This series contains letters to Schechter's son, Frank I. Schechter. Interesting items include a folder titled "Schechter anecdotes from England" and two folders of condolence letters on the occasion of Mathilde's death. The series includes many similar correspondents from Series I, including Henrietta Szold, Israel Zangwill, and Alexander Marx.
Series VI. Memorials, 1915-1940
Three boxes (1.7 l.f.)
The series has been reorganized into two sub-series: Condolence Letters and Memorials.
Sub-series A. Condolence Letters
The condolence letters were donated by Mrs. Frank I. Schechter and contain personal letters sent to the widow Mathilde Schechter and her children at the time of Schechter's death. The letters were glued into a book which was bound by the family. The volume was disbound by a conservator in 2004 in order to facilitate preservation and microfilming.
In general, the condolence letters are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the sender. Letters included in the collection are primarily handwritten and were sent to the Schechter family shortly after Solomon Schechter's death. Also included in the collection are a number of calling cards with personal inscriptions, official memorial resolutions, and telegrams. Many letters are lengthy and contain much personal information about Schechter and his relationship with the sender. In addition, although the majority of letters are addressed to Mathilde Schechter, quite a few are directed to other members of the Schechter family, primarily Frank and Amy. Among those whose letters may be found in the collection are Norman Bentwich, James Frazer, Aron Freimann, Margaret Gibson, Agnes Lewis, Claude Montefiore, David Philipson, Jacob Schiff, Henrietta Szold, and Israel Zangwill. Highlights include a 2-page letter from Elkan Nathan Adler; very personal letters addressed to Mathilde from her nieces, Amy and Anna Roth; and a letter from the British painter, Solomon J. Solomon.
It must be noted that it was not possible to separate certain letter leaves that had been glued together originally.
Sub-series B. Memorials
The memorials are arranged chronologically, spanning the years 1915 to 1940, with some items undated and/or written by authors who have not yet been identified. The collection features memorial service programs, hand-inscribed memorial cards, official resolutions (including the renaming of lodges to commemorate Schechter), scrapbooks, commemorative essays, and biographical sketches and tributes. Highlights include articles by George Foot Moore and Margaret D. Gibson; memorial cards decorated with calligraphy from the Educational Alliance and JTS Alumni Association; and drafts of commemorative essays with handwritten dedications and tributes (found, for example, in the works written by Alexander Marx, Norman Bentwich, Herman Lissauer, and Walter Mendelson).
A number of items have been rehoused in oversize folders and placed in box OZ 1.
Series VII. Printed Materials, 1885-1939
Two boxes (2.5 l.f.)
The series consists of two boxes of articles and newspaper clippings either about Schechter or collected by him.
Sub-series A. Serials, 1885-1915
The serials primarily contain articles and pamphlets, in typescript form, authored by Schechter. Some typescripts contain minor handwritten notes. The material includes such items as scrapbooks holding newspaper clippings related to Schechter's 1902 "Inaugural Address" and a pamphlet summarizing the six lectures Schechter was scheduled to deliver at Congregation K. K. Mickve Israel in Philadelphia in February 1895.
Sub-series B. Newspaper Clippings, 1897-1926; 1939
The newspaper clippings were found in random order and were arranged chronologically for ease of use by researchers. The series includes various clippings about JTS, Solomon Schechter, his family and his legacy collected from both American and international newspapers. There are many articles by and about Schechter, spanning from 1901 until 1916, shortly after his death.
The sub-series also includes articles about various members of Schechter's family, including his wife Mathilde Schechter, son Frank Schechter, daughter Ruth Schechter Alexander, and son-in-law Morris Alexander. Also included is an oversize article in Romanian, published in 1939, that describes the life of Solomon and his twin brother, Israel Schechter.
Other interesting items include an article from the Jewish Chronicle with an early picture of Mathilde Schechter, a poem by Ruth Schechter, and an undated fragile article about a meeting of the Women's Enfranchisement League held at the Zionist Hall in South Africa which was attended by Ruth Schechter.
OZ 3 Newspaper Clippings
Series VIII. Photographs, 1898 -1922; 1960; 1976
Two boxes (1.2 l.f.)
The photographs in this series have been separated from correspondence and other collection documents, and rehoused in mylar. The series include personal photographs, donated by Raphael Levy, of his mother Charlotte Schechter Levy, Solomon and Amy Schechter and other family members. (see Series IX below).
The series also contains a photograph of all the silver items which were given to Schechter as farewell gifts when he left Cambridge University in 1902. The majority of the silver objects in the photograph were donated to JTS by Daniel S. Schechter and Sally J. Schechter in 2003 and are housed in a special exhibit case at 3080 Broadway.
Two fragile glass plate negatives of the original letter from Solomon Schechter announcing his identification of the famous Ben Sira Genizah fragment, probably donated by Norman Bentwich, were rehoused separately (see UZ 7).
Box 34 Photographs
UZ 7 Glass Plate Negatives
Series IX. Collection Additions, 1886-1990
Eight boxes (3.7 l.f.)
Series IX comprises material on or about Solomon Schechter and his descendents donated after the original collection was established. We have attempted to maintain, or reinstate, the original order of the material, whenever possible.
A highlight of this series is the Raphael Levy Papers which includes a detailed finding aid prepared by the donor. It identifies and supplies important background information and images about both the family of Solomon Schechter as well as that of Shulim Schechter, Solomon Schechter's younger brother and Raphael Levy's grandfather. The memories of Focsani, Romania, supplied by Raphael Levy's mother, Charlotte, provide important information on the formative years of Solomon Schechter and his relatives.
The Temkin Papers and Temkin/Mandelbaum papers allow scholars to utilize the efforts of previous scholars to provide chronological and subject guides to the Solomon Schechter correspondence and related documents. Unfortunately, their work was never finalized or published and the material is not necessarily complete or accurate.
The donation in 2003 of 6 CD-ROMs containing copies of personal items still in the possession of the Schechter family offers a glimpse of Schechter previously unavailable to scholars.
Sub-series A. Levy Papers, 1887-1983
The Raphael Levy series is a collection of documents about various Schechter family members and includes personal information about Ruth Schechter. This series was donated by Raphael Levy, a great-nephew of Solomon Schechter, in 1991. Raphael Levy included his own detailed finding aid to the collection. His organization of the series was maintained.
The series consists of letters, postcards, photos and information from Schechter's immediate and extended family, in the United States, Israel and Latin America. Unique items include personal correspondence from Ruth Schechter Farrington on the dissolution of her marriage to Morris Alexander and her wedding to Ben Farrington. Another interesting item is a long autobiographical interview with Charlotte Schechter Levy, about Solomon Schechter and the Schechter family of Focsani, Romania titled "Solomon Schechter-Romanian Notes."
Photographs from the Levy Addition have been moved to Series VIII. Box OZ 1 contains fragile oversize documents from this donation.
Sub-series B. Temkin Papers, 1886-1990
The Temkin Collection consists of two boxes of material from Rabbi Sefton Temkin, who began work on a book of Solomon Schechter's correspondence with Rabbi Bernard Mandelbaum (see Sub-series C. below for related material). The first box holds many copies of Schechter's correspondence, with annotations presumably by Temkin. There are also many pages of typed and handwritten research notes, as well as correspondence between Temkin and various scholars about Schechter's materials. There is also some correspondence between Temkin and his collaborator, Bernard Mandelbaum. In the second box, there are a number of copies of a typescript of an annotated collection of Schechter's letters to Mathilde.
One interesting discovery was a folder containing copies of original letters, both typed and handwritten, of Schechter to Rabbi Max Heller from 1907-1910. These letters were not found in the Schechter correspondence files. They were removed and put into the Max Heller folder in the Schechter Correspondence series.
Sub-series C. Temkin/Mandelbaum Papers, 1886-1915
The Temkin/Mandelbaum addition was found in the JTS archives along with other documents collected by Bernard Mandelbaum. The addition contains material from Rabbi Bernard Mandelbaum, who began work on a book of Solomon Schechter's correspondence in conjunction with Rabbi Temkin (see sub-series B. above). The first box contains folders with copies of Schechter's letters in chronological order. A few folders contain excerpts of letters organized by subject, such as "Personalities of the Time," "Zionism," etc. The second and third boxes contain a mix of copies of Schechter's correspondence, some of which have typed or written annotations by Mandelbaum, and some folders of Mandelbaum's written notes. In addition, there is one half box consisting of copies of Schechter's letters to Mathilde, also organized chronologically and dating from 1900-1906.
Sub-series D. Schechter Papers, 1942-1978
Documents contributed by Daniel S. and Sally J. Schechter include an original copy of the memorial service for Ruth Schechter Farrington. The donor has restricted this item for use only by an authorized biographer.
In 2002 and 2003 the family contributed 6 CD-ROMs of scanned documents and images of Solomon Schechter and various other members of the Schechter family. The images were scanned from original documents which have been passed down through the generations and are still privately held. While some of these images and documents were part of the JTS collection, many contain new images or information.
Box and Folder List
The Box and Folder List is available as a PDF file (86 KB).