The Jewish Times (alternate titles: Boston Jewish Times, The Jewish Weekly Times) was a weekly paper that ran from 1945 to 1992. It covered much of the same ground as The Jewish Advocate but is another perspective on events impacting the Jewish community. It is also a rich source of information for genealogists.visit collection
The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), Boston Port, was chartered in 1904 and operated until 1977.HIAS helped primarily Jewish immigrants with housing, religious services, kosher food, and job placements. This collection contains case files and administrative records. Only cases 72 years and older are available online.visit collection
The Young Men’s Hebrew Association (Y.M.H.A.) was founded in Boston’s South End and incorporated on January 30, 1882 by a small group of residents. At the time of it’s founding, the mission of the Y.M.H.A. was to be the impetus of “the moral, physical, intellectual and social improvement” of its members.
Lina Hecht founded the Hecht House in 1889 as the Hebrew Industrial School in the North End of Boston. The school’s primary purpose was to educate young female immigrants in a trade (particularly sewing) so that they could provide for themselves in their new country.
The Hecht House had four overriding objectives: 1) foster democracy and citizenship; 2) to advance understanding of Jewish ideals; 3) conduct relevant programming to promote physical, cultural, moral and educational well-being, and 4) promote understanding among all community groups.visit collection
The Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE) in Boston, Massachusetts was founded in 1920, a result of a merger between the Associated Hebrew Schools of Boston and the Bureau of Jewish Religious Schools. The goals of the BJE, as found in the original constitution, were “to promote Jewish Education in the city of Boston and its vicinity; to render financial and moral aid to affiliated schools; standardize, co-ordinate and supervise such affiliated schools; maintain a Jewish Teacher-Training School; increase the Jewish Educational resources of the community; make scientific studies of the problem of Jewish education in all its communal phases.” Under its management were 24 Hebrew Schools, 13 Sunday Schools, and two teacher training programs.
The BJE closed their doors in 2009.visit collection
The Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) of Boston, Massachusetts is the oldest federated Jewish philanthropy in the United States. The current incarnation of CJP was formed in 1960, when two separate federated philanthropies – the Combined Jewish Appeal and Associated Jewish Philanthropies – merged to create a single organization dedicated to serving the needs of Boston’s Jewish community. As a result of this merger, CJP was able to focus its priorities and engage the community in providing resources for Jewish organizations in Boston and beyond.
CJP’s records contain the history of several other organizations, from the forerunners of the current Federation to the Jewish institutions supported by CJP. Their beginnings can be traced to the founding of the United Hebrew Benevolent Association (UHBA) in 1864 at the Pleasant Street Synagogue (now Temple Israel).visit collection
To address community concerns surrounding the increase in anti-Semitic attacks in Jewish neighborhoods, the Associated Jewish Philanthropies organized an interim committee in 1938 to examine interfaith cooperation in Boston. After this committee dissipated, Associated Jewish Philanthropies organized the Central Advisory Committee during World War II. Presently, the Council, now known as the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, focuses on continuing the tradition of mobilizing the Jewish community around issues of social justice and support for Israel and Jewish people around the globe.visit collection
This collection holds the Papers of Stanley and Mary Ann (Kane) Snider, the Papers of Eliot Snider, and the Records of Elm Farms Supermarkets.
In addition to the records of Elm Farms and related businesses, this collection also contains material pertaining to the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, American Technion Society, and Beth Israel Hospital, as well as family genealogies for the Snider, Karelitz, Kane, and Winer families.visit collection
Dr. Robert I. Sperber's storied career in education traverses New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusettts. For eighteen years, Dr. Sperber served as Superintendent of Brookline Public Schools, where he founded the Brookline Education Project, METCO, and Holocaust education. As Professor of Urban Education at Boston University, he was involved in managing local school systems and college consortia.visit collection
The Wyner Family Papers document the personal, professional, organizational and philanthropic activities of three generations of a prominent Boston Jewish family. The documents describe the operations of the family knitting and textile businesses, the building and management of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel of Boston and the development and operations of the Beth Israel Hospital of Boston (1926-2001.) This collection describes the Wyner family's involvement in a wide variety of organizations, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and spans almost a century of involvement in community affairs.visit collection
This digital collection contains the papers of Jewish families and individuals and records of Jewish organizations from the North Shore of Boston. The North Shore includes the towns of Lynn, Beverly, Salem, Marblehead, Swampscott, Newburyport, and Manchester-by-the-Sea.
These collections were originally housed at the Jewish Heritage Center of the North Shore. Through a partnership with AJHS-NEA, their collections will now be available online. For more information on JHCNS, visit their website.visit collection
Leopold (Leo) Shapiro was born in Paris, France, in 1907 and emigrated with his parents and brother, Jacques, to Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts, when he was 8 years old. Shapiro began his career with the Boston Globe as a copy boy on the night shift. By 1928, Shapiro was reporting on education topics in Boston. Through much of his career, from the 1940s through the 1970s, Shapiro wrote about the Jewish community in Boston and abroad. This collection contains newspaper articles written by Leo Shapiro from much of his 52-year career with the Boston Globe.visit collection
Abraham Captain Ratshesky (“Cap”) was born in Boston, Massachusetts on November 6, 1864 to Asher and Bertha. A banker by profession, Ratshesky started the U.S. Trust Company with his brother Israel in 1895. Ratshesky was also involved in politics, serving as a member of the Massachusetts State Senate from 1892-1895 and as a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1892, 1904, 1908, 1916, and 1924. During World War I, he was the Assistant Food Administrator for Massachusetts. His political background helped secure his nomination to the post of United States Minister to Czechoslovakia from 1930-1932 by President Herbert Hoover. In 1933, Ratshesky was honored with the Order of the White Lion First Class, Czechoslovakia’s highest honor.visit collection
Please visit our website for information on how to access our digital archives. You will need to create a user name and submit a reference request.
The American Jewish Historical Society-New England Archives (AJHS-NEA) is the cornerstone of the Jewish Heritage Center at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. It is associated with the American Jewish Historical Society in New York, the nation’s oldest ethnic historical society.
AJHS-NEA serves as the archival repository for the documentary record of Jewish life in the Greater Boston area and New England communities. Our holdings include personal papers, organizational records, photographs, reports and other materials for researching the history of the Jewish community of Boston, including the records of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston and the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council, the Rabb Family/Stop & Shop collection, and the personal papers of Abraham C. Ratshetsky, Rabbi Albert I. Gordon and many others.AJHS-NEA/Jewish Heritage Center
*for AJHS New York and AJHS-NEA Researchers