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Collection Guide: Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)

Overview of the individual archival collections and library materials found at the Center relating to the HIAS organization and their activities.

Displaced Persons--Vocational Training (Box 10, Folder 5, Image 3)

Related AJHS Archival Collections

Cecilia Razovsky Papers (P-290)

The papers consist of correspondence and reports of Cecelia Razovsky (married name: Davidson), noted social worker specializing in immigration and resettlement of refugees. The collection includes information about her work with the National Council of Jewish Women in the 1920's, and with the National Refugee Service (and predecessor organizations) in the 1930's. Razovsky was a as a representative for United HIAS Service from 1957-1958, aiding in the resettlement of Egyptian and Hungarian refugees.

Colonel Seymour J. Pomrenze Papers (P-933)

Pomrenze joined the United States Army and in February 1946, he was appointed as the first head of the Offenbach Archival Depot (OAD), the central collection point for cultural materials looted from throughout Nazi-occupied Europe by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR). After his discharge, Pomrenze returned to Washington, DC and worked for NARA (1947-1949) and for the Army (1950-1977) as a records manager. After his retirement from the Army in 1977, he became a full-time records management consultant, primarily to Jewish organizations. His clients included the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), the Jewish Welfare Board (JWB), Federation Employment Guidance Services (FEGS), the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and the UJA-Federation of New York (UJA).

Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter Collection (P-317)

The collection consists of Jack Cohen and Mosco Tzechoval’s papers relating to their involvement at the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter in Oswego, New York, between 1944 and 1946.In June 1944, the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter was established in Oswego, New York by order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was operated by the War Relocation Authority, a government agency. In August 1944, the shelter received 982 refugees of predominantly Jewish descent and of various national backgrounds, especially Yugoslavian, Austrian, Polish, German and Czechoslovakian.

Howard Lenhoff Papers (P-902)

In addition to chronicling Lenhoff’s participation in the American Association for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ), the collection documents AAEJ’s relationships with other activists and organizations; Israeli government officials’ responses to AAEJ pressure; requests for help and stories of trauma from the Ethiopian Jews; AAEJ’s extensive publicity efforts; and American Jewish press coverage of the struggles of Ethiopian Jewry.

Kasriel H. Sarasohn Collection (P-708)

Collection contains correspondence, legal documents, news clippings, issues of newspapers, and photographs pertaining to Bashe and Kasriel Sarasohn and their Yiddish/English newspaper The Jewish Daily News. 

National Refugee Service Records (I-92)

This collection contains records of the National Refugee Service (NRS), including committee files, correspondence, publications, and project files organized by partner organization and location. A few case files and a small amount of materials on predecessor organizations, notably the National Coordinating Committee, are also included. The records cover the major functions of the NRS related to migration, resettlement, retraining, employment, and social adjustment of refugees. 

United Service for New Americans Records (I-93)

Contains the correspondence and published materials of the USNA for the years 1947-54, including quota correspondence (1949-51) with Jewish institutions in the fifty states, correspondence concerning the Displaced Persons Program (1948-54) which includes unused agency assurances, migration procedure, occupational lists, community relations, and material on the Immigration and Nationality Act. Also includes general correspondence on immigration from local American cooperating agencies (1949-51) and material from the European Jewish Children's Aid (1947), the JDC Shanghai Report (1947), special study on unattached adolescents, correspondence with NYANA, Natl. Coordinating Committee, and USNA sessions at the Natl. Conference of Jewish Social Work.

Related YIVO Archival Collections

Ilya Dijour Papers (RG 589)

The collection reflects for the most part Dijour's activities in HIAS.  There are also some materials relating to his personal life, including correspondence, manuscripts, financial records, forms, reports, statistical surveys, and printed material, as well as manuscripts of Dijour's memoirs. Also includes general HIAS correspondence, 1936-1964, lectures, reports, correspondence and notes on migration problems.  Personal documents include correspondence with Mrs. Dijour. Collection material can be found on microfilm MKM 15 (158-160).

National Refugee Service Records (RG 248)​

Established in 1939 in New York in order to help refugees from Europe fleeing Nazi persecution. The NRS was the successor agency to the National Coordinating Committee which had been formed in 1934 as an umbrella organization to coordinate the work of affiliated agencies engaged in immigrant relief work. The NRS program included: a migration service which dealt with affidavits, sponsorship, visas and other legal aspects of the immigration process; financial aid; a placement service; vocational and retraining programs; a capital loan service; resettlement to smaller communities; and an Americanization program. The NRS also communicated with the U.S. Government on matters relating to immigration legislation and special cases. 

Philip Sandler Papers (RG 420)

Sandler was a Yiddish journalist and activist with left-wing Jewish groups in Philadelphia. Collection includes circulars, pamphlets, brochures from HIAS, YKUF, Congress for Jewish Culture and other organizations relating to Jewish life in Philadelphia. Also included are materials relating to the Workmen's Circle Schools and International Workers' Order Schools as well as clippings relating to Yiddish culture in the U.S.S.R.

Related LBI Archival Collections

The Hebrew sheltering and immigrant aid society mail forwarding service of 1916.

Article about the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society Mail Forwarding Service of 1916 in: German Postal Specialist, vol.47, Nr.3, 1996. Collection material can be found on microfilm MF 603.

Hugo Landau Collection (AR 11326)

Hugo Landau was born in Vienna on 11/30/1922. He left Vienna in November 1938, stayed in Nice, France, for two years, where he received help from HIAS and HICEM, and arrived in New York in March 1940.

Kocherthaler family collection (AR 5429)

Collection includes telegrams and correspondence between France and USA in connection with emigration to USA from France (1940-1942), including letters from US Department of State, IRS, HIAS.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AR 7196)

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (also known as the JDC) was founded on November 27, 1914, in order to facilitate and centralize the collection and distribution of funds by American Jews for Jews abroad. Collection includes papers and correspondence of organizations, which collaborated with the JDC, including: American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Canadian Jewish Congress, Comité voor Joodsche Vluchtelingen, HIAS-HICEM, Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden, National Refugee Service, Reichsvertretung der deutschen Juden, Selfhelp for German Refugees, and United Jewish Appeal.